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Weeknight Chili – 30 Minute Recipe
I saw an at-home chili recipe on YouTube the other day that I swear had twenty ingredients. The guy was a true chef. He roasted three different types of peppers. He sliced and ground his own prime rib. He soaked and boiled his own beans. He added a dozen or so spices, including cocoa powder. He cooked it in the oven on low for half the day. It came out nice and thick and chunky. I bet it tasted incredible.
This is not that recipe. Who the hell has time for that? You’ve got a workday to finish, a toddler to watch, and a few minutes before you have to leave for soccer practice. You don’t need a recipe that requires taking vacation days to cook. Unless your kids happen to be part-time chili contest judges, they’re not going to care anyway. So here’s a recipe you can make in 30 minutes with just a few ingredients. It’s easy, delicious, packed with protein, and will leave you plenty of leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
Weeknight Protein Chili
Keyword chili, protein, quick, simple
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 people
A Big Pot
1 lbs Ground Meat (turkey, chicken, or beef)
4 tbps Chili Powder
2 tsp Cumin
4 cups Chicken Stock
1 can Pinto Beans
1 can Sweet Corn
1 can Diced Tomatoes
4 cloves Garlic
1 cup Diced Peppers and Onions (frozen)
Red Chili Flake
Salt and Pepper
Turn the heat on medium and drizzle in some olive oil. Once it’s hot, add some of your peppers and onion. You can chop these fresh if want, but I like to use the frozen variety you can find pre-mixed and pre-diced in the frozen veggies section of your supermarket. Buy a couple bags and throw them in the freezer for whenever you need them. Let these cook down until they are soft and start to brown, then press and add the garlic and cook for a few seconds.
Next add your meat. I usually make this recipe with ground turkey because it’s leaner (and cheaper), but beef arguably adds more flavor. Mix in several shakes of salt, some pepper, and chili flakes if you like it a little spicier.
While you’re waiting, you can prepare the beans, corn, and tomatoes. Throw the cans of beans and corn into a colander to strain and wash them. Open the tomatoes. I like to further blend them in a food processor, but if you like chunky tomatoes, leave it as is.
Once the meat is done cooking, add the chili powder and cumin. Turn the heat up to high and pour in the chicken stock. Bring it to a boil, then add in the beans, corn, and tomatoes. Sprinkle with oregano.
Turn the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for as long as you like, occasionally stirring. It will thicken up over time, but you can eat it whenever you are ready. I usually let it simmer for 20-30 minutes while I do something else, but you can also get it started early and let it go until everyone is ready for dinner.
You can add your favorite chili toppings, too. Mix in some sour cream and shredded cheese, or substitute guacamole. If I’m feeling like a treat, I’ll scoop it out with tortilla chips. So good! Depending on your appetite, it makes about 6 servings. It’s perfect for making early in the week so you have a hearty lunch or something to eat for dinner when things get busy. It may not win any contests, but it always fills me up and satisfies that spicy craving, and I can make it even on a busy weeknight. Every time I do, my wife comes out of her office saying, “mmm, something smells good.” Even my kids love the smell (they think I’m making tacos). They don’t eat it, yet, but that’s what chicken nuggets are for.