Friday, September 30, 2016

Flashback Friday: Best Homemade Chili {Freezer Meal Option}

Recipe: Soup, Recipe: Main Dish, Recipe: Food Storage, Deals to Meals, best chili ever
Chili is what we're talking about over at our house this weekend. One of my favorite parts about fall are all of the delicious soup recipes. It's not officially fall until I make my HUGE batch of homemade chili. There really isn't anything better in my book. A cool fall night, family and friends over to celebrate the beginning of fall, homemade chili with all of the toppings, Halloween decorations galore (thanks to my hubby), a Halloween movie for the kids and more pumpkin treats than you know what to do with.
We have been throwing our 'holiday kick off party' for over 15 years now, and it's become a favorite time of year for us. This night wouldn't be the same without this chili recipe and I can't wait to share it with you as our 'Flashback Friday' favorite recipe. If you aren't feeding a huge crowd, just half this chili recipe and that should be perfect for a family of 4-6 people--or, you can freeze the extras for a later meal ;) Enjoy!

Easy Homemade Chili

*I double this batch and cook it in a large roaster pan so I can freeze the extras for later.

1 lb. spicy ground pork sausage
1 lb. lean ground turkey or beef
1 large onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced and seeds removed for less spice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 Tbs. chili powder
2 Tbs. cumin powder
3 Tbs. brown sugar
1 Tbs. salt, or more
1 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. Montreal steak seasoning
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, to taste
3 cans pinto or chili beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained (or more pinto beans)
2 cans diced green chilies
4 cans diced tomatoes  
2 cans tomato sauce
2-3 cups beef broth, depending how thick you like your chili


In a large sauté pan (or soup pot), brown the sausage and beef until golden brown and mostly cooked through. Add the chopped onion and diced jalapeno peppers and continue to saute until the onions and peppers are tender. Add the minced garlic, diced bell pepper and the seasonings to the mixture and continue to saute for another 3-5 minutes. Put the meat mixture into a slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients. Turn the crock pot to low heat and cook for 3-5 hours, or until chili has thickened. If you are doubling the recipe to freeze extras for later, you can cook this recipe in a roaster pan for easier cooking if you desire. You can also use dried beans in this recipe. All you need to do is the night before you are going to make your chili, place the dried beans into the crock pot and fill the pot up with twice as much water as beans. Turn the beans to high heat and let them cook overnight, or until they are soft and tender. Drain off the bean water and use the re-hydrated beans in your chili as called for. Serve chili with shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions, etc.

For the freezer chili, cook as normal and then let cool for an hour at room temperature. Once the chili has cooled down quite a bit, pour scoops of the chili into a freezer Ziploc bag or tupperware and freeze. Chili can be frozen for 6-12 months. When ready to thaw the chili, remove from the freezer and microwave for a few minutes until it begins to soften. Dump the chili into a soup pot and bring to a low simmer on medium-low heat until soup is ready to serve.

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