Sheri's Shortcut Chili

January  9, 2017
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

This is the chili my mom makes all the time with stuff she stockpiles in her pantry, like she’s always ready for chili duty: any sort of canned tomato, salsa, hot sauce, and ketchup. Plus beans, meat, spices, and garlic and onions. That’s it. She says the ketchup makes the chili have the right consistency no matter how little time you have to simmer it, and the salsa and hot sauce bring the heat and smoke in a form that you can purchase nearly anywhere. Regardless of the reasoning, you will always, always, find a container of this chili in my freezer. —Ali Slagle

  • Serves a family
  • Olive oil, to coat the pan
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey or chicken (or beef, or pork)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 16-ounce can any kind of bean (garbanzo or kidney in my house), drained and rinsed
  • 12 ounces jarred salsa (I like Trader Joe's Salsa Autentica; Mom likes Pace)
  • one 28-ounce (or thereabout) can/jar/carton of your favorite tomato stuff (chopped, crushed, sauce, strained, diced))
  • a bunch of dashes of your favorite hot sauce (or around a tablespoon)
  • 2 long squirts of ketchup (maybe around 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, or more to taste
In This Recipe
  1. Coat the bottom of a Dutch oven or other large pot with olive oil and heat over medium. Once the oil is shimmering, sauté the garlic and onion in the oil until they're soft and translucent.
  2. Add ground meat, sprinkle it with salt, pepper, and cumin, and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon until browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Now dump in the beans, salsa, and tomato. Add the hot sauce and ketchup, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until reduced and the consistency of chili, minimum 30 minutes. If it looks too thick, add some water. Taste every so often and adjust the amount of heat, salt, and spices accordingly.
  4. Once it's done, throw in the cilantro. This chili will keep for a week of meals (with scrambled eggs for breakfast).

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