Recipe: Cheater's Chili

Homemade chili is great, but who has the time? At the risk of being too retro, you can make a decent bowl of chili from canned ingredients.

Serves 4.


1 large onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. oil
6 cups or 3 cans plain pinto or other beans
3 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 tsp. or more red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dried ground cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano
dash of hot pepper sauce


Drain and rinse beans under running water. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Sauté onion and pepper until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beans, tomatoes and spices. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.


Beef-ish– before cooking onions, cook 1/2 lb ground beef or ground beef substitute in the saucepan. Remove from pan and drain off excess fat. Continue making chili in the same pan, returning ground whatever to chili with the beans.

Vegetables – add 1-2 cups mixed frozen vegetables to the chili with the tomatoes.

Serve chili with grated cheese, sour cream and hot salsa and/or chopped jalapenos.