Super Bowl Snacks: Lighter Beef Chili

Would any Super Bowl party be complete without chili? I’m not so sure. I want to preface this all by saying that I’m not about to get into the “beans or no beans debate” – I’m not a chili purist. I’ll play nice with all the Texans and say that real chili doesn’t have beans, so we can agree that this is really chili *with* beans. Or something. 🙂

Anyway, my recipe for today – Lighter Beef Chili – comes from the January/February issue of Everyday Food. This recipe is nice because it’s lean and it’s quick. Prep time is only 25 minutes, and it’s ready to eat only 15 minutes later. You could easily keep it on the stove over low heat if you want to keep it warm for a few hours.

I started by warming 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. I added 1 medium onion (chopped) and 4 garlic cloves (chopped), seasoning with salt and pepper. I cooked the mixture until softened, about 4 minutes.

Next, I added 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of chili powder, and 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. I cooked and stirred everything until it was fragrant, about 1 minute. I added 1 pound of ground beef sirloin and cooked it, breaking it up with a spoon, until it was no longer pink (about 5 minutes).

Finally, I added 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) of undrained diced tomatoes in juice and 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) of pinto beans (drained and rinsed). I brought the mixture to a boil over high heat, reduced it to a simmer, and cooked the chili until it was slightly thickened, about 12 minutes. I served mine with sour cream and scallions.

lighter_beef_chili.jpg

This chili is good – it has a nice texture and I appreciate that it’s on the healthier side. It doesn’t have a really strong flavor, though, which is what I’m used to when I eat chili. Once we added our toppings (we ended up throwing some crushed blue tortilla chips in there as well), the flavor really improved. Grated cheddar or pepper jack would be really nice too. Since it’s mild, this is a perfect kid-friendly chili. I would just use extra seasoning or a variety of toppings to dress it up a bit more for the adult crowd.

Recipe link: Lighter Beef Chili

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