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November Recipes: Variations on a (Chili) Theme

As we move into November, nothing beats a big pot of chili to satisfy our cravings for cozy fall food. This month we'll be publishing five different variations on chili. Pick your favorite to keep the chill out.

We'll start the month off with my personal go-to chili recipe. Adjust spices to suit your taste.


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion - medium dice
  • 1 medium green bell pepper - medium dice
  • 2 dried birds eye chili peppers (whole) and/or 1 fresh jalapeno pepper (seeded & diced) -- see note
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspon salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can baked beans in tomato sauce
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Note: This makes a spicy chili. Omit or reduce to birds eye peppers and/or jalapeno to suit your heat level.


  1. Brown the ground beef with the onion, bell pepper, and fresh & dried chili peppers a dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat, stirring until meat is browned & the vegetables are soft. Drain the grease.
  2. Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce and all your spices.
  3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer partially covered for at least 2 hours. Taste chili a few times while it is simmering. Adjust seasoning as needed.
  4. Serve with buttered toast.


This chili gets better the longer it simmers, and is best the next day. Freezes well.