Chili for a Crowd – an Oldie but a Goodie

14 Nov

Rumpled and crumpled but still yummy after all these years

You know that old recipe that you’ve had for a hundred years. Yeah…the one that you cut out of the paper at least a decade prior to the new millennium. That’s right…its the one that’s been folded in half, splattered with food and crumpled under a pile of other recipes. The one you’ve made so often that you feel ownership even though the recipe itself was so perfect, as it is, that you rarely even tweak it. It’s that same recipe that friends and family frequently request.

Welcome to my all-time favorite chili recipe. I posted about it once before. Since then, I actually found the recipe and it was crumpled up on the bottom of my recipe box. I’m still not sure which decade the recipe comes from but I’m now pretty certain I cut it out of the LA Times. The byline references a cookbook author, Dupree. A quick Google search leads me to believe it could be Nathalie Dupree; my compliments to whoever the author is. This recipe had staying power!

Aside from replacing beef with turkey, which cuts about one-third of the calories, my version is pretty true to the original recipe (below). In my version, I also scaled the ingredients down to single girl quantities and it still yields four very filling servings.

Regardless, if you’re making the scaled down version or the original, this recipe is pretty easy (after all, this is Kat’s Easy Kitchen). Pulling it together takes very little prep and the whole thing comes together in under an hour.


  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 4 medium onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 pounds lean ground chuck
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, chopped, reserving juice
  • 3 pounds home-cooked kidney beans or 3 (16 ounce) cans, drained and juice reserved
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 to 4 ounces canned green chiles, chopped
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Additional herbs


  1. Heat oil in large Dutch oven.
  2. Add onions and garlic; sauté until tender. Remove onions and garlic with slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Add meat and brown, breaking up pieces with a spook, over medium high heat. Drain off excess fat.
  4. Reduce heart. Return onions and garlic to pan. Stir in tomatoes and juice, beans, vinegar, spices and chopped chiles. Bring to boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.
  6. Season to taste with salt, pepper and additional herbs if desired.
  7. Refrigerate and remove fat if time allows. Chili freezes well.

Makes 12 to 16 servings

Nutritional information:

590 calories; 342 mg sodium; 52 mg cholesterol; 12 grams fat; 80 grams carbohydrates; 45 grams protein, 10.3 grams fiber; 18% calories from fat 


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