Category Archives: Chili fest

Kat’s Easiest White Bean Chili Ever

White bean chicken chili topped with chopped cilantro

I commented before how I had three or four different recipes for butternut squash soup. Turns out I have even more versions of white bean/chicken chili. You may wonder why I’m posting about chicken while the rest of the world is already talking turkey. The answer is that I still have some cooked chicken on hand from my marathon soup weekend. I guess I could freeze the chicken and save it for later. But truthfully, I’m just not ready to talk turkey yet. I already have my T-day menu planned out and its fairly simple. After Thanksgiving, turkey leftovers will be abounding and I’m sure I’ll be up to my eyes in turkey soup. My guess is you’ll be hearing a lot more about turkey then.

In the meantime, the recipe I am posting today reportedly was one of the top ten recipes from the Seattle Times in 1994. Unlike some of the other versions I have, it honestly doesn’t get any easier than this. If you have cooked chicken (or turkey leftovers) on hand, you could be eating dinner in under 30 minutes. I normally don’t go for canned beans. Even if I did, I certainly would always rinse away the extra sodium. However, this recipe calls for dumping in the entire can; beans, juice and all, which gives you a head start on a thicker chili and cuts cooking time.

If you’re in a hurry for dinner some night, this recipe could be the ticket.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion — peel/chop fine
  • 2 medium garlic clove — peeled/chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper — chopped fine
  • 30 ounces white beans, canned — undrained (two 15 oz. cans)
  • 4 ounces green chiles — canned/diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 14 1/2 ounces chicken broth — canned, low sodium
  • 8 to 12 ounces roasted chicken breast meat — cut in 1/2 in. cubes
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro — minced
  • 6 tablespoons salsa — optional


  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add the onion, garlic, and red pepper and sauté 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the white beans, chiles, cumin, chili powder and broth.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the chicken and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the lime juice and top with chopped cilantro.

Use a tablespoon of salsa to garnish each serving of chili, if desired.

Serves 6

Nutritional information: assumes 12 ounces cooked chicken

Calories 201.4 Total Fat 3.3 g Cholesterol 32.9 mg Sodium 42.6 mg Potassium 630.5 mg Total Carbohydrate 23.0 g Protein 20.0 g

Recipe By : Seattle Times – Best 10 Recipes of 1994


Tags: ,

Chili for a Crowd – an Oldie but a Goodie

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 


Tags: ,

Black Bean, Butternut Squash Chili with Sausage

Fall flavors come alive in this easy to prepare dish

Fall is finally in the air in Phoenix. My body, perhaps registering bio rhythms from previous climates I’ve lived in where its not still 100 degrees in October, started craving hearty fall/winter food weeks ago. I just had to wait for the weather here in the desert to cooperate. It probably doesn’t help my food envy that I follow quite a few bloggers who are already experiencing cooler fall temperatures and posting yummy recipes.

For me, fall means soups, stews and chili. Honestly if it wasn’t like a bazillion degrees here in the summer I could really eat soup year round. However, I think I’m most excited about chili.

Inspired by other said fabulous food bloggers, I’m also trying to embrace more seasonal foods. So, I’m flipping my meal planning strategy around. My standard M.O. usually is “what recipe do I want to cook?” Then I go out and spend a fortune on out of seasonal produce which has been trucked and flown across continents. Although said produce usually looks pretty, its probably no longer really all that fresh. Plus, odds are always good that life will get in the way and I may not cook at all. Then said expensive, albeit pretty, produce will go bad in the fridge and I’ll be pissed at myself for wasting scads of money. Let’s face it, life sucks when you spend $1.50 on a red bell pepper and it turns gray and moldy in the produce drawer.

My new goal is to see what produce is in season and find great recipes to incorporate it. The benefits to cooking like this are many. First eating seasonal food should help my budget. Second, shopping locally for food that is in season is really much healthier for you. Now the pretty produce contains far less chemicals than growers normally have to use to keep it looking fresher longer.

With all that (and a whole lot more) in mind, I bring you a recipe that I cobbled together when I started craving fall food. I already had roasted butternut squash cut up and cubed in the freezer. I also had black beans pre-cooked and frozen too. I’m not sure where the inspiration for this pairing came from but once it was in my head, I was slightly obsessed with the combination. Since I wanted to use what I already had in the house, I morphed this chili recipe from several other I’ve seen and/or cooked. Once you add the bones of beans, veggies, diced chilis and tomatoes, chili kind of cooks itself.

I could have kept this a vegetarian recipe but since I’m not a vegetarian and I had this awesome chicken sausage (140 calories per link) in my fridge, I added two links for flavor. You can buy pre-cut and cubed butternut squash in the produce section of larger markets this time of year but its just as easy to roast it yourself.


  • Two links chicken or turkey sausage, grilled or sauteed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup black beans (approximately one can, rinsed)
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (or one can, with juice)
  • 1 4 oz can diced green chili
  • 1 cup corn kernels (I throw mine in still frozen)
  • 2 cups butternut squash, cooked and cubed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp thyme


  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large/deep skillet
  2. Add onion and garlic; saute over medium heat until the onions are translucent
  3. Add remaining ingredients, through corn, and stir
  4. Increase heat to medium high until mixture begins to boil
  5. Add cooked butternut squash and spices
  6. Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes or until flavors have melded and sauce thickens a bit
  7. Garnish with sour cream or crumbled cheese

Kat’s tip:

If you’re using uncooked butternut squash, add it with the rest of the ingredients in step 3. I waited to add mine because it was already cooked and soft.

Serves four

Nutritional information – values are approximate per serving

Calories 233, Total Fat 7.9 g, Cholesterol 37.5 mg, Sodium 402.8 mg, Potassium 430.0, Total Carbohydrate 29.1 g, Protein 13.5 g

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 10, 2011 in Bean Mausoleum, Chili fest


Tags: ,

Black Bean and Barley Chili

I love buffets and I loved themed dinners. So, when I agreed to host the dinner following the family holiday picture day last December, I decided to make a variety of chili recipes figuring that way there would be something for everyone. Everyone that is, except my vegan sister. Catering to her dietary needs had me searching high and low for a vegan chili recipe that looked palatable for everyone else in the family too.

There are a few side notes to this story. First, my sister is a vegetarian, not vegan. She told me, after I spent $3.99 on vegetable broth, that chicken broth would have been fine. Second, this dish is very forgiving considering I accidentally left the burner on low after it was done cooking (I’m not really sure for how long) and it still tasted great. Even the carnivores in the group liked it.
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles
2/3 cup pearled barley
1/2 cup water
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can vegetable broth


  1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 3 minutes.
  2. Add chili powder and next 4 ingredients (chili powder through green chiles); cook 1 minute.
  3. Stir in barley and next 4 ingredients (barley through broth); bring to a boil.
  4. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes or until barley is tender.

Good served with chopped cilantro, avocado, sour cream and cheese.

Recipe source:

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 9, 2011 in Barley, Bean Mausoleum, Chili fest


Tags: ,

Kat’s favorite chili

Chili topped with sour cream and shredded cheese

I’ve been making this chili for so long I’m not actually sure where the recipe came from. I do know that I cut the recipe down in thirds and it still makes four hearty servings. I usually substitute ground turkey for the ground beef and no one is the wiser. That makes this chili substantially lower in fat than normal recipes. Plus, its chock full of veggies. A stick to your ribs meal, this is great on a cold day. Pair it with corn bread and you’ve got a full meal. This freezes well so you can morph the recipe back up to its original proportions; feed an army and freeze what is left over.

For some reason I mentally link this recipe with the Los Angeles Times. I have one of their annual cookbooks; I dragged it out from the cookbook shelf to see if I could source it there but the recipe wasn’t in there so perhaps I cut it out of the paper. So, if someone in Los Angeles wants to take credit for this recipe, let me know.

In the meantime, I present to you my favorite chili recipe ever and the cornerstone of Chili-Fest 2010.


  • 2 tbls olive oil
  • 1 medium onions, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground chuck (or turkey)
  • 1 28-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can red kidney beans drained
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 4 oz canned green chiles


  1. Heat oil in large Dutch oven.
  2. Add onions and garlic; sauté until tender.
  3. Add meat and brown over medium high heat.
  4. Stir in tomatoes, beans, vinegar and spices. 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.

Serve with shredded cheese and/or sour cream.

Serves four

Nutritional information – values per serving are approximate:

Calories 380.0 Total Fat 16.9g Cholesterol 80.0mg Sodium 830.2mg Potassium 455.7mg Total Carbohydrate 32.2g Protein 29.8g

Inspiration: Los Angeles Times

Photo credit: TheCulinaryGeek on Flickr. CC Licensed. A much better picture than I could ever take!

1 Comment

Posted by on February 7, 2011 in Bean Mausoleum, Chili fest, Turkey


Tags: ,

Buffalo Chicken Wing Chili

Chicken wing chili with blue cheese crumbles

My earliest culinary roots are from growing up in Buffalo, NY. I’m sure that everyone is aware of Buffalo’s most famous export…the chicken wing. Well, there were other exports, too. In the ’70s there was a mass migration out of Buffalo to Phoenix, AZ. Who could blame people from wanting to escape the cold and snow to a sunnier climate?

I didn’t graduate from high school until the early ’80s so I would have to wait to make my escape. Although I didn’t move straight from Buffalo to Phoenix, ironically 25 years later would find me living around the corner from folks I grew up with.

Said folks were very creative in the kitchen and fabulous entertainers. Imagine my delight when I was invited to a chili cook-off. Although my chili didn’t win, I did walk away with this awesome recipe that evoked flavors and smells of my childhood.


  • Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 lbs chicken, cooked and diced*
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbl Smoked Paprika – you have to use smoked paprika
  • 12 oz beer – your favorite
  • 1/4 to 1 cup cayenne pepper hot sauce (I use Frank’s) – season to your liking
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomato paste


Heat a medium Dutch oven or large skillet over high heat. Add the olive oil and butter and melt together. Add the chicken and cook, breaking up the meat, for 6 minutes. Add the garlic, celery, onion and carrot. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the beer and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Concentrate the flavor of the beer by reducing the mixture over medium heat for 2 to 5 minutes. Stir in the hot sauce, tomato paste and the tomato sauce. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the chili for 15 minutes.

* I boiled a whole chicken ahead of time and reserved the stock for soups. I roughly diced the cooked chicken (white and dark meat) and used it in this and other recipes. Since it was already cooked I just browned it up a bit before adding the vegetables.

Serve with Blue Cheese Muffins and extra blue cheese crumbles for sprinkling on top. Celery and carrot sticks (although not pictured above) would complete the theme.

1 Comment

Posted by on February 4, 2011 in Chili fest


Tags: ,