Main & Side Dishes - Quick

Mike’s Best Chili

Chili was always one of our favorite winter meals. This is a recipe I found (and modified) that is very delicious and has become a family favorite. It takes about 30 minutes to prepare, so it’s a quick meal.


4-5 strips bacon, cut into 1 inch sections

1 Tablespoon minced garlic 

1 pound lean ground beef

1 Tablespoon brown or raw sugar

2 Tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Optionally to make spicier add:

‍     1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper or more

2 Tablespoons tomato paste 

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 cup beef broth or bullion

1 10 oz. can Rotel tomatoes with chilies 

1 15 oz. can red kidney beans, drained (optional)


  • Heat bacon in pot on medium heat. Remove bacon after crispy leaving 1-2 Tbsp. of bacon grease in pot. 
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  • Add beef and bacon, breaking apart with a spatula as you cook. Once meat is partially (about 50%) browned, add sugar and all spices (chili powder, paprika, onion powder, cumin, black pepper) and stir well.
  • Add all remaining ingredients — tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, and Rotel tomatoes (optionally add drained kidney beans) — stir well.
  • Bring to a boil and cook 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 15 minutes to allow flavor to really develop. Salt to taste. 

Serve with cornbread, hush puppies, or crackers. Add favorite topping like sour cream, jalapeños, grated cheese, or corn chips.

Copyright ©  Mike Perry, 2011