Every year, our family kicks off Chili season on Halloween. It is our inaugural launch into soups and stews, and no matter how warm it may be on October 31, we serve hot piping bowls of Chili before heading out into the neighborhood for trick-or-treating. My children have come to expect it, and I love the tradition.
I also love the ease of setting the pot on the stove, and then piling up bowls and spoons next to the toppings and walking away. It’s a cozy set up, encouraging whomever happens to be along for the candy-filled ride to make themselves at home.
When it comes to Chili, there are as many versions (and strong opinions) as there are people who eat Chili. We all think our version is the best. I’m not here to argue with anyone about how their Chili measures up to my award-winning version, but I am here to tell you this Chili may change your mind on whatever rendition you currently call your favorite.
The best part of this Chili recipe is how unpretentious it is. It uses a seasoning packet (gasp!), and has bacon and beans in it. It is delicious on day one, but other-worldly on day two or three. And there is only one correct way to eat this Chili: topped with corn chips, sour cream, and cheddar cheese. You mix it all around, and the gooey, creamy, crunchy result will win you over with one bite.
If you’re in need of a Halloween meal plan, I encourage you to jump on board the Chili train and give this recipe a chance. On a night when copious amounts of sugar are sure to be consumed, this is a decision you can feel good about.
Click below for the recipe!
- 4 oz bacon
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 2 14.5-ounce cans Italian-style diced tomatoes with basil and oregano
- 3 15.5-ounce cans chili beans (I usually use mild)
- 1 10-ounce can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies
- 2 1.48-ounce packets McCormick Original Chili spice
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- shredded cheddar cheese
- sour cream
- Fritos corn chips
- Saute the bacon in a large heavy soup pot over medium-high heat until browned. Remove bacon to a paper-towel lined plate.
- Add the ground beef, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to the pan and cook until the beef is well-browned, breaking the beef into small pieces with a wooden spoon.
- Roughly chop the cooled bacon and set aside.
- To the browned meat, add the chopped bacon, all the tomatoes (with juices), the beans (with juices), the seasoning packets, plus two cups of water. Bring the chili to a simmer over medium-low heat and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 45 minutes until the liquid has reduced and the chili is thick.
- Serve, garnished with cheese, sour cream, and corn chips.