Vanessa’s Amazing Chili

This recipe came to me in a dream.  Way back when Nathan and I were still dating we wanted homemade chili, so I just starting throwing stuff in a slow cooker and the result was magic.  I have hardly changed from the original recipe throughout the years.  The recipe is a great starting off point.  If you don’t have some of the ingredients, substitute it for something similar.  If you have different beans in the pantry or like the flavor of another kind, swap them.  This recipe is fairly spicy, but if you like more, add more spices, or if you like it milder, cut them in half.  If you want to add corn or make it “healthier” by swapping the pork for turkey sausage or tofu, go ahead!  It freezes great so if you have leftovers save it for later, or you can just double (or triple) the recipe and eat it for weeks like we do!


  • 1 tube ground beef (we get the lowest fat % our store offers)
  • 1 tube sausage (we get the spicy)
  • 2 cans tomato paste
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans pinto beans (with juice)
  • 2 cans red kidney beans (with juice)
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1/2 C packed brown sugar


  1. Brown the ground beef and sausage, cook thoroughly.
  2. Add everything to the slow cooker and mix well.  I usually add the entire can of beans, including juice.  If you want a chili thicker than you see in the picture below, omit one or two can’s juice.  Chili will thicken a great deal as it cooks, it may look soupy when you add all ingredients.
  3. Cook on low all day, or if you are in a hurry cook on high for about five hours.
  4. Makes about 6-8 servings.
General Setting: Low heat for 8 hours
General Setting: Low heat for 8 hours
All ingredients mixed together, ready to start cooking!

Serve with cornbread (drizzled with honey!!) or in a bread bowl.  Enjoy!!  🙂



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