Mom’s Chunky Beef Chili

Mom’s Chunky Beef Chili


Easy chunky beef chili topped with cornbread and shredded cheese

You guys, is there any dish more quintessentially fall than chili? I mean, think about it. Hard. Maybe  pumpkin, but not IMO.

The funny thing about chili is that it’s so particular. There are a gajillion variations and every home cook thinks theirs is THE BEST ONE.  But really: soupy or chunky, spicy or sweet, veg or beef (or turkey, or bison or chunky beef), with pasta (I’m looking at you, Cincy) or without, topped with cheese (cheddar or pepper jack?), accompanied by cornbread or Fritos (I’m looking at you, mom), on baked potatoes, topped with cilantro, green onions, avocado or in the case of the Aussie burger chili, an egg.


Despite all the options there aren’t really that many decisions to make because what I’ve found with chili is that we like what we like and that’s it. Sure, we’ll try someone else’s, but secretely whisper to ourselves in our minds that ours is infinitesimally better.

You know I’m right.


So I’m not going to claim that this is the best one, because even though I know in my head it is, I know that in your head, it will never be.  Still, I offer it as an option on that occasion that you want to mix it up. It’s simple and delicious and while Mom tops hers with Fritos as mentioned above, I assemble mine with cornbread and melted cheese on top, almost like a chili-cornbread-pot-pie conconction, and I love it so much that despite eating it five + days in a row every time I make a batch, it still leaves me wanting more.

This recipe can be cut in half if need be, but also something to note, chili is best when shared. On that, I think we can all agree.


Mom's Chunky Chili
Serves 8
Chunky beef chili served with cornbread
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  1. 1 TB olive oil
  2. 1 large yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  3. 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  4. 1 1/4 pounds ground beef (I used 90% lean)
  5. 28 ounces diced tomatoes (okay if you use the one seasoned with chilis, but not necessary)
  6. 1 14-ounce cans red kidney beans, rinsed
  7. 2 TB (heaping) regular chili powder
  8. 1 TB (heaping) ground cumin
  9. 1 tsp (heaping) ground cinnamon
  10. 1 1/2 tsp salt
  11. 1 tsp pepper
  12. 2 tsp sugar
  13. cornbread, to serve
  14. shredded cheese, to serve
  15. cilantro, to serve
  1. In a large stock pot, add the oil and onions and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and cook, stirring occasionally until browned. Add the garlic and sauté another 2 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, beans spices, salt, pepper and sugar and give it a good stir. Cover and let simmer about 10 minutes until all is heated through. Serve with your favorite chili accompaniments.
  1. This is best if made the day before.
The Hungary Buddha Eats the World

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2 thoughts on “Mom’s Chunky Beef Chili”

  • Dad makes chili often; a month or so back we had extra turkey (actual turkey, not ground). I personally thought this particular bird was awful and chewy so Dad put it in the chili instead; much better when it marinates and sits with acids. I took about 3 bites and that fills up my chili quota for the year. I do find it hilarious/awesome (?) how there are so many versions and everyone likes their differently.

    When I liked it more than I currently do, it was topped with sour cream and lots of cheddar with a side of corn nacho chips for dipping/scooping.

    • Ha. There are a LOT of things that I get tired of, but for some reason this is not one of them. I’m not a fan of even ground turkey chili- give me the beef!

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