This delicious skillet chili recipe will make you the star of any potluck supper, cookout, or sports party - and it's effortless to prepare and cook!
Check out our skillet chili recipe!
Skillet Chili: Cook It In A Few Simple Steps
One and a half pounds of medium ground beef (leaner is better)
One finely chopped onion
Half a finely chopped bell pepper
One can of tomato sauce
Six ounces of tomato paste
One large can of chili beans
One tablespoon of chili powder
One teaspoon of hot pepper sauce
Half a teaspoon of salt
Half a teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper
One quarter of a teaspoon of garlic powder
Add a little canola or vegetable oil to your cast iron skillet and heat it on the stovetop until very hot.
Take your ground beef and sprinkle over the salt and a little cracked black pepper if you wish. Add the ground meat to your skillet in batches, stirring continually until it is completely browned. Don't worry if you get a few burnt bits; these will only add to the flavor of the final dish.
When all the meat is cooked, and no pink bits remain, carefully drain off any excess fat from the skillet (warning - it will be scalding!)
Add the onions and bell peppers to the skillet and cook until soft.
Then add the beans, the tomato sauce, and the tomato paste, along with the rest of the seasonings.
Turn the heat down and allow the chili to simmer gently for at least an hour.
Serve with tortillas, rice, or tortilla chips, as well as soured cream and guacamole.
Skillet Chili FAQs
Can you make chili in a cast-iron skillet?
Yes, you certainly can, and we're going to show you how with this stovetop chili recipe, which will deliver perfect results, even for inexperienced cooks. A cast-iron skillet is ideal for this type of low and slow cooking, as it will retain heat well throughout the skillet, and distribute it evenly across the cooking surface, so you don't get burnt spots. The sturdy construction means you can leave your chili to simmer for hours without worrying about your pan warping.
How can I thicken my chili?
If you're looking for a thick chili recipe, you can follow the steps above, and then as you get to the end of the cooking process, if the chili is a little thin for your liking, you have a couple of options. You can either continue to simmer the skillet chili for one or two more hours, which will allow the sauce to reduce as more of the water evaporates. Or, if you don't have time to wait for your chili to reduce, you can mix a little cornstarch with a tablespoon of water in a cup, making sure to mix in any lumps, and then add this mixture to the chili and stir in thoroughly.
How long does it take to cook this skillet chili recipe?
Well, that depends on how long you have. The cooking times we've given in the skillet chili recipe above are a minimum to ensure all the ingredients are cooked, and the flavors have time to develop, but if you have more time, the longer you cook your chili, the better it gets. Some people like to simmer it all day, and even overnight (although we don't recommend you leave your stove unattended with the heat on). If the chili starts to dry out, you can always add a little water or a little extra stock to bring it back to the ideal consistency.
Variations on the skillet chili recipe
You can change things up a little by adding extra ingredients to the basic skillet chili recipe, which we've outlined above. Here are a few ideas which we think work well:
- Use ground turkey in place of beef for a lower fat, healthier chili
- Add a dash of chopped fresh chili pepper to kick up the spiciness of your chili
- Use veggie "meat" to make this vegetarian-friendly - or just double the amount of beans
Of course, you can experiment with your own ideas, too - it's pretty difficult to mess up!
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