Want more from Genius Kitchen?

Watch on your Apple TV, Roku, or Fire TV and your iOS, Fire, or Android device.

Learn More
“This was my father's chili con carne recipe. He rarely measured anything when making it and consequently neither do I. It is a very mild chili but the heat/spice level can easily be increased (with tabasco or chile peppers) for those who like that sort of thing. The leftovers freeze very well and make an excellent chili mac casserole, it also goes well as Cincinnati style chili (with spaghetti), or in burritos or tacos. I LOVE LOTS and LOTS of dark red kidney beans, but you can use as much or as few beans as you like even substituting light red beans if you prefer. Like all chilis; it's even better the second or third day. The cocoa powder gives it a deeper base note; but can be omitted or instant coffee may be used as a substitution. If you use instant coffee, introduce it in small increments and taste frequently as coffees vary in strength, you may not require as much instant coffee as cocoa powder. The single most variable measure is the ketchup. It is a "to taste" ingredient and is used to balance the seasoning vs tomato. It depends greatly on the amount of the seasoning you add and how acid the tomato sauce and paste are, as well as the intensity of the onion. I can use as little as 3 TBSP or as much as an 8 ounce bottle. It is a very adaptable recipe and handles additions and changes very well. It also travels well for potlucks or brunches. Make it as thick or as thin as you want”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat olive oil in frying pan add one onion, the ground chuck, the 3 sliced cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon each of cumin, paprika, tumeric and 1 tablespoon chili powder, saute until beef is browned and drain off the liquid/oil.
  2. Place drained beef and onion mixture into a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the remaining onion, the diced clove of garlic, the drained kidney beans and the tomato sauce and stir well.
  3. If the mixture is too thick, thin it with the reserved bean liquid or add another can of tomato sauce.
  4. Add the tomato paste, another TBSP each of the cumin, paprika and tumeric, 2 TBSP of cocoa powder and 2 to 4 TBSP of the chili powder. (sometimes, I'll use the entire jar) Cook until the onion is tender, stirring occasionally and thinning as desired with the reserved bean liquid.
  5. Add enough tomato ketchup to correct for the acid balance (see note above).
  6. Serve with grated cheddar cheese and sour cream if desired.

Watch more

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a