Home ยป 13th Annual Chili Contest: Entry #1 – The Best Classic Chili + Weekly Menu

13th Annual Chili Contest: Entry #1 – The Best Classic Chili + Weekly Menu

A SHACKET arrived today via UPS from the Amazon store. Didn’t know what a SHACKET was (called) but I NEEDED one for our northern Michigan trip that’s upcoming. We’ll see if I can err on the side of “trendy and cute” without leaning more towards “lumberjack”. Wish me luck 😉

I also ordered jeans from Abercrombie because apparently they’re the best and great for more challenging bodies to fit. NEED that. This body is not easy to fit. See above: lumberjack. We’ll see how this whole straight leg thing goes. It feels so….wrong (i.e. 1999).

The weather was toasty here to start this week and I’m so happy for that. We boated yesterday – my whole team, celebrating our coworker’s upcoming wedding. All “showers” should be on boats on Mondays, we all decided we’re BIG fans! The 5 foot rollers on the lake were less than ideal, especially since the front of the boat got a refreshing soak at one point, but they were great sports about it and we spent the next few hours soaking up the sun on the river.

It’s hard to believe that the HIGH on Thursday this week will be 61 degrees…and the Illini play that night. College football on a Thursday? Alright now! Somehow, staying up late on a weeknight to watch the game sounds so much more enjoyable than trying to parent through a Saturday afternoon game. The girls simply do not share in our enjoyment of a lazy Saturday watching football and eating chili.

Even my little “vegetarian” enjoys chili. Don’t ask. But I think it’s this annual chili contest – she has grown up with lots of chili, always. And for several reasons, I’m thrilled she’s only vegetarian-ish and is making accommodations for the gift that is CHILI!

This year’s contest is kicking off with a STRONG first entry. This classic chili is meat, beans, loads of spices and that ingredient that is under-used in chili: sugar. That little bit of sweetness cuts the acid of tomatoes so perfectly that it enhances the spices to the max. Simple, classic, delicious!

The Best Classic Chili

The Best Classic Chili

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

A traditional chili with meat, beans, a little kick and those deep, rich, chili flavors! I love the generous use of spices in chili - it's a game changer!


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 lb 90% lean ground beef
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 (15 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the ground beef and cooking until browned, breaking up with a wooden spoon into a crumble as it cooks, about 6-7 minutes.
  3. Add the chili powder, cumin, sugar, tomato paste, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne; stir until well combined.
  4. Add the broth, diced tomatoes (with their juice), drained beans, and tomato sauce; stir well.
  5. Bring to a low boil. Then, reduce the heat (low to medium-low) to gently simmer the chili, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove the pot from the heat. Let the chili rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.


Recipe from The Wholesome Dish, submitted by Katie R.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups (approx)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 332Total Fat: 12.8gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 916mgCarbohydrates: 26.0gFiber: 6.3gSugar: 11.3gProtein: 28.2g

Did you make this recipe?

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Looking for more GREAT chili? These have been some killer chili contest submissions of the past!

Weekly Menu: September 18th – 22nd

  • Sunday: leftover pesto pasta with green beans
  • Monday: leftover carry-out Chinese with raw veggies
  • Tuesday: Nutella-Stuffed French Toast with fruit and chicken sausage
  • Wednesday: not sure / Book Club for me!
  • Thursday: Chili for the Illini game!

Be well,

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