Basic Spicy Chili

"This is a basic chili recipe, but my favorite. Since I am a vegetarian, I omit the beef and add more beans for a great meatless chili. I also add more hot sauce for extra kick. This chili is great served with sour cream and/or cheese."
photo by HollyJane photo by HollyJane
photo by HollyJane
Ready In:




  • In a large skillet, saute beef and onions together until beef is browned.
  • Drain beef and add to a large soup pot (this step can be skipped if you wish to brown the beef in the soup pot).
  • Add tomato juice and simmer over medium heat.
  • Add tomatoes (with their juice), crushing between fingers to break apart.
  • Add kidney beans, chili powder (the entire 4 tablespoons may be a bit much for some people, so start out small and add to taste), and optional hot sauce.
  • After mixture comes to a simmer, add baking soda (the baking soda will help cut down the acidity of the tomatoes).
  • Simmer for about 20-30 minutes, adding water if necessary to thin out the chili.
  • Taste for seasoning.

Questions & Replies

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  1. This chili was ok but not our favorite.
  2. We loved this! I used 2 huge onions instead of 3 medium, and used chopped tomatoes rather then whole. I also omitted the hot sauce (serving it to children) but otherwise left it as is, including the 4 tbsp. of chili powder. We enjoyed this with some fat free sour cream and a little cheese. I served it with blue cornbread. Even the kids ate it. Thanks for a really good chili recipe!
  3. This is really good chili! I used less chili powder than called for, but added a little extra hot sauce. I didn't need any extra water at all. I also added a can of mixed beans as well as the can of kidney beans, just to boost the 'bean-count'! I served it hot and fresh, as well as froze some in serving-sized tupperware containers to defrost and take in lunches. It froze and defrosted perfectly! Thanks!


I love to cook exciting, exotic recipes for me and my hubby. I also love to go out to eat, mostly at ethnic restaurants. Spicy food is my favorite, and I'm always looking for new vegetarian recipes, since I've been a vegetarian since I was a kid.
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