Heidi's Famous Chili

"I have made this chili recipe for at least 14 years. I entered this recipe in a contest some years back and it won 2nd place! My kids actually cheer when they hear we're having chili for supper! Perfect for fall and winter meals or for taking to a chili supper at church. It has a wonderful flavor and texture--you can change the ingredients somewhat to suit your own taste but don't forget to add the 2 squares of baking chocolate. It heightens the flavor of the tomatoes."
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Ready In:
1 1/2 cups




  • Brown ground beef in a little oil or water, add onions.
  • Add chili powder and RO-TEL diced tomatoes/chiles, stir and heat for several minutes.
  • Add HOT chili beans (I use Brooks' Hot Chili Beans but you can use whatever brand is available--if you aren't "into" hot, you can try any style of chili beans). I rinse the cans and add 1/2 a can (1/2 cup) of water per can of beans so there's extra water for noodles. If you're not using noodles, don't add the water.
  • After this mixture has heated, I add the 2 large cans of tomatoes, juice and all. Simmer. Add the 2 squares of unsweetened baking chocolate--it adds an extra dimension to the flavor of the tomatoes.
  • When this is near-boiling, add noodles if you're going to. Simmer until these are done.
  • Taste-test--you can add more chili powder if you like it really spicy.
  • Remove from heat for 5-10 minutes and let rest. Stir once more before serving. It should have a nice, thick texture, not too runny. Makes 10 hearty servings, holds its flavor for leftovers.
  • Serve with cornbread muffins, mexican cheese or mild cheddar, sour cream, and oyster crackers.
  • Everytime I make this, I try to improve it. The recipe is a work in progress! Last night I added some garlic powder to the mix and it was quite good. I've added vermouth at times, tequila, beer (not so crazy about this), stewed whole tomatoes instead of diced (use 3 cans of whole tomatoes), and green peppers if they're available. It's all a matter of taste.
  • Enjoy!

Questions & Replies

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  1. Very interesting. I would've liked a slightly sweeter chili, but the men who ate it loved it. I assumed "baking chocolate squares" meant unsweetened, so that's what I used. Also, I think mushrooms would work really well in this chili. Thanks!


<p>I live in Wisconsin (obviously). I have&nbsp;6 kids--2 from my first marriage and&nbsp;4 from my marriage to the love of my life. My older 2 kids are excellent taste-testers...they give me honest feedback about my attempts to please them. I received an old Betty Crocker cookbook from the 1950s for my wedding. I really like the older recipes, even though they may not be the most health-conscious. They have good flavor and provide tastes I remember from my childhood (my mother had the same cookbook and swore by it. I am a stay-at-home mom who dabbles in a little of everything. I sell stuff on eBay, paint, draw, write, and raise my kids to be good, decent people (the most important job of all). I would love to have extra time to list my recipes on recipezaar.com and I thank everyone for sharing with me!</p>
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