I call this chili insanely easy because it is. I’ve utilized just about every shortcut imaginable, and the chili still tastes good. In fact, people love it.
- 1 package “Ground Beef” Crumbles (usually about 12 oz.) Gardein and Beyond Beef crumbles are gluten-free.
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Minced Onion
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- One 14.5 oz can Chili Beans (I use Harris Teeter Organic)
- One 14.5 oz. can Chili Seasoned Tomatoes
- One 10 oz. can Rotel Tomatoes – Original with Green Chilies
- One 10 oz. can Rotel Tomatoes – Hot with Habaneros
- One tablespoon Chili Powder
- One teaspoon Ground Roasted Cumin
- Salt, to taste
- A few grinds of Black Pepper
- Toppings (optional) – Fresh Cilantro, Soy Yogurt, Vidalia Onions
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Brown the ground beef crumbles. (This is a very important step. If you don’t brown the “beef” and just add it into your chili, the texture will be all wrong.)
- Once the crumbles get warm and start breaking apart into little chunks, add the minced onion and garlic powder. Add a dash of salt (optional) and a few grinds of black pepper. Continue cooking, probably about 8 – 10 minutes total.
- Add chili beans, all three cans of tomatoes, chili powder, and ground cumin. Stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer 15 minutes.
That’s all there is to it.
I always serve over jeera (cumin) rice, which also makes it taste a little more special. And I always top the chili with fresh cilantro, soy yogurt, and chopped Vidalia onions.
- Minced dried onion and garlic powder are two tricks I learned from my great aunt Martha. She was a wonderful cook, but I don’t think I ever saw a “real” onion or garlic clove in her kitchen. Of course, you could chop up an onion and mince a clove of garlic to saute with your crumbles – but then this chili wouldn’t be so fast or insanely easy.
- It doesn’t really matter what kind of chili-seasoned tomatoes you use (Del Monte, Hunts, a store brand) but the Rotel tomatoes are very important. They give the chili a very fresh taste. Plus you don’t have to chop any chili peppers (another step saved)!
- You can control the heat by which Rotel tomatoes you choose. I use one can Original and one can Hot, but you could use any combination of Rotel (Mild, Original, Hot).
- Rice can be made ahead of time. I often make a big pot at the beginning of the week and use it for several meals.