Honey, Let’s Make Chili!

I like to bring in some of my Kevin’s Famous Chili. It’s the thing I do best.”  

Kevin Malone (the office)

For all you fans of The Office, I have my own Kevin Malone Chili moment… thirty-eight years ago, I was working at my second job in California (at the ripe old age of 22). Our staff had a potluck at someone’s house – details are sketchy – and I brought chili. However, the chili turned over in the car on the way there, and ruined my car mats. And, I was so stupid, I didn’t clean it up until the next day. My car smelled like chili forever!

Ruined car mats aside, I do make a good traditional chili, with a few little tricks… Here’s my tried and true!

  • 1 pound ground been or ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 4 T. tomato paste
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1-2 cans kidney, pinto or black beans
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 T. cumin
  • 2 T. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander (just adds a little something)
  • Garnishes: avocado, cheddar cheese, tortilla strips, sour cream, cilantro


Saute the onion and meat in a large dutch oven or pot. Add spices (chili powder, cumin, and ground coriander). Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and chicken stock. While that mixture works it’s magic, open the cans of whole beans (your choice), rinse and drain. Add beans to the mix, and also add my secret ingredient: 1 can fat-free refried beans. The key to my chili is the refried beans. I like a thick, stewy chili, and a can of refried beans really does the trick. It thickens, and makes it so hearty! After adding all the beans, stir well to incorporate. Then add 1/4 cup ketchup (it just adds a little vinegar-y sweetness without going over the top). Let simmer for 30 minutes to an hour (an hour is best!). Add more water, if needed, to get the desired consistency. To serve, garnish with your favorites! P. S. My cornbread is really good with this too!

Hoping you all have a good weekend, filled with spooky stuff. Until next time, my friends!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s