Not-so-secret Ingredient Chili

Friday was our first annual chili cook-off at work. We had six entries, all great. My chili from my mom’s recipe didn’t win (boo), but I still think it’s pretty darn good. It’s non-traditional– and I think that may make a difference as far as competition goes– but if you’re up for a flavorful, delicious chili that isn’t the same old chili, here’s Mom’s recipe for you to try.

1 lb. browned ground beef (or Bocca burger if you want vegetarian)
1-2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 can kidney beans
1 can pork & beans (or baked beans if you want vegetarian)
1 can tomato soup (or substitute a small can of tomato sauce and some water for gluten free)
1 Cup water
1 beef bouillon cube (or veggie if you want vegetarian)
3 Tbsp. (or more) chili powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. salt

Boil the cup of water and dissolve the bouillon cube in it. Dump that and everything else in a crockpot. Cook for 4 hours or so on high.

The cinnamon really comes out when this is all put together (which is why it’s the not-so-secret ingredient), but it has a little bit of a kick to it, too. If you want more kick, you can always increase the chili powder. I regularly make this in a double batch because it’s delicious.


The chili cook-off line-up at work