The best red chili you'll ever eat

posted | about 4 minutes to read

tags: recipes

As part of my decision to start sharing my recipes, I decided it’d be best to provide more than one, at least to start. This one is also a pretty easy recipe, just takes some prep time in the morning and then everything else is easy.

Chili is one of those things that’s easy to come up with an okay recipe for. Problem is, those recipes, in my experience, rarely make it past “okay”. There are a few things that I do to really elevate the dish and I think they really do make a world of difference.

Probably the biggest thing you can do to improve your chili is to ditch the ground beef. Ground beef seems like a staple in almost anyone’s recipe, and it hurts the dish tremendously. It’s boring and bland, and when you’re looking for something that really pops, chorizo sausage is an infinitely better choice. The zip it provides as well as the bold flavor profile really adds a lot.

As a follow up to that, I can’t overstate the value of fresh serrano peppers. They’re a little hotter than jalapenos, but a spicy chili isn’t a bad thing! Splitting the chopped peppers up and putting some in close to the end of the cooking time adds little bites of spice and a nice texture contrast.

One thing that I do that I don’t think is necessary per se but I find really good is ditching kidney beans in favor of black beans. I find the black beans stay a little bit firmer and distribute through the chili better. Not necessary, but recommended - if you’re a “beans in chili” person, anyway. I know this is a controversial issue so I won’t dwell on it.

Finally, upping your spice game helps immensely. The standard McCormick mix doesn’t do much - it still mostly just tastes like tomato soup to me, usually. If you want to stick with a mix, I recommend Arizona Dreaming from Penzey’s (they have really good spices, and I can’t recommend them highly enough) with some additional added cumin and oregano. Otherwise, I’ll include a chili spice mix below that you can start with and tweak to your taste.

For those who prefer green chili, I will be sharing my recipe for that pretty soon. I think it’s better than the red, but it’s certainly a matter of taste.

Red Chorizo Chili


Chili Powder Mix


Most of your heat is going to come from your serrano peppers, so we don’t need to go heavy on the cayenne pepper or jalapeno flakes here.