Smoky Chipotle Chili


Tools: Crock pot or instant pot

Active Prep time: 10 minutes or less

Ingredients: 1 pound ground beef

1/2 onion, diced (or 1/4 cup frozen diced onions)

1/2 bell pepper, diced

1 tsp minced garlic

1 cup beef broth

1 can black beans (not drained)

1 can red kidney beans, drained and very well rinsed

1/2 Chipotle pepper minced (from can of Chipotles in Adobo sauce)- if you desire spicy chili, add 1 minced Chipotle pepper

1 cup water (or less if you prefer a more chunky chili)

1 tsp each dried cumin and chili powder

2 tbsp. Flour to thicken

Salt- season to taste after chili is fully cooked and thickened

Garnishes -pickled jalapeno slices, sour cream or vegan substitute, shredded cheddar cheese or cheese substitute, wedge of lime

Slow cooker method: combine all ingredients except flour and salt. Cook on high 4-6 hours or low 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally to break up ground beef as it cooks. When at least 1 hour of cook time remains, sprinkle flour into chili and stir. Once chili is completely cooked, season with salt.

Instant pot method: Brown ground beef and onion. When beef is no longer pink, add garlic and spices. Combine all other ingredients except flour and salt. Cook on stew setting, thicken with 2 tbsp flour stirred in with 3 tbsp. water, put pot on saute setting, stirring until desired consistency. Salt to taste.


Gluten free: thicken with 2 tbsp. cornstarch whisked in 2 tbsp. water or arrowroot powder prepared as above

Vegan: omit ground beef, substitute vegetable broth or stock for beef broth. If desired, add substitute ground beef style vegan protein. Add one can well drained red kidney beans. Cook as directed.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a clean kitchen floor is in want of a mess.

For some reason, I cannot keep the kitchen floor clean this week. It has seen milk, coffee, oil, chocolate…it sounds like my floor could make a pretty good cake.  We’re living dangerously, we’re down to one pack of diapers. It’s still so cold outside and we’re waiting on our diaper delivery from Amazon. This is as close to playing Russian Roulette as I will ever get.

When it’s this cold I always remember the reason I invented this recipe. The winters of Germany were so cold. There were many days I’d use defrosting spray on my windshield and as I was driving it would freeze and block my view. Knowing I could dump a few ingredients in the slow cooker and come home to a warming meal kept me toasty in spirit, even if that didn’t extend to my frozen toes.

If it snows, it’s required you shovel your sidewalk or anyone that becomes injured from falling on your sidewalk can sue you and win. The snow was an excuse for community. Men and women would trudge out of their houses bundled up, snow shovels and De-icing salt buckets in hand. Once when we first moved in, my husband went out to shovel our sidewalk. All the other men came out and one who spoke very little English yelled, “Hey, welcome to Germany!”

As we endure the latest cold snap, bundle up and throw this together. It will keep you warm until the strange weather changes again!

See my recipes on Pinterest!


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