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Quick Chili

Kid friendly
Photo of Quick Chili
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Makes: 6 Cups
Nutrition Facts: View label


½ pound lean ground meat (15% fat)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans with liquid
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes with liquid
2 Tablespoons chili powder


  1. Brown meat and onions in a large skillet over medium-high heat (350 F degrees in an electric skillet). Drain fat (see Notes).
  2. Add undrained beans, tomatoes with liquid and chili powder.
  3. Reduce heat to low (250 F degrees in an electric skillet), cover and cook for 10 minutes. Serve warm.
  4. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.


  • Serve with shredded cabbage, low fat sour cream, cilantro or grated cheese.
  • Add other vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, celery, and corn, if desired.
  • Add dried cumin, oregano or red pepper flakes in Step 2 for extra flavor!
  • Try adding cilantro on top for more flavor.
  • Pour fat from cooked meat into a metal container. Let it cool, then dispose of it in a garbage can.


Delicious and fast! I think I am going to try to add some peppers, onions, and carrots next time.

I'm loving these quick recipes! Yum Yum!

This is a great basic chili recipe. I add ground cumin and red chili powder for extra spice!

We used cubed butternut squash (and a little canola oil to saute it) instead of ground meat at a food pantry demonstration and everyone loved it! It was delicious and added a pop of color! We also added canned corn and a green bell pepper too. It was a big hit!

I didn't have crushed tomatoes or chilli powder, so I used garlic powder, salt, and several heaping spoon fulls of salsa instead. Turned out great and kiddos, who are normally picky eaters, loved it!

I made this for a senior group and it was way too spicy.

How disappointing.  We try to keep our seasoning amounts on the mild side since it is easier to add more than to take some away.  It's a good reminder that chili powder is a blend and can vary in spiciness depending on brand.  And chili powder as a blend is different than ground red chilies.

If someone made this at home and found it to be too spicy for their taste, there are some options.  If ingredients were available, they could double the recipe except for the chili powder.  Adding some of the additional veggies suggested in the Notes section might also help.  Or diced potato or even cooked rice would help dilute the spice.  Extra chili could be frozen to use for a quick meal at a later date. 

Thanks for letting us know.

The Food Hero Team


I love this recipe and make it often.  It really is very fast to make.  Perfect for a busy week night.  I do add a little bit of chicken broth to it because I find it to be very thick as written.  I just add a little bit until its the consistency I like.  Adding a can of corn or green bell pepper is also great.   Thanks!

I really liked the suggestion that Halle had above, and, instead of adding meat, I used oven-roasted butternut squash, corn and green pepper. I made this recipe for a food tasting/demonstration yesterday at our local food pantry and it was a BIG hit! Because I needed to keep it hot for a few hours, I used a slow cooker which made the "broth" rich and flavorful. It was a cold day and they loved this tasty hot dish! Thank you, FoodHero, for another great recipe! 

Just made this in under 25 minutes! It's currently simmering on my stove. One (very) silly thing I forgot: chili powder!! 

I realized this too late, but substituted the 2 tablespoons of chili powder for about a teaspoon of garlic powder, a teaspoon of onion powder, a sprinkle of black pepper, and then I sauteed a few cloves of garlic separately and just added them in for flavor. So far, it still tastes fabulous! I always thought chili was labor-intensive--I'm pleasantly surprised I can enjoy something so savory and filling in such little time. 

*Note: I am vegetarian, so I substituted the ground meat for vegan ground beef. This is a more expensive option (the vegan beef alternative is still fairly pricey--more than beef--at the grocery store) but I may try this recipe 100% veggie next time!

Demonstrated just how quick and easy this Chili was to make at our local Older Adult community residence. Everyone loved it! We made it using one can of diced Italian-seasoned tomatoes and one can without any salt to reduce the sodium a little. Then, everyone added whatever additional spices of choice: garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, parsley, etc. to personalize their Chili. Thumbs up!

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