Chili is one of those easy cold-weather meals that’s both comforting and delicious this time of year. My husband and I both love chili, but we have two picky eaters at home who are always weary of trying anything out of their tried and true favorite foods. With a bit of trial and error, I have found that the key to a great “kid-friendly” chili is to make sure that the vegetables inside are barely detectable (think crushed tomatoes instead of diced), the heat and spice is extremely low, and that there is at least one of their favorite elements added to it (think sweetness, cheese, or pasta.) Below are a few very simple recipes that deliver on both taste and ease of cooking, while keeping the finicky nature of little palates in mind.
Sweet and Simple Chili
- 2 lbs. lean ground beef (or turkey)
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 can mild chili beans
- 1 can dark red kidney beans
- 2 15oz. cans crushed tomatoes
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 package mild chili seasoning
Directions: Brown ground beef and onion in large skillet. Drain off grease and add salt, pepper, and garlic powder and fry until beef is done. Transfer to stock pot or large kettle and add remaining ingredients. Cook over medium low heat for 30-50 minutes or longer if desired.
4-Ingredient Chicken Chili
- 4 (15 ounce) cans great northern beans (un-drained)
- 2 (13 ounce) cans white chicken meat (drained)
- 1 (16 ounce) jars Pace Picante Sauce (mild)
- 8 ounces Monterey jack pepper cheese (cubed)
Directions: Put the ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 2 hours and then low for 2 hours. Stir every ½ hour. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!
Quick and Easy Chili Pasta
- 1 lb. lean ground beef (or turkey)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. Mexican chili powder
- 2 cups salsa (mild)
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 1 (19 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 12 ounces rotini pasta or 12 ounces macaroni noodles
- 1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
Directions: Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add beef and onion and brown for about 10 minutes. Drain any fat. Stir in chili powder and for 1 minute. Add salsa, corn, kidney beans and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cook, covered, for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until tender. Drain well, add to chili mixture and stir well. Serve immediately sprinkled with shredded cheese.