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Southern Chili Recipe

  • This Southern Chili recipe uses bell peppers, onion, garlic, cumin, paprika, and oregano.
  • The spices add depth and complexity to this dish without overpowering your taste buds. The result is an incredibly flavorful bowl of hot soup.
  • Try adding ground beef or chicken if you prefer something meatier instead of beans.

What Kind Of Chili Peppers Are Used In A Southern Chili Recipe?

In order to make a good southern chili recipe that’s both spicy and delicious, you need to use chilies with plenty of flavor.

You want to choose peppers with a lot of heat so they can stand up to all those ingredients, but also ones that have sweet notes as well.

There are two types of pepper commonly used in this type of chili recipe – Jalapeno Peppers (or “Pepperoncinos”) and Anaheim Peppers.

Both of these varieties provide a nice amount of heat when cooked down into a thick sauce.

However, there are several differences between them.

Jalapenos tend to be milder than their counterpart Anaheim peppers, while Anaheims tend to be more intense.

This means that jalapenos won’t give you quite as much of a kick when you first eat it, but after a few bites, you should start feeling some burn.

On the other hand, Anaheim peppers will definitely wake you up at first bite, but once you get past the initial shock, you may find yourself wanting another one!

So which variety should you use?

Well, since these peppers don’t grow very far north of Mexico, we recommend using Mexican Chiles de Árbol – otherwise known as Guajillo Peppers.

These peppers have a medium level of heat, yet still maintain sweetness and fruity flavors.

If you like things hotter, then try New Mexico Chile Peppers (also called Poblano Peppers).

In addition to being extremely fiery, they contain a high concentration of capsaicinoids, making them great for anyone who needs extra oomph for their meal.

They are slightly sweeter than the others mentioned, however, so watch out for that.

Chili powder is added to most chili recipes to help season everything together.

While not essential, it does allow you to control how spicy your final product ends up being.

Since it contains a mix of different spices, including paprika, black pepper, and salt, you can adjust its strength by varying the ratio of each ingredient.

It’s best to look for chili powders made specifically for cooking because many commercial brands include additives that aren’t necessary for proper seasoning.

For example, many products contain sugar as a preservative, which isn’t healthy and can affect the way your body absorbs certain nutrients.

When buying dried red peppers, avoid purchasing anything labeled “dried red peppers.”

Instead, check the label to ensure that what you’re getting is actually peppers, and not just a name slapped on top of tomatoes and onions.

What Is The Difference Between A Southern Chili Recipe And Other Chili Recipes?

Chili can be made with any number of vegetables, but most people think of it as being red kidney beans, tomatoes, green chiles, and maybe some cheese.

But there are many different kinds of chili that vary by region.

Southern Chili Recipes have their own special blend of flavors that make them unique.

For example, they use more peppers than most chili recipes, which gives them a spicy kick.

They also tend to not include beans at all, so they’re much thicker and savory.

Other regions like New Mexico and Texas may feature a few extra veggies such as corn, carrots, potatoes, and squash.

In these regions, chili tends to be thinner and milder.

Most chili recipes call for one type of pepper – either jalapeños or poblano peppers.

If you want to try something different, check out our list of the best vegan chili recipes.

But what makes one chili recipe better than another?

How do you know when you should choose a traditional chili recipe over a newfangled creation?

There are a couple of things to look for:


When making a meal, we often judge dishes based on how good they smell.

And while that might seem silly in theory, it works pretty well in practice.

When you bite into a piece of sausage, you get a sense of texture and flavor right away.

You don’t need to chew it long enough to figure out whether it tastes good.

If you take too long chewing before deciding that it does indeed taste delicious, then you probably won’t enjoy it.

That’s why you hear chefs say “bite-size bites” to encourage diners to actually eat the food they serve.

With chili, you want to find the balance where you get just enough heat that your tongue tingles, but the rest of your body doesn’t feel overwhelmed by it.

A lot of times, this means using plenty of peppers.

Other factors that affect how spicy a chili recipe is include the amount of salt added and the thickness of the sauce.

Nutritional value

In addition to its tasty qualities, there are several nutritional reasons to select chili recipes over others.

Here are four:

1) Heart health. Chili contains high levels of Vitamin C and antioxidants, which help fight against heart disease.

2) Cancer prevention. Red peppers contain capsaicin, which has been shown to reduce cancer risk by blocking the growth of tumor cells.

3) Weight loss. One cup of chili provides almost 20 percent of your daily requirement for fiber, which helps keep you full longer.

4) Bone health. Beans are packed with protein, vitamins B and K, folate, iron, magnesium, and zinc, which promote bone development.

Cost savings

You may already be familiar with the concept of cooking meals in bulk and freezing them for later consumption.

While this strategy was originally designed for families who were working multiple jobs, many restaurants now offer frozen pre-made dinners for home delivery.

These cost less per serving because they’ve got fewer ingredients and require less work during preparation time.

But even though it costs less money, homemade chili isn’t necessarily healthier than store bought versions.

Some brands of canned chili are loaded with sugar, sodium, and preservatives.

On top of that, you could end up spending hours preparing it and having to cook it twice (once for yourself and once for dinner).

What Are The Typical Ingredients Used In A Southern Chili Recipe?

Chili can be made with just about any type of meat that has been stewed down into a thick paste.

However, most people consider black-eyed peas, corn, tomatoes, and green chiles essential to making a good batch of spicy red sauce.

These traditional ingredients form the basis of many different types of chili, but they’re not required to create one either.

Some people don’t like these classic flavors, so they substitute them with others when they want to get creative with their chili.

If you’ve never had a chance to sample some homemade chili before, we recommend trying our simple version as soon as possible! You might find yourself craving more after you give it a try.

If you have tried it already, let us know what you think! We love reading about all of your favorite dishes on Chowhound.

Now that you’ve got a better idea of how to make chili, read on to learn more about how to customize your own recipe based on your preferences.

Bean/Vegetable Substitution Tips

You could swap out the canned kidney beans with pinto beans, white beans, or even chickpeas (garbanzo beans).

Just keep in mind that you’ll need at least 1 cup of cooked bean per serving of chili.

When substituting fresh vegetables for those found in a standard chili recipe, remember that you’ll still need two cups of chopped veggies per person.

For example, if you plan on using half of a 12-ounce bag of frozen sweet potatoes, you should also use another 2 cups of diced onions, carrots, zucchini, etc.

And no matter which vegetable you choose, you must include a generous amount of water while cooking it, since it adds moisture to the final product.

Meat Substitutions

It’s important to note that there is no “right” way to replace meat with vegetarian alternatives in a chili recipe.

In fact, the only rule is to stick with whatever method works best for you.

A few suggestions include:

  • Use tofu, tempeh, seitan, or textured soy protein for extra protein. Make sure to soak each ingredient overnight in advance to help reduce its toughness.
  • Replace the meat with vegetable stock cubes, bouillon powder, or tomato juice.
  • Toast nuts such as almonds or pecans or grind them into flour.
  • Make it vegan by omitting cheese and butter.
  • Bake ground flax seeds and then mix them into the chili mixture to thicken it.

How Long Does It Take To Make A Southern Chili Recipe?

Chili recipes vary widely depending on which region they come from.

The most common method of making chili involves sautéing onions over low heat until translucent before adding the other vegetables.

Then, all of the ingredients (including seasonings) are added at once and allowed to simmer together while stirring occasionally.

Once all of the ingredients have been incorporated into the pot, the chili can be served immediately.

If you’re cooking for a large crowd, however, you might want to consider doubling or tripling the recipe so that everyone gets their fill! If you do plan on serving a lot of people, try using a slow cooker as well.

You can put everything into a crockpot and let it run overnight.

When you wake up in the morning, you’ll find yourself with a delicious batch of chili waiting for you.

Tips for Making Better Southern Chili Recipes

There are several steps involved in creating a good chili recipe, but there are also some tips that will help ensure that each step goes smoothly.

For example, when sautee ing the vegetables, you should use a deep pan because they need plenty of room to brown properly.

Also, keep your eye on them throughout the entire process so that nothing burns or sticks to the bottom.

In addition to these basic guidelines, here are more ways to create better chili recipes.

Southern Chili Recipe (1)

What Is The Best Way To Cook A Southern Chili Recipe?

When cooking anything as complicated as a stew, there are many different variables that can affect its outcome.

For example, what kind of pot do you use?

What temperature do you heat it at?

How long do you let it simmer before turning off the stove?

And how often do you stir it during the process?

If you don’t have all these answers figured out yet, then you need to try another recipe!

That’s why we’re here, right?

To help you figure out which method works best in any given situation.

So, let’s get started by looking at the most important factors when making a southern chili recipe.

Pot Size

A big pot is going to give you more surface area than a small one.

Since the ingredients are spread across the entire bottom while they sit, they will release their moisture into this space faster.

As a result, the water content will rise higher in the larger pot.

Because of this, it will boil quicker, creating a hotter broth.

If you want to make sure you end up with a delicious batch of chili every time, then you’ll want to opt for the biggest pot you own.

You can always experiment with smaller pots once you’ve mastered the art of making a great southern chili recipe.

Heat Source

Electric stoves tend to run hotter than gas ones.

However, both types of heaters come in various sizes.

In order to find out which size best fits your needs, start by comparing the wattage ratings on each type of heater.

Then, look at the maximum power rating of each unit.

After doing so, choose whichever model has the highest wattage output.

Of course, you might also consider the price factor.

But remember, you can always switch back to using gas units later on.

For instance, if you plan to make this Southern Chili recipe regularly, you may want to invest in a large electric burner.

They usually cost less than $100 and provide enough power to cover the needs of multiple people simultaneously.

Stirring vs. Not Stirring

As mentioned above, stirring helps distribute heat evenly throughout the liquid.

Therefore, stirring is essential when trying to replicate a slow-cooked meal like this one.

On the other hand, not stirring leads to uneven heating and a finished product that is unevenly cooked.

That means you could wind up with either too much or too little seasoning in some parts of your pot.

To avoid this problem, just keep track of how much longer it takes to reach the desired level of tenderness and flavor.

Then adjust your cooking times accordingly to account for variations between batches.

How Spicy Should A Southern Chili Recipe Be?

There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to spiciness in a southern chili recipe.

As long as you know what kind of heat you like, then there’s no reason why you can’t adjust the amount of red pepper flakes accordingly.

If you’re looking for the most authentic version of this classic dish, then try making it with dried chilies.

They’ll give the chili its distinctive flavor that isn’t quite found in canned varieties.

If you’d rather use cans, then feel free to do so.

Just make sure you remove all the seasoning packets before adding them into the pot.

You may also want to consider using a blend of both dried and canned ingredients.

That way you get some of each type of chili powder, which adds another layer of flavor to this classic dish.

What Is The Best Way To Serve A Southern Chili Recipe?

You can have it as is in a big bowl or on top of rice with scallions, avocado slices, shredded cheese, sour cream, diced tomatoes, and tortilla chips.

You could also eat it by itself like a dip!

What Are Some Common Toppings For A Southern Chili Recipe?

You’ll find many different kinds of chilis around the South.

Some use tomatoes, while others don’t.

There are also different types of beans used in the mix.

You can even get regional variations on how spicy it gets!

So, what kind of toppings do people usually put on their bowls of chili?

Let’s take a look at what they might be.

Canned corn

Many Southerners like to add canned corn to their chili recipes because it gives it more texture.

Canned corn is delicious when cooked down into a thick sauce, so why not just dump it right into your pot?

If you want a little extra crunch, try popping kernels off the cob as you eat the chili.

Corn is also full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which makes it a great addition to any meal.

Shredded cheese

If you have a dairy allergy, you may choose to omit cheese altogether.

However, if you love your cheesy goodness, feel free to pile on the shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, or American cheese.

Adding cheese will make sure your chili doesn’t stick together too much during cooking time.

Cheese-lovers should definitely consider topping their chili with sour cream, either plain or flavored, to enhance its flavor.

Crushed tortilla chips

A lot of folks enjoy having crushed tortillas mixed into their chili.

They provide additional crunch and texture, plus help keep your chili piping hot all through the meal.

To crush them yourself, place your whole bag of tortillas in between two sheets of wax paper until they become brittle.

Then break them apart by hand or using a rolling pin.

Sour cream

No matter how good your chili is, there’s no doubt about it—it needs a dollop of creamy, tangy sour cream on top.

Sour cream adds another layer of flavor to your already savory dish, and it helps make your chili extra satisfying.

Refried beans

Some southern chili recipes call for refried beans (or black bean dip).

When choosing whether or not to include these in your chili, remember that they’re high in fat but low in calories, so they won’t weigh you down.

Refried beans give your chili a nice, rich texture that will satisfy your palate.

Plus, they’re packed with protein, making them a great choice for lunchtime or dinner.

What Are Some Side Dishes That Go Well With A Southern Chili Recipe?

There are plenty of delicious sides to accompany a hot meal like this one. Here are some suggestions to get you started on what goes best with souther chilis.

Asparagus – This vegetable pairs perfectly with any savory dish. A simple drizzle of olive oil and fresh lemon juice make it pop in flavor. Try topping this veggie dish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

Celery root – Celery root can be found at many grocery stores these days. Its creamy texture makes it easy to pair with other ingredients. Just toss celery root slices with melted butter and season them with salt and pepper before roasting them until tender.

Carrots – Carrots are another great option when looking for a side dish to match your favorite chili recipe. They have a mild sweetness that complements the flavors of most soups and stews. Add shredded carrots into your chili, then top them off with a bit of sour cream for extra tanginess.

Cornbread – Cornbread adds a nice crunchy texture to your meal while also giving you a little something sweet. You could even grill cornbread as part of your dinner menu! If you’re not fond of cooked cornbread, try baking it instead. Simply cut it into cubes and cook it over medium heat until golden brown. Top it with honey and cinnamon for a tasty treat.

Green Beans – Green beans are a staple in many people’s diet plans. These vegetables are full of vitamins C and K, making them healthy additions to any soup or stew. Topped with a pinch of sea salt, green beans will brighten up any meal.

Mashed potatoes – Mashing potatoes with heavy cream is such a classic pairing. In fact, there are so many ways to prepare mashed potatoes, but nothing beats their simplicity. When preparing mashed potatoes, take care not to mash too much of the potato. Some residual starch should remain intact. For more tips on how to cook mashed potatoes, check our guide here.

Onion rings – Onion rings are a must-have item in every kitchen. With just three simple steps, you can turn ordinary onions into crispy pieces of heaven. Peel the outer layers of the onion by slicing it vertically down its length. Remove the skin after peeling. Slice the onion thinly across the grain. Now coat each slice lightly in flour and dip them into beaten egg. Finally, fry them in peanut oil until they become crisp and golden brown.

Red potatoes – Red potatoes tend to hold their shape better than white ones do. As a result, they work extremely well in recipes where you want to maintain the integrity of the ingredients. Make sure to boil red potatoes whole rather than cutting them into smaller chunks because boiling whole potatoes retains all of the nutrients and flavor. Once boiled, pat dry with paper towels and season with a dash of salt and pepper.

Southern Chili Recipe (1)

Southern Chili

Chatty Chateau’s Southern Chili is the perfect dish for any occasion. Our famous and mouthwatering chili is a delicious dish that can be eaten as an entree, appetizer or even enjoyed as an after dinner treat!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 2978kcal


  • 1 large stockpot


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb hot sausage
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ poblano pepper – chopped
  • 2 stalks celery – chopped
  • 1 medium onion – minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic – minced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 4 oz tomato paste – canned or from tube
  • 16 oz tomatoes crushed
  • 1 cup BBQ Sauce your favorite
  • ½ cup Hot/Spicy BBQ sauce your favorite
  • 12 oz lager Beer
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or sugar
  • 15 oz dark red kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 can black beans rinsed and drained


  • Brown the ground beef and sausage in a large stockpot.
  • Cook until the meats are cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to medium.
  • Stir in the chili powder, tomatoes, tomato paste, and BBQ sauces. Scrape any bits from the pot’s bottom. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Combine the beer, beef broth, minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and honey in a mixing bowl. To combine the ingredients, stir well.
  • Allow chili flavors to marry for about 1.5 hours, stirring frequently. If the sauce becomes too thick, add 14 cup of water at a time.
  • Cook for another 30 minutes, stirring frequently, after adding the beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Garnish with sour cream, scallions, grated cheese, hot sauce, jalapeos, and hot cornbread.



Calories: 2978kcal | Carbohydrates: 373g | Protein: 159g | Fat: 101g | Saturated Fat: 37g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 41g | Trans Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 322mg | Sodium: 10161mg | Potassium: 8304mg | Fiber: 78g | Sugar: 154g | Vitamin A: 13577IU | Vitamin C: 160mg | Calcium: 664mg | Iron: 41mg
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