Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Weeknight Dinner: Sausage Chili

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Here's how our Saturday went - John wasn't feeling good and I was trying to be sympathetic while also still getting done all I needed to get done.  Like a dinner that would be fit for a Super Bowl party.  I said to him how about chili?  Dubious look.  I could make it spicy, I enticed him.  A little less, but still dubious look.  Then, I pulled my trump card - I was thinking I could make it with hot sausage, I casually dropped.

Sausage, instead of beans!?  His eyes were huge.  Well, with beans...I felt the victory slipping away.  But John said okay, shrugged, and went back to whatever he was doing.  Success!  And thus my sausage chili was born.  John told me it was the best chili I ever made, which is saying something since I like all my chili recipes.  But I have to admit, this one was a huge winner!

You can make this in the crockpot if you prefer.  But sometimes, I like something you can throw together quickly and eat as you go.  You can eat this after 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 90 minutes.  It will bubble away happily on your stove.  John is of the opinion that little tastes along the way is best.  I like to eat as soon as I'm hungry.  If you don't have a dutch oven, make this in a large saucepan.  Our favorite way to crumble up the sausage is with an egg masher, it makes the sausage into perfect little crumbles that infuse themselves throughout the dish.
Sausage Chili
Serves:  6-8
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 onion, diced
2 bell peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 14-ounce cans kidney beans, drained
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Sour Cream, Cheddar Cheese, Cilantro

In a large dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high.  Add hot Italian sausage meat and brown the meat, cooking it almost all the way through.  Lower the heat to medium and add onion, peppers, and garlic.  Cook until the onions and peppers are soft, 3-5 minutes.  Stir in kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper.  Mix well.  Let the mixture come to a simmer (about 12 minutes) and turn the heat to low.  Serve immediately or let the mixture continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for up to 90 minutes.

Top with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and cilantro, if desired.  Serve in bread bowls for a really fancy dinner!

Until the next time my oven is on...


  1. I was brought up in Texas where no self respecting chili has beans. Being a foodie I'm not so strict about recipes. I think that recipe rules are meant to be broken and you miss out on some pretty good food if you don't change things up. This looks amazing and I can't wait to give it a try. I hope John is feeling better. My husband is going on week 3 of the man flu. I will say no more.


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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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