I love how the cooler temps have made all of our bellies crave the comfort food of fall. Chili is always my first go-to meal at the start of fall, and I love nothing more than to make a huge pot from scratch, cowboy style, mixing cumin and chili powder and oregano and garlic, and loading it with peppers and beef and beans.
However, my kids don’t like to eat this kind of chili. They don’t love heat, or peppers, or beans, or my own personal blend of chili seasonings.
When the twins were born and neighbors dropped off meals, one of our friends brought her chili and my kids devoured it. I texted her how she made it, and voila, this was her secret weapon (thanks Carmen!):
Not only did she use McCormick’s Mild seasoning packet, but she also loaded it with sweet potatoes, which actually makes this chili a little sweet. It’s no wonder my kids devoured it.
And even though my daughter doesn’t love beans, I use less in this version than I do in my cowboy style chili and she doesn’t mind. And using two types of meat gives it such a great texture, plus the smokiness from the kielbasa gets infused in the whole pot.
I love that I can keep all of the ingredients for this in my freezer and pantry. Last winter I made this almost every weekend because the kids unanimously shouted ‘yes’ every time I asked them if they wanted me to make it. It cooks up fast, about 10 minutes active time and 20 minutes inactive. This recipe makes a double batch so there are lots of leftovers. The kids pack it up for school in a thermos, or eat it after school. And it is a great go-to lunch for me when I am flying through the day.
Also if we had to be out all day doing sports or other things, I would put this in a crock pot on low and it is ready to eat when we walk in the door.
So as the temps start to fall and sweaters and scarves come out, put a pot of this on and curl up with your fam and watch a movie. And then do it again the next day since you’ll have so many leftovers.
Happy Eating! xoxo Katie
My Kid’s Favorite Chili (printer version here):
Serves about 16, you may want to halve the recipe if you’re not feeding a crowd
2 T. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. ground beef
1 large (or 2 small) sweet potato, cubed
2 packages McCormick’s Chili Seasoning Mild
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans kidney beans
1 turkey kielbasa, halved and sliced
Heat oil in a dutch oven or large pot. Add onions and sautee 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add ground beef and cook through. Sprinkle McCormick’s chili packets over meat mixture and stir for 1 minute. Then add tomatoes, sweet potatoes, beans and kielbasa. Simmer for 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender, adding water if it gets too thick.
Serve with your favorite chili toppings like shredded cheese, onions, sour cream, lime juice and chips.