This Southwest Chili makes for a cozy dinner, game day meal, or enjoyed as a hearty lunch. It’s easy to make ahead of time, freezes well, and is a family favourite in our house! We love topping it with sour cream, cheddar cheese, fresh avocado and serving it with tortilla chips.
This Southwest Chili is perfect for feeding a hungry crew (I would know!). It is also my favourite place to add in heaps of healthy beans and vegetables like corn and tomatoes. If you want to make this vegetarian, omit the ground and use veggie ground or tempeh instead, or replace the volume with extra veggies like diced zucchini or even potatoes!
I doctored my chili up with a fresh squeeze of lime, a dollop of sour cream, cheddar cheese, and fresh avocado! It is a bit spicy, so if you like less heat leave out the chipotle pepper. Note: when I say one whole smoked chili (see below), I’m referring to an individual pepper, not a whole can! I just wanted to be clear – nobody wants to make that mistake, right?! Someone has for the record (hence my long winded warning).
Simple Chili Recipe
Making life simpler is the name of the game here, so for me, a chili recipe needs to be totally uncomplicated but still boast LOADS of flavour and hearty ingredients. This Southwest Chili is one of the most basic recipes to pull together and is naturally gluten free. The ingredients are easy to find all year round (even in the dead of winter) and the chili in adobo sauce brings effortless smokiness to the dish. This recipe is a total crowd pleaser and stores really well. Consider making a double batch and freezing for a rainy day!
What to Serve With Chili
While I love serving chili with a big bowl of tortilla chips (the boys love this), a nice warm slice of cornbread (check out our recipe in our cookbook) will leave no room for complaints either. Mind you, some of these Savoury Veggie Muffins would also add a heap of flavour and extra veggies. Come to think of it, a Cheddar Biscuit wouldn’t be so bad either. Options, options.
Soup is at the top of my list of meals that I love making for the family! Especially on colder days and nights. If you like corn chowder but don’t want the work of making it, check out my 10 Minute Corn Chowder recipe. I happen to be a pro at sneaking in all the vegetables I can. Some of my favourite recipes are:
If you’re in the mood for Mexican inspired flavours, you may also want to try serving Cheryl’s Famous Guacamole and some Pico de Gallo as an appetizer while the chili simmers!
This Southwest Chili is smoky and packed with flavours. It's delicious topped with sour cream and best served with a side of tortilla chips.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb ground turkey, chicken, or beef*
- 1/2 cup red wine or stock
- 2 tablespoons chili powder (or adjust for desired spice level)
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (optional)
- 796 mL can diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 whole smoked chipotle chilli in adobo sauce (we buy La Costena)
- 1 small can corn
- 540 mL can black beans (drained)
- salt & pepper to taste
- diced avocado (optional garnish)
- lime wedges (optional garnish)
- chopped cilantro (optional garnish)
- grated cheddar (optional garnish)
- tortilla chips (optional garnish)
- sour cream or plain full-fat Greek yogurt (optional garnish)
In a heavy bottomed large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until the onion is transparent and garlic is fragrant.
Add the ground and cook until browned. Deglaze the pot with the red wine or stock, stir, then add in the chili powders, cumin, tomatoes, sugar and the 1 whole chipotle pepper. Stir and turn the heat to low, cover and let simmer for 1 hour.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and add in the corn and black beans and cook until they are heated through. Remove the chipotle pepper and discard.
Place into individual bowls and top with the diced avocado, a lime wedge, cilantro, grated cheddar and a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt. Serve with tortilla chips if you wish!
*Make this dish vegan or vegetarian by using veggie ground or doubling the beans and vegetables
Another great idea. Thanks for sharing.
We have a similar chilli favorite but at the end we put it into a 9 by 12 baking dish and we have a cornbread dough that we pour on top. And bake.
It’s lovely ! My daughter just made it a week or so ago and had us over to dinner. Mmmm yum
Loved this Mexican Chilli recipe it’s packed with lots flavour well still being healthy! My fiance loved it so much. Looking forward to making this over and over again.
Tori Wesszer says
Fabulous thank you Candice I so appreciate you taking the time to share this with me! Tori
I wondered why you had not added the chipotle chilli in your recipe instructions and I was trying to figure out when to add it and realized you may have made a typo in step 3 and put “chipotle powder pepper” instead of smoked chipotle chilli in Adobo. If that’s the case, I’m assuming we just use the pepper and not the sauce it’s in, correct? Looking forward to trying this!
Hi Pat, good eye, I’ve updated the recipe! You’re correct you just use one of the chipotle peppers.
Seriously the best chili ever.
I’ve made so many different recipes and since I found this one it’s the only kind I make. We don’t eat meat, so I substitute a popular meat alternative for the meat in this recipe and it works out amazing.
Tori Wesszer says
Thank you so much Nicole!!! I’m so happy you love it! Tori
Loved this. Did all the sautéing in my instant pot, added a half roasted jalapeño and a third cup coffee, leaving the tomatoes on top before high manual pressure for 11 minutes with a natural release. Added the beans and a can of red kidney beans after, juice of a half a lime and tbsp. Masa flour. SO yummy.
Liane @ Foodie Digital says
Quick, easy and really flavorful Tori!
Tori W. says
Thanks so much Liane!