How to Eat Chili??

Family traditions are so fun…and so unique from family to family.

I had to laugh the other day.  It’s been cold here in Iowa and rainy all week long.  I decided to make chili.  Nothing says cold fall day to me more than a bowl of chili.

I was on the phone with Kelli and we were talking.  She said she was so proud of Georgia because she likes rice with her chili just like we eat it.  She relayed the long discussion with her husband Jason who thinks it’s crazy to eat rice and chili together.

What can I say??  The rice with chili thing is something I started with our family.  I know it’s not a traditional thing.

So what do we do…put rice in the bottom of a big bowl and pour chili over the top.

It’s something I started on a fluke.  One day we had leftover rice in the refrigerator and leftover chili but not much of either one so I thought “what the heck?”…put the chili over the rice.  That became our family tradition.

We do often put sour cream on top…or cheese or both depending on personal preference but rice and chili together for sure.

Chili is one of those foods that is very different in eat family…kind of like potato salad.  With potato salad, some people rice the potatoes.  Some have chunk potatoes.  Some add mustard.  Some add pickles.  Some is super salty-some not.  It is rare to find two potato salads the same….although Kelli is really close on making it just like I do.

I remember one time going to a friend’s house to visit.  We ended up staying longer and they offered supper and it was chili….Kramer was so surprised the served chili and it was a soup with very few beans.  With it they served “sandwiches”…they only had mayo and lettuce on them…no meat.  Then they served Oreo cookies.  There were saltines there too.

Kramer was confused.  This was nothing like our chili.

After we got to talking…this was their family tradition with chili.  The chili was more of a soup.  They crunched up saltines in the soup.  They ate “mayo lettuce sandwiches” when they had chili and always had Oreos with it too.

It was what she had grown up with.

I’ve seen chili at restaurants and it’s very unpredictable…some are spicey…some aren’t.  Some are heavy with beans.  Some are not.  Some are thick.  Some are runny.  Seriously, few people make chili the same.  Some people used kidney beans…some a mix of beans…some only pinto beans…some chili beans.  Some serve it with cornbread (I like it like that too!)

I think it’s so interesting how family traditions carry over.  I think it’s interesting to see how when families come together, how the traditions mesh.

We’re a thick non-soup chili family.  No crackers…but with rice.  Not too spicey.  Spices are on the side for each family member to apply themselves.  Sour cream and shredded cheese are always available as each person pleases too.  I might be persuaded to make a grill cheese sandwich with it if I’m not feeling lazy or I need to stretch it to feed more.

When I was talking to Kelli I asked what Jason liked for chili.  The first thing she said was NO RICE.  Jason likes it like soup and eats it with buttered saltines.

So how does your family eat chili??  I just love reading the comments when I write a post like this so please share your family tradition.

80 thoughts on “How to Eat Chili??”

  1. Our chili is thick most of the time. It depends on how much I rinse the beans and tomatoes cabana. We have lots of hamburger chunky with lots of beans usually kidney beans. So e don’t like a lot of spices but I need cyanine pepper and chili powder some sAlt pepper and sugar. Just a tad to help the tomatoes. Sometimes I add corn bread and come people crumb it in the chili or saltines. Just depends what I have. I like my cornbread with butter served in the side. Same with saltines. However I fix it or add to the side it all gets eaten. Oh done like grated Tilamock cheddar cheese

  2. chili is complicated in our family. no meat, beef, turkey, kidney beans, dried lima beans, navy beans, chunky tomatoes, no chunks, saltines, cornbread, chopped fresh onions , shredded cheese.
    So, when it is chili weather it is whatever is on hand and each person deals with it.

  3. We have kidney beans, chunky tomatoes, ground beef, tomato soup and onion in our chili. It’s sort of thick and I like to add crackers and when I can get it, corn bread. It’s not spicy at all. I usually don’t eat chili at any place other than what I make.

  4. I make Chili with ground beef and kidney beans. It’s not soup but you need to eat it with a spoon. I serve it with cornbread, sometimes, but usually with fresh buttered French bread slices. And we will only eat it in the winter. It has to be cold and rainy outside. Since we live in Southern California we don’t get to eat Chili too often. I also have a new recipe for Instant Pot White Chicken Chili that is delicious.

  5. Our chili is like Cindy E’s!!! We have been known to add rice if we have leftover rice! Fritos are preferred over crackers but usually both are available! Yes cheese and sour cream too! We aren’t a picky family when it comes to chili!!! Have you ever had Skyline Chili in Ohio? They add a touch of cinnamon and put if over spaghetti and add lots of cheese! In Cincinnati there is a huge rivalry between Skyline Chili and Gold Star Chili! I prefer my chili homemade!

  6. I’ve had chili with beans on top of rice before. I think it may be common in Hawaii. Someone may remember more accurately than me. I’ve also had chili on top of baked potatoes. And I’ve had chili on top of taco chips. Growing up we always had chili with saltine crackers and a LARGE pat of butter in it, yum! For my family I made chili in the Crock-Pot and always made biscuits with honey and jam available to go with the chili. And now, on my own, I top it with a large dollop of sour cream and cheese.

  7. Chili and cinnamon rolls! I make chili a little different each time. I usually add dill pickles to my bowl…I blame that on being raisedin KS and that is what the lunch ladies put on our trays! LOL

  8. My family always had a meaty chili without beans. It was served over hash-browns in a bowl. Mom would have grated cheese and sour cream on the side. Sometimes if the avocados were ripe in the store we would enjoy some slices on top of the chili.

  9. My Grandma put cubes potatoes in hers. It was thick but eaten with spoon. I’m sure it was to stretch it further. Usually cornbread and saltines on table. Partly raised in Ohio – Skyline Chili – touch of cinnamon and over spaghetti. When I make depends what’s in house – black beans. Thanks for bringing back a memory of my Grandma’s wonderful cooking.

  10. Chyree Rohde Lincoln

    Chili is hamburger, hot chili beans, onions, diced tomatoes. When available served over mashed potatoes or baked potato in microwave, cheese. In N IL not served in summer but with all the rain and drastic temperature drops lately I’ve made it already

  11. Sometimes I cut up & fry some bacon before the hamburger & onions. I use home canned tomatoes from the garden. I add whatever beans I have on hand and always brown sugar to cut the acid of the tomatoes. Chili powder to taste but not too spicy. Its thick. We eat it with saltines or cornbread. The big chili debate here in WI is whether to add cooked noodles. I say if you add them that makes it a hotdish!

  12. My husband isn’t a fan of beans so we make chili with the beans on the side (if at all) and usually serve it with cornbread and cheese. It’s not how I grew up eating chili but it works for us.

  13. When I was growing up, chili came in a can. As an adult, I started making it with ground beef and kidney beans.. As time went on, I added Cannellini beans to the mix. Then, Great Northern beans. Then I took kidney beans out of the mix and added ‘chili beans’. Then I added corn. That seemed to be the one that everyone like best 2-3 types of beans and corn. Topped with sour cream and cheese.

  14. For many years my church would hold a chili cook-off to raise money for youth mission trips. Families or teams would bring their big pot of chili. Many times there would be as many as 15 different kinds to sample. For a price you could sample each one then vote for your favorite by making a donation and get a whole bowl. You got to taste vegetarian, venison, some with sausage, spicy and others not – all kinds. Some offered sides to add like cheese. I thought it was interesting to taste and see the variety.

  15. Growing up – it was hamburger with various beans in a tomato type sauce with cheese on top. My kids only know chili as white chicken chili with great northern beans and homemade sweet cornbread on the side. MJ cheese on top. My kids would not eat tomato sauce at all as littles but loved this chili.

  16. Here in Texas the traditional chili supposedly doesnt have beans but I have always had beans no matter who cooked it. I brown hamburger,onion,drain. Then add chili powder,salt,pepper,mix well. Then a couple cans of pinto beans and a large can of diced tomatoes, maybe some tomato sauce. This simmers about an hour,serve with cornbread or tortilla chips and add cheddar cheese and sour cream, yum. I have never had it over rice or pasta, will have to try :)

  17. We are big fans of Cincinnati Chili which is served over spaghetti. We don’t care for beans but many add them and shredded cheddar cheese. It has a bit of cinnamon and some unsweetened chocolate which doesn’t taste like chocolate but adds an unusual taste. Not too spicy but interesting!

  18. Jo, your readers and you have proven that chili can be such a versatile recipe! Sometimes my mother in law used to serve her chili over macaroni which was new to me, but I liked it. We usually have my chili with garlic bread or cheese and crackers. I would like to have it over rice and even try Deb A’s recipe for white chili. I agree that when ordering chili in a restaurant you never know what will be served!

  19. I think our family would love it with rice underneath. We have 8 children, and all except one are grown and gone to their own homes. Our last is engaged to be married in May of 2021. My kinds tease me that the leftovers were being served for the last time when they were served on a bed of rice! The less left over, the larger the bed of rice. They never went hungry, for sure.

  20. I usually make a big pot of chili (hamburger, onions, beans and sauce). We eat it first time with saltines. Second time eat it over hotdogs and buns. Third time layer it with cheddar cheese and Fritos topped with sour cream. Never eat it with rice. When we were kids, we ate peanut butter sandwiches with it. A friend makes hamburgers and covers it with chili. You are right, there are traditions in each family.

  21. I never ate chili until I lived in Arizona as a college student. I make mine in a crock pot with ground turkey or bison, 3 drained and rinsed cans of assorted beans (garbanzo, pinto, pink, red, or white), can of fire roasted tomatoes, onion, green/red peppers, lightly spiced with chili powder, cumin, and turmeric. Sometimes I add a bit of water but not enough to be a soup. Eat with cheese on top. Sometimes served over lettuce as a faux taco salad or wrapped in a large tortilla as a faux burrito. I also have a 50 recipe chili cookbook with all sorts of variations.

  22. I make such a simple chili, just meat, chili beans, onions and tomatoes, plus chili powder. I often serve it over Fritos and top with cheese. A friend said on Halloween, their supper was chili and each child had their own snack bag of Fritos and she just put chili in bag. I just put the Fritos in bottom of bowl.

  23. Right now, my typical chili is thick, made from ground turkey, no beans, corn, tomato, onions with spices but not spicy. Served with cheese and sour cream on side. Maybe cornbread, if I feel like making it.

  24. We do a no bean chili with crackers the first day. The second day we do a ‘shepherds pie’ with a layer of mashed potatoes, then corn, then chili topped with shredded cheddar cheese. It’s awesome!

  25. I make chili with Mexican flavors like cocoa powder, cinnamon, nacho chili powder and Mexican oregano. It’s not too tomatoey, and I use beef broth and pinto or black beans.

  26. Well before I lived with low carbs….. I loved to eat chili with cheese, sour cream on top and ate it with tortilla chips as a “scoop”. I also made several kinds of chili too. When “red meat” was to be avoided I made turkey chili. I would add in lime juice and a shot of tequila. I am not really a fan of ground turkey but those additions really added to the flavor. Now that red meat is ok again, ha I use ground beef. It is never thin, but not solid either. I have added rice from time to time. I know some folks don’t add beans at all too. So to each his own, but I agree with you Jo, cheese and sour cream!!!!

  27. I personally don’t like chili. My dad had it with one kind of bean, maybe kidney beans, on the thick side and no rice or spaghetti. It was served alone with crackers. Usually for lunch because only my dad and brothers ate it. Serving with spaghetti is an Ohio thing. I will let someone in Ohio explain that. I don’t eat anything spicy or with beans, legumes. Enjoy your chili with rice.

  28. Yes chili can be tricky . We like it with rice , cornbread or Town House crackers and a little spicy and thick. Shredded cheese and sour cream . I use venison and regular hamburger meat . Scallions sprinkled on top. I like ice cream and pickles but a lettuce sandwich , ulk. I love the cold but we get very few cool days , feel rejuvenated in the cold – alive.

  29. We’re definitely a chili-with-beans-and-beef over rice with both sour cream and cheese family…Yum! Often served with cornbread on the side.

  30. We’re a Pinto Bean family and that’s what goes in my chili. And we often eat it over rice because we have chili as a Meatless Monday meal and I read years back that beans and rice make a complete protein. Love Saltines and butter with the chili but if I’m got extra time, corn muffins. No other sides ~ chili is the whole meal :-)

  31. Allison in Plano, Texas

    FOO – Family of Origin made it with the Four Alarm spice pack from the grocery store (Alvin, Texas). Sometimes we’d have Wolf Brand Chili poured over scrambled eggs with a frothy orange julius. Fast forward to marrying my Sweet Guy, we eat it from the can with whatever brand is on sale. My favorite lately is Amy’s Chili since I don’t seem to tolerate full bodied tomato based chilis anymore. I just eat it straight, no crackers, bread, or sandwich of any kind. Sometimes as a Frito-Pie if we have them in the pantry with a little pepper jack cheese grated on top. This was a fun question!

  32. So mine seems way easier than most. Ground beef, kidney beans, beef gravy from a jar, chili & onion powder, fresh garlic. Onions and cheese for topping served with cornbread. It’s getting chili in Michigan. We’re having chili soon!

  33. I like to make chili when weather cools off too. My chili is very bland my kids wouldn’t eat onion or tomatoes they pick them out . So I used hamburger , chili beans Mrs Grimes dried mined onion , tomato sauce , v-8 juice , to cut the acid,honey . Petite diced tomatoes. Chili powder. Love corn bread with it.
    But with the left overs …I make coney hot dogs or taco salad.

  34. The chili I like is Wendy’s Chili. So I found their recipe on line and make that type, with corn bread on the side. Sometimes we do put it over a baked potato. Yum!

  35. I grew up in south Louisiana. My mother was from Missouri. My dad was a rice farmer. We ALWAYS had rice with our chili. I was married before I knew that most people do not serve chili over rice! I have “conformed” to the more common serving of just the chili with some cheese on top (and I like it like that), but it was quite a culture shock to realize that most of the people I met (including my husband) had never heard of rice with chili.

  36. Simple chili recipe here, but here’s kind of a funny thing. My mom’s recipe included a large can of whole peeled tomatoes (probably because diced tomatoes are a relatively new tomato development). She used to pour the undrained can into the soup kettle, and then squish the tomatoes into shreds with her hands. Sometimes the tomato fights back!

  37. I start with a few quarts of my ratatouille adding a lot of chipotle chili powder and cumin. I use a mix of ground turkey/ground beef cooking/draining it then adding to the ratatouille. Meanwhile cooking a pot of small red kidney beans and pinto beans. Once the beans are added, simmer another hour to get some flavor into those beans. Cornbread on the side and some cheese on top of the bowl of chili! Yum!!!

    In case anyone’s garden is producing wildly, I do this and vacuum freeze in quart portions. I eliminate the thyme/oregano so I can use it for non-Italian flavored dishes.

  38. Chili starts with 2lbs of hamburger browned with onion, drain the fat. Add 2 cans of chili beans and I large bottle of V8 juice. Cook, sometimes I add more V8 juice. Our kids never liked the beans so I would pulverize the chili so the beans would not be noticed by them. We still eat it today that way. We serve it with saltines, sour cream and shredded cheese. If I have a small portion left over it might get served over spaghetti or some type of noodle. I might make Grilled Cheese to the meal if I add some extra people that day.

  39. Shauna Lynn Trueblood

    Well being from Texas, my family believes that it isn’t chili if it has beans in it. We like ours hearty/meaty and just a touch spicy, but one thing we do is put a little bit of chocolate in it (baker’s semi sweet or cocoa powder), it gives it just a hint of sweetness to balance the spice. We normally have it two ways, the first is with cornbread, some put it over the cornbread, others dip the cornbread into it. The second is as chili pie over Frito’s. Always cheese on top, some times sour cream.

    We haven’t ever done it over rice, but that sounds good. We have also done chili mac and cheese, which is pretty darn tasty. On occasion we have used crackers with it but only as a last resort. Chili is one of those things that everyone does a little different, and for me at least unless it is really spicy I like it all ways. But my favorite is still our family recipe.

    What I love about chili is it reminds me of my mom. She would make big batches at the start of winter, freeze most of it and then pull it out for a quick easy dinner. It is funny my sister, brother and I all use her recipe but have all adapted it just a little, I guess that is what happens over time people adjust the recipe to their liking. My brothers is always way more spicy, my sister and I tend to like it a little more tame.

    All in all, I say eat what you like and if someone else doesn’t like it, that is their loss. But I’m sure at some point this winter I am going to try chili over rice, because that just sounds good…maybe a new tradition for me.

  40. We are a chili and rice family as well. Crushed Fritos on top and shredded cheese dresses the chili up for special occasions! Hmmm…I just might have to make some this weekend.

  41. This is funny because I just put chili in the crockpot. We like it thick, with kidney beans. My husband crushes up saltines into his bowl.

    I cut up garden tomatoes into the crockpot. Add browned hamburger and onion, drained and rinsed kidney beans, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper. If it’s too runny, I add a small can of tomato paste.

  42. I grew up eating it thick on top of saltine crackers. Hamburger, pork n beans, kidney beans, and tomato sauce. Now I make it more like a soup. Sometimes add sour cream or cheese. My husband likes to eat buttered saltines with it. I like buttered and/or peanut butter saltines with it. If I am ambitious we also like cornbread with it. The kidney beans is my favorite part, my husband not so much. I also really like the Wendy’s chili. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s comments.

  43. We make ours as a soup with ground beef, onion, 1/2 light red kidney beans and 1/2 pinto beans, tomato sauce, chili seasoning packets, and if I add diced tomatoes, it’s only the petite ones. I don’t like big tomato chunks or green peppers. Usually don’t add any sour cream or shredded cheese. We ALWAYS have buttered crackers with it. Also, in my area, there’s Cincinnati-style chili, which is altogether different, and typically eaten on spaghetti noodles, heaped with finely shredded cheese. I don’t make that kind; if we want it, we get it from the restaurant.

  44. Our kids (now grown) like chili over macaroni. They also like it over scrambled eggs. I can’t remember how that one got started but it’s a favorite too. Cheese on top, sometimes accompanied with Scoops tortilla chips.

  45. Lately I’ve made chili with home canned deer, home canned kidney beans and home canned tomatoes run through the blender with some onion, chili powder & a couple teaspoons of sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. Served with saltine crackers. When I was in high school the cooks made chili with ground beef, kidney beans and probably tomato juice. It had a soup consistency and was served with saltines and cinnamon rolls. Our cooks made THE. BEST cinnamon rolls from scratch!

  46. Such a fun post—really enjoyed what everyone wrote! I like making chili and my family likes eating it, so we have it about once a month through cool/cold weather, but not unheard of in summer either. Ours is thick with ground beef and beans, usually 1 can each of kidney and garbanzo. We started adding garbanzo when our non bean loving son decided he did like those. We all ended up liking the combo. Changing up and tweeking is part of the fun with chili. Sliced carrots add a little more veggie to ours and it’s good. Lately I’ve been adding a tsp of smoky paprika—yum! Like Jackie from KS we grew up having cinnamon rolls with chili at school in NE too. They were delicious homemade rolls, and the sweet with the spice was an awesome combo. The only thing I hadn’t tried was peanut butter sandwich or cracker and I don’t know why—sounds terrific! Thanks for sharing everyone!

  47. I brown hamburger and onions, add canned tomatoes and mild chili spice. I like it over macaroni with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream on top. Hubby likes to add more spice and have his over corn bread or with lots of crackers and chopped onion on top. We are all different!

  48. I grew up in California and chili was thick and more the Mexican variety. I use Carroll Shelby’s seasoning packet. I dice up onions, bell peppers, garlic and tomatoes, add to browned ground beef with the seasonings and beans. Originally my family only used pinto beans but I have since expanded to also use black beans. After cooking down, thicken with the masa flour that comes with the seasoning mix. Serve with cornbread, cheese, sour cream and diced onion on the side. I might also use diced chuck steak if I want it more substantial.
    It wasn’t until we moved to Ohio that I met the chunky tomato and kidney bean very mild stuff. To us that’s not chili at all, but we call it Ohio Chili.

  49. Mary Ann Fogleman

    We eat it just the way you do!!! Over rice with shredded cheese, sour cream and sometimes a little chopped green onion over the top. Great minds!

  50. When I was a kid my father was in the service and we traveled around alot. When we had chili, we too had it over rice. I always assumed that was my Mom’s way of stretching it our and filling us up. At that time, we only shopped at the military commissary, and that was once a month. So my Mom had to figure out what to eat and how much to get so we still had food for the end of the month till next pay came. I was grown & married before I ate a bowl of just chili by itself! My daughter in law makes cornbread and puts that in the bottom of the bowl with chili over top. I like it both ways. My husband likes saltines crunched up in his. We all like kidney beans except my daughter in law, she just picks them out. If my son makes the chili, it has many kinds of beans in it-kidney, cannellini, black. He also likes it much spicier than the rest of us, but makes it for our taste and just adds more to his. Great topic-I get to reminisce about things I wouldn’t normally. Thanks! Hugs to all

  51. Signe in Virginia

    I grew up eating homemade chili on Christmas Eve. It was our tradition. We make chili with ground beef, onions, canned tomatoes, kidney beans and Safeway brand chili powder. It has evolved over the years. I now use pinto beans because I think they are more tender than kidney beans. I have never eaten it over rice but it looks and sounds good. We served chili with saltine crackers with butter or cornbread. The chili was on the soup/thin side rather than thick. Now I am hungry for some chili!

  52. Well, this is fun! It seems we all eat pretty much the same green bean casserole on Thanksgiving, but chili is an entirely different thing! Mine has evolved into ground beef browned with onions and chopped red/green sweet peppers. [I discovered years ago that I could have a ‘fast start’ if I browned the meat, onions and peppers; drained and separated into freezer bags/frozen. Quick start to chili, spaghetti, or minestrone soup.] Beans have pretty much been pinto and black; spices came from Williams’ Chili Seasoning (but not available out in the Pacific NW after moving here); chopped tomatoes with chilies; cans of cut roasted tomatoes and/or non-roasted; 1 can of tomato soup (undiluted). I like the idea of adding corn. Served with saltines or, preferably, over Fritos, and topped with grated cheese. Back when there was a family, leftovers might be served over mac and cheese. On occasion, I’d make cornbread as well. I am smiling over the lettuce sandwiches!

  53. This was a fun read. I make ours thick with burger, chili beans and tomato sauce, chili powder and a little bit of Tabasco. I usually serve with tater tots. My husband is only person I know who adds a spoonful of peanut butter to his bowl. I’m not brave enough to try that!! Lol

  54. Kim Kingston-Durgin

    Growing up, chili was made with a mix of ground venison and pork (for the fat) and with beans. Always served with corn bread as tortillas weren’t to be had. Now, I make chili with an equal mix of ground chuck and ground pork (blows my mind how expensive ground beef of any type is). Thickened with a rue of flour and masa. Rinsed canned kidney beans are added toward the end, and it is served over rice. Then the individual may add tamales, cheese, peppers, pico de gallo, salsa, or sour creme. Tortillas are to the side and help soak up the gravy. I admit to drinking milk with it, not my usual water.

  55. Mine’s a southwestern style: start with 2 lb dried pinto beans, soaked overnight, cooked for an hour. Add diced onions and garlic, a bit of whole comino seed, canned diced green chiles, canned tomatoes, a bottle of taco sauce, and optionally ground beef cooked with another onion. And this recipe is spelled “chile”, not “chili”.

    Fun to see all the variations!

  56. Our chili is different every time. My husband usually makes it. The things that are consistent are Rotel tomatoes with pepper, chili powder, onions, and garlic. The kind of meat can be ground beef, ground turkey, ground pork, shredded chicken or chopped up pork roast. Almost any kind of dried beans work; he has recently started cooking them in pressure cooker. We like to eat with rice or corn bread; if we don’t have those crackers will also be ok.

  57. I start my chili by adding the beef to boiling water and stirring. Then I drain it and add many of the same ingredients as everyone else. But the spices are a different thing – cocoa powder, cinnamon etc. And it’s served over spaghetti and topped with raw onions, beans and cheese. But what else would you expect from someone born and raised in Cincinnati (even though I’ve lived on the east coast for over 30 years).

  58. SusanfromKentucky

    Hamburger, chili hot beans, tomato sauce, onions, Bloemer’s Chili Powder and spaghetti (cooked in the chili). Topped with cheese and crumbled up saltine crackers. Sometimes a grilled cheese or peanut butter sandwich. Yum!

  59. Thick with Ranch Style beans (no other brand will do) simmered in. I also add a peeled and grated apple to the pot and simmer it all afternoon. It is really better to refrigerate overnight and eat it the next day. Served over elbow macaroni and topped with grated cheese. I like oyster crackers on top of mine but my husband is a purist. If we have dessert, something chocolate is best. Actually I have some I made yesterday in the frig. We will have it for supper tomorrow.

  60. My husband likes his with ground meat, onions, peppers, kidney beans, canned tomatoes and tomato paste seasoned with salt, pepper and chili powder…nice and thick. He eats his with jelly bread. Growing up my family always ate saltines with ours. Now if I have rice I serve the chili over the rice or if I have cornbread I crumble it in the bottom of my bowl and put the chili over top of it. My husband also likes banana peppers over top of this chili.

  61. Hi Jo! My family always ate chili over rice! My husband doesn’t like kidney beans, but it’s ok if I use black beans. We like our chili thick also. We serve it with cheese on top, chopped raw onions are optional. We love to have it with cornbread. Now I want to go make some chili! Yum!

  62. Husband is chili maker. He uses hamburger and chili meat (beef that is coarse ground) and pinto and kidney beans. I like lots of beans and less meat so I usually add more beans to my bowl. He likes raw onion and cheese on top and crumbles a little cornbread in. I like my cornbread buttered on the side.

  63. Never quite the same, but always a mixture of at least three kinds of beans and two kinds of tomatoes (such as Rotel and fire roasted), elk or ground beef browned with onion (sometimes celery and green pepper, too) and a little V8 to make it medium thick and ready for dipping buttered saltines or adding corn or tortilla chips.

    Yesterday, we made chili of sorts using the Hurst Ham Beenz 15 bean Cajun blend, adding water and broth (beef) as the package directs, and adding browned hamburger and onions and a can of fire roasted tomatoes. Next time I’ll add more tomatoes, but we really enjoyed the mix of all those beans and the seasoning.

  64. Hubby doesn’t like chili, so I never make it; and now I’ve gotten so I really don’t care for it! He will eat taco soup, which I use a Bear Creek chili mix, add a can of corn and beans. Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, cheese. My mom would put some rice in her chili, to thicken it some. At school we always had it with bread buns, carrots and celery!

  65. I make a pretty thick chunky chili and always use dried kidney beans that I soak overnight. I used to make cornbread to go with it but have stopped doing that because it is just two of us here now. Sometimes we eat it with crackers, cheese or sour cream depending on what we have.

  66. My chili includes ground beef, tomato soup, kidney beans, pork & beans, minced onion and chili powder. It’s pretty thick, not too spicy and always served over rice with grated cheese on top. There were a lot of combos here that I’ve never heard of before. We all have our favourites!

  67. I grew up in southern Iowa and around here the school cooks always had cinnamon rolls, carrot, celery and cheese sticks on the menu with chili, so that’s basically what we still have. My husband always makes it spicier than I do and I don’t care for beans in mine so sometimes the pot is split if he wants beans. Otherwise it’s ground beef, tomato juice, diced tomatoes, minced onion and chili powder.

  68. Growing up, we had chili and doughnuts for the first snowfall of the year. My husband hates chili, so I make taco soup ( which is really close to chili, but shhh, don’t tell him) and cinnamon rolls or the first snowfall of winter.

  69. Growing up in the ’60s and ’70s, chili was like soup with kidney beans and elbow macaroni added in. Some people put spaghetti noodles in their chili instead of elbow macaroni and I always thought that was strange, ha. Mildly spiced with chili powder, salt and pepper and that was about it (and the usual onions and ground beef). Always eaten with saltine crackers. I made it that way up until I became gluten intolerant in the early 2000s (and later kidney beans didn’t agree with me, but a few pinto beans were okay). Then I started making it thicker, less like soup, and instead of macaroni started eating it like you do, over rice. I make it spicier now too. Usually leave out the beans, but may put a few pintos in from time to time. I eat it with tostada or tortilla chips on the side.

  70. Pamj/New Braunfels, Tx

    Being a Native Texan, our chili has always been with browned ground meat, then tomato sauce, tomato paste, cayenne pepper, chili powder, little salt, garlic, black pepper. Simmer for an hour or so. Serve over Spanish rice, corn bread , with grated cheddar cheese, white diced onions. It’s always better the next day on beef hot dogs. But I usually freeze the left overs, if there are any.

  71. Growing up, chili was generally ground beef, onions, home canned tomatoes, and kidney beans. I didn’t really like it. My husband liked it, though, and his family made it with chili beans, so I went that direction. Our son hated tomato pieces, hence tomato juice came into the picture. A pinch of sugar to cut the acidity in the tomatoes. Cheese was available for anyone who wanted it. Sometimes cornbread. My sister and I always ate it with saltines with butter and grape jelly. Not mixed in, just with it.

    I ate chili with a co-worker once and she put milk and sugar in it. Now that I had never heard of.

    So many different varieties and ways to eat it.

  72. Chili I grew up w was more like a soup, but a thick meat, tomato, bean soup. Unfortunately BEANS do not agree w me. I will eat on occ, Wendy’s chili. BUT we live in Cincinnati, my family grew up eating Skyline, a a couple other similar chili’s It has a touch of Chocolate and I think Cinnamon in it. I really don’t like it…. but the family…… I remember having my first Skyline Chili dog…. OMG I did get a sick tummy w that….. BR issues….better that I don’t eat it too often.

  73. in the army we ate chili over rice, or chili mac. i made lentil skyline for the rents, since they are vegg. so i dig the oreo thing. i dont get the corn bread thing, but cool with chips???

  74. Rose Marie Gersema

    Love chili but never make it the same way twice. No recipe. Just start out with hamburger and tomatoes. The rest is whatever I have. Kidney beans, northern beans, most of the time both. Also have used green beans along with the other beans. Sometimes add a bit if corn to that mix and onion. Yes-rice but in the chili not under it. Then chili pwd, garlic pwd, salt and pepper. Red pepper flakes on the side for me. Hubby doesn’t like so much spice.. Then toppings as everyone likes something different. Sour cream, chopped raw onions, shredded cheddar cheese. Cornbread is good but hubby likes saltines. And he always needs a sandwich- sandwich meat or egg salad.
    Guess it’s time to make it again. And it freezes well, too.

  75. Ours is a thick chili with beans. Some spices in the chili but my hubby likes additional crushed red peppers. We serve focaccia bread with it.

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