It’s a Bit Chili Out

I mentioned in the last post that our meal of the month for October was Chili, but I forgot to take pictures of it, so I made it again last Friday (the last Friday of 2016). Friday was one of the only cold days of 2016, and I took advantage of it so Zeus would actually want a hot, soup-like meal.

When I first made it in October, it was for a chili cook-off at work. I searched for a crockpot recipe so that it would be easy to transport and keep warm until lunchtime. I’ve never made chili before until this, so I entered into the cook-off solely for the purpose of making sure there was enough chili to go around. Turned out there was plenty after all—7 or 8 different kinds (some were very different from what you might typically think of as chili). Mine came in 2nd place; I was SO CLOSE to dethroning Todd (now a two-time winner) and I wasn’t even trying. Maybe next year.

Enough babble, onto the recipe. I cannot find the link so I’ll just copy paste everything below (followed by my adjustments)…


  • 3 lbs. hamburger, browned
  • 2 (14.5-oz.) cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (30-oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15.5-oz.) can chili beans
  • 2 cups water
  • Seasonings:
    • 2 tbsp. chili power
    • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
    • 4 tsp. cumin
    • 2 tsp. oregano


  1. Brown hamburger meat.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Full disclosure, I just used this recipe as a base to figure out what ingredients and spices to put in, and whether there was any pre-crockpot prep required. I customized it a bit to my own tastes. So here’s what I used…

My Customized, Way Better Ingredient List:

  • Meats:
    • 1 lb. bison meat
    • 1 lb. Nettles Country Smoked Sausage
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 1 (28-oz.) can of Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 2 (15.5-oz.) cans chili beans (I used kidney beans because I think they have more flavor and add more texture)
  • 1 (24-oz.) jar of spaghetti sauce (I used Bertolli Olive Oil & Garlic sauce because no tomato sauce was around, and this has more flavor anyway)
  • Seasonings:
    • 2 tbsp. chili power
    • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt (fresh garlic works good too – 4 or 5 cloves would do it)
    • 4 tsp. cumin
    • 2 tsp. oregano
    • A dash of ground cayenne and sriracha seasoning

*I left off the water from my recipe because it makes it too soupy. So if you like that, add 1 cup (not 2), but if not, leave it out entirely. Also, if you want another pound of ground bison (or whatever other meat you use) to make the chili more meaty, add it as desired.*

The Easiest of All Instructions:

  1. Slice smoked sausage (I left some round and chopped the others in half so there was a good mix of sizes). Chop onions.
  2. Brown bison meat and smoked sausage. Season meat as desired with salt, pepper, garlic, etc. You can sauté the onions (and fresh garlic if desired) here too if you want; just wait until the meat is about halfway done. Be sure to drain any grease.
  3. Throw all the ingredients in the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours.
  4. Top with cheese, sour cream, crackers, or whatever else you like on your chili. Enjoy!

There’s a little bit of prep, but it’s definitely worth the little bit of effort. This made about 8-10 servings, depending on how much you eat in one sitting. You’ll want more than 1 bowl; I promise 😉

Just a warning, this was a bit spicy if you’re sensitive to that type of thing. Just cut out the sriracha or cayenne if you like it less spicy.



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