I have made all of these recipes myself. I always try to show the original source of the recipe, but am constantly editing them to suit our tastes (so technically they should all say "Adapted from..."). The portions are generally small since my family doesn't consume much food in one sitting.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Classic Chili (Mel's Kitchen Café)

Updated 10/6/13. I love this chili! This recipe is from Mel's Kitchen Café. I tweaked a few things and love the difference from the original recipe. I think it is best starting from dry beans. This was excellent on baked potatoes as well as served separately. My family loved it with "corn bread cake" crumbled into it.

2 c dried pinto beans (OR 3-29oz cans pinto beans, drained)
1 lb ground beef
 (originally 2 lb)
2 tsp salt

2 medium onions, diced
 or 2 tsp onion powder
1/2 c water

1 tsp garlic salt
 (originally 3/4 tsp)
1/2 tsp pepper

1 Tbsp chili powder 

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 
(optional - I omitted it)

2 tsp cumin

2 Tbsp brown sugar (originally 1 1/2 Tbsp)
46 oz can tomato juice
8 oz can tomato sauce

2 bay leaves

Rinse pinto beans until clean. Add to crock pot with 8 cups water and 2 tsp salt. Cook on high for 4 hours. Drain.

Brown the hamburger and onion in a large skillet with the salt. Drain grease. In a small bowl combine the 1/2 cup water with the garlic salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin and brown sugar.

In a large pot (or in the slow cooker), combine tomato juice, beans, and tomato sauce. Stir in hamburger and onions and seasoning/water mixture. Mix well. Stir in bay leaves.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer over medium-low heat for an hour, stirring occasionally (this can simmer for as long as 4-5 hours).


  1. FYI, You didn't say how much ketchup in your list of ingredients, only to add it later on. I had to go to the original source to see how much I needed. We loved this chili!

  2. Thanks Chantel,

    I just forgot to take it out of the directions portion since I omitted it in my current recipe (and prefer it without the ketchup). Thanks so much for the heads up! I'll go fix that!

    :) Jen