Go Back
Beef chili
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Beef or Turkey Chili

Serve garnished with grated white cheddar, sliced green onions, thin slices of radish and sour cream. To make this into chili con carne, omit the beans and double the meat. This is adapted from a Smart family recipe that has morphed and changed a little over the years.
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Marcia W. Smart


  • 2 slices bacon chopped
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef preferably grassfed, 85-90% fat , ground bison or dark meat ground turkey (double the meat if you omit the beans)
  • 1 large can 28 oz. whole tomatoes, no juice, tomatoes broken up with your hands or cut up before adding to the pot
  • 1 can 15 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 or 2 large cans red kidney beans drained and rinsed (optional)
  • ½-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper to taste
  • A few dashes of Tabasco or Crystal brand hot sauce optional


  • In a large heavy-bottomed pot, such as a Le Creuset, cook the bacon until the fat separates and renders, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and bell pepper to the bacon fat and cook until softened, about two minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds more.
  • Add the meat to the pot, breaking it up as you stir it. Add a generous sprinkling of salt, about a teaspoon and a half, and cook until the meat looses its pink color.
  • Add remaining ingredients and stir. Cook, uncovered, on the stovetop on medium-low heat for 1 hour.  Add a few dashes of hot sauce and taste for salt before serving.


Slow Cooker Directions: Once the meat is browned, add the meat and all the other ingredients to a slow cooker and continue cooking on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.
Instant Pot Directions: Follow the steps in the first paragraph, but sauté directly in the base of the Instant Pot. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, seal and set to the chili setting. Let the steam vent before opening the Instant Pot. If the meat is in larger clumps, break it up with a spoon, potato masher or a hand held immersion blender. If you use an immersion blender, be careful not to over puree the chili. Just use it in 3-4 spots to break up any large pieces of meat.