Got a whole bunch of random in your fridge and need to put together a delicious meal? Then the kitchen sink chili is the perfect answer.
To be honest – for a long time, chili wasn’t really my thing. It seems too time consuming, and everyone seemed to have a secret recipe I didn’t feel I could compete with. Then, in 2011, Mr. Coconuts and I moved more “north” than I’ve ever been in my life. Shortly after, for the first time – I experienced temperatures in the “teens” and below made, which made it virtually impossible to survive without being an aficionado at savory soups, stews, and chilis.
Chili has now become my go-to knock-it-out-of-the-park dinner creation. With this kitchen sink chili recipe, the spice and ingredient variations are endless, and you can adapt the flavor profile to your current mood and desires, or what you have available to you in the moment. And the best part? It’s super easy to double and store in large jars in the freezer for busy nights when meal prep time is limited.
The kitchen sink chili recipe is all about developing a relationship with chili, and adapting the ingredients to your personal desires. When you cook, you’re essentially conducting an experiment. Sometimes you nail it, and sometimes you don’t. Never fear, failing is a blessing in disguise because it can teach you more about cooking than any book or instruction manually ever will. (And yes, I speak from lots of experience. #expertfailer)
The guide below provides “base ingredients” which should be included for all recipes, and “variations” which give you guidance as to choosing other ingredients to add. Keep in mind as you are “building” your chili recipe, the more food you add – the more spices and broth you’ll need.
Kitchen Sink Chili
5-7 celery stalks (diced)
1 white onion (diced)
Vegetable Variations (add 2.5 cups total)
Mushrooms (chopped or broken into pieces)
Bell pepper – any color (diced)
Carrots (finely diced)
Starch Variations (add 1-2 cups total)
Butternut squash, sweet potato, or pumpkin – peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
Beans (example: garbanzo beans)
Organic pre-soaked and cooked rice or corn
Add 2 lbs of meat total:
Ground meat (beef, pork, or turkey or a combination of two)
Pulled pork or chicken (cooked prior and added in with the broth)
1 28 oz can organic diced tomatoes with juice (this brand with a BPA-free can)
1-1.5 liters broth depending on desired consistency (making it homemade will increase nutrient-density and give it major flavor)
Add 1/4 cup tomato paste
Add 1/2 cup tomato sauce (reduce broth by same amount)
Sweet and Spice: 1 tsp cacao powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Savory: 1 tbsp basil, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp ground sage
Smoke: 1 tbsp onion powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp chipotle powder
In a large soup pot, sauté all the vegetable matter in 2 tablespoons coconut oil, salt and pepper until vegetables are soft. Stir occasionally. Add the ground meat and spread evenly among the vegetable matter. Add “base” spices to the meat just after spreading it in the pan. If using cubed meat – sauté in a separate pan and add to pot once browned. Once meat is browned, add the diced tomatoes, and the tomato paste/tomato sauce (optional.) Stir well. Add additional spice “variation,” and more salt + pepper to taste and stir well. After mixture has cooked for about 3-5 minutes, add broth. Remember to add less or add more depending on the desired consistency. Let the chili simmer for 20-30 minutes. Taste and add more spices if desired.
What is your favorite kitchen sink chili variation? Share your combinations with me below!
Keepin’ it human,