As the cooler days of fall are upon us, a few things come to mind: sweaters, football, and chili! This affordable and satisfying meal will be sure to impress your friends.
With the deep, meaty flavor and the fragrant pepper and spices, nobody will ever know how quick and easy it is to prepare this meal. Make it a day ahead and let the flavors come together even more, leaving you plenty of time to get comfy for the big game or to chat with your date.
Total cost: $9.63
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 pound ground beef ($2.49)
- 1 medium red onion, peeled and finely chopped, (reserve two tablespoons for service) ($.79)
- 1 small red pepper, seeds and white pith removed, diced ($.69)
- 1 small yellow bell pepper, seeds and white pith removed, diced ($1.69)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes ($1.49)
- ½ cup water
- One 15-ounce can red kidney beans. drained and rinsed ($1.19)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons sour cream (optional) ($1.29)
- Parsley or cilantro, chopped (optional)
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat and cook the ground beef until done. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside. Pour out most of the oil, leaving a little to cook the onions and peppers in. Over medium-low heat, cook the onion until translucent. Add the red and yellow peppers and continue to cook until they are slightly soft. Add the cumin, cinnamon, oregano, and cayenne and stir for a moment over the heat. Add the vinegar and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan (this is all flavor).
Add the meat to the pot and stir in the crushed tomatoes. Rinse can with the water and add it along with the kidney beans to the pot. Cook over low heat for about 25 minutes, stirring from time to time. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, adding salt, freshly ground black pepper, and more cayenne if you like a spicier chili.
To serve, spoon into bowls, and top with spoonfuls of the sour cream and the reserved chopped red onion, if desired. Top with freshly chopped parsley or cilantro if you have some available.