Happy National Chili Day!

What could be better on a cold winter day than chili and sitting under a blanket? Hopefully, this recipe is less complicated than other ones I’ve shared on SweatpantsAndCoffee. It should allow you plenty of time under a blanket in front of the tv on a cold afternoon. I call this recipe red chili because I use only red bell peppers and red onion. I used to use all kidney beans but my kids hated that. So long as you have 4 cans of beans, use whatever type you prefer. I also used to make it with Killian’s Irish Red Lager, but choose whatever beer you like. I always use beer I like, so I can open an extra and drink while I cook.

For real spice I always use Habanero or Scotch Bonnet peppers. I like them because their fruitiness goes well with the red bell peppers. It is great to throw these in during the long simmer to pull their full flavor into the chili. But you may want to keep them as a garnish for those who can tolerate them. That way people with gentler stomachs can enjoy this dish as well. Be careful working with Habaneros, they can bite you. I wear disposable food handler gloves, or cover my hands with a sandwich bag, when I cut them. This is not a joke.

Grab a can opener and bottle opener for this Red Chili!


  • 3 Tablespoons of oil or butter
  • 1 ½ pounds of chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces, or use ground chicken
  • 1 large red onion, chopped fine
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped fine
  • 2-15.5 oz cans black beans
  • 1-15.5 oz can pinto beans
  • 1-15.5 oz can kidney beans
  • 1-15.5 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2-15.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • One bag frozen corn
  • 6 Tablespoons of your favorite chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 bottle or can of your favorite beer
  • 1 or 2 habanero peppers (Optional), diced very fine, added to your heat tolerance


  • Cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Diced red onions


Pour oil into a large stockpot and turn to medium high heat. Cook the chicken pieces, or ground chicken in the pot until done. Turn heat down to medium and add diced red onion. Cook until softened. Then simply add all the other ingredients. Bring to a simmer and turn heat to low. Allow to simmer for a few hours to desired thickness. Add extra water if it becomes too thick.

Dish out and serve with desired garnish and corn bread. (I use tried and true, Jiffy cornbread mix.)

Leslie Gayle

Leslie is a one time CPA, wife and mom of twins. She’s an over thinker who loves karate, thunder, and travel. Her sweatpants are yoga pants and she takes her coffee with milk.

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