dinnerAmber Gohn

Chili from Scratch

dinnerAmber Gohn
Chili from Scratch

Trying to come up with a recipe for this episode is tough because no two batches of chili that ChefBrent makes are ever quite the same. That said, there are some basic ingredients and techniques that are always the same. Start with these steps and then make it your own! 

You won't need anything more than a trusty Dutch oven for this one. You can also get by with a stockpot but the thermal qualities of a cast iron Dutch oven are perfect for this type of cooking!


Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron Dutch Oven

Cheffy B's Chili from Scratch


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 lbs. ground meat (turkey, chicken, or beef work fine)
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup chili powder (homemade from dried chilis is best)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (24 oz.) jar tomato passata (tomato puree works fine but it's not as good!)
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans red kidney beans 


  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until it shimmers. Add onions, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and half the salt. Cook until the onions have softened, about 6-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so.
  2. Add the ground meat and increase the heat to medium-high. Break the meat into small pieces as it cooks. Cook until no longer pink in the middle. Depending on the meat you're using this should take about 8-10 minutes. If you're using a fattier cut of meat you may want to drain off some of the excess fat before continuing.
  3. Add the tomatoes, the passata, and the kidney beans to the Dutch oven and bring everything to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook covered for about an hour.
  4. Remove the lid.  This is the point at which you may need to begin making adjustments to the chili. Maybe it needs more salt. It might not have enough chili powder. Maybe you have a secret ingredient you want to add? Feel free to tweak the mixture at this point but whatever you do, cook it for another 45 minutes uncovered.
  5. Serve with sour cream, cheese, hot sauce, etc. for garnish. In this show we made a small sweet potato hash as a crispy topping. Again, make it your own!