Sure, your Dad’s chili was good and all, but it could have had a bit less beans and a ton more veggies, right? This large-batch Budget Basic Beef Chili stays true to the classic dish but bulks it up with the addition of affordable veggies that are available year-round.
Chili is a broke and busy gal’s best friend. Honestly. What is easier than a dump-in-a pot-and-go-dinner that is made from pantry staples and affordable produce? It can feed you for nearly a week. You don’t even need any cooking skills to get the maximum flavour from this dish. Like, it’s really hard to screw this one up I dare you to try, friends.
I know that it is Springtime and you may feel that chili is a winter dish. Well, that’s just not true! Saving money is in season all year long and chili can easily be made lighter as you prepare for prepping for bathing suit season. In the Spring I choose to top my beef chili with a simple sprinkling of green onions to make the dish more light and fresh rather than the heavy cheese and sour cream I tend to prefer in the winter. I also like to rotate what I serve my chili with. Some of my favourite options include toast, pasta, polenta, steamed cabbage and spinach. Yes! You can place your veggie-heavy chili on top of more veggies. Why ever not?!?!
As mentioned about a million times before, I am a huge fan of shopping for meat at a local Butcher’s rather than the big grocery stores (like here, here and here #BrokenRecord). I personally source my ground beef for less than $5.00 a pound and ground pork for about $3.00 a pound. This is a huge burden lifted off my grocery budget that can go to savings, outings and beer. Add the affordable meat to a mixture of pantry staples such as diced tomatoes and affordable veggies like carrots and green peppers, you have a fantastic and dependable dish that is easy on the budget.
Budgeting tip: Use your freezer like a savings account. This Budget Basic Beef Chili is a great large batch dish that freezes wonderfully. Freeze unused chili in individual servings for those days when you are dangerously low in your chequing account or just too lazy to get groceries. Your future self will thank you.
Budget Basic Beef Chili
- 1 ½ pound ground beef medium
- 1 cup yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3/4 cup carrots peeled and diced
- 1 cup green bell pepper veins and seeds removed and diced
- 1 cup red bell pepper veins and seeds removed and diced
- 2 jalapenos veins and seeds removed and diced
- 1 can diced tomatoes 796 ml
- 1 can tomato paste 156 ml
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup water
- chopped green onions for serving
- In medium-large dutch oven, brown and drain ground beef.
- Add onions and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add vegetables, canned goods, spices and water. Mix until well combined.
- Heat to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 45 minutes, checking every 15 minutes to stir. Add extra water in 1/4 cup increments if chili is too dry.
- Top with green onions and serve with toast or refer to serving suggestions below!