No longer Scott’s Chili

The chili recipe I inherited from my mom, I always knew as “Scott’s chili”. Even as I changed it, adding my own ingredients, as long as it kept the key ingredient – French’s chili seasoning (it had to be French’s according to my mom) – it was still “Scott’s chili”. Then one day I decided to make chili from scratch, seasoning and all, and realized I had my own recipe.

“Rebecca’s chili”?

I have no brand loyalty when it comes to canned food.


  • A package of some kind of ground meat or meat substitute. The original was ground beef. I’ve used turkey, buffalo, and Quorn.
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 can of chili beans, any flavor
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 can of water
  • 1 package of chopped onions – you could chop your own but do you really want to?
  • Chili seasoning

For the seasoning I used an Allrecipies recipe Chili Seasoning Mix I as the start and made some additions and subtractions. Of course every time I can never quite remember how I did it and I’m always trying to recreate the perfect seasoning I made my first try.

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • a sprinkle of cayenne pepper

Note that this recipe isn’t spicy at all… The allrecipies original had a teaspoon of cayenne so I just throw a little in trying to feel authentic. The original also had no chili powder, of all things, or cumin.


  1. Brown the meat in your chili pot and drain. In the case of turkey it’s more like “whitening” the meat. For fake meat you can just continue on to throwing everything together.
  2. Throw everything together in the pot – kidney beans drained, chili beans not drained, tomato sauce, a can of water using the same can, onions and seasoning. Mix it well and bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, covered.

One great thing about chili is that it’s totally customizable. Don’t like onions? Leave them out. They were my addition to begin with. More tomato? More peppers? Go for it. Then give it your own name because I won’t be eating it.

The other great thing about chili is it freezes, and reheats, very well. Put meal-sized portions into either a Ziploc freezer bag, or plastic container in the freezer. If you’re planning ahead, take it out the night before and it’ll be thawed for dinner. If you’re not planning ahead and need a mealdinner, run the container under hot water for a minute so the frozen block of chili will pop out, and then thaw and heat in the microwave or on the stove top.

  1. Betty says:

    Someone once told me when you try a new recipe, first you make it as written, then next you make it your own. Sounds like you’ve done that. Nothing better than a bowl of chili.

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