Dad’s Southern Homemade Chili Recipe
Dad’s Southern Homemade Chili Recipe
My dad has been making this Southern Homemade Chili recipe for as long as I can remember, and it is the BEST. It’s a little sweet, a little spicy, and a whole lotta GOOD. This southern style chili always wins the Halloween chili cook-off at church, and I can’t imagine getting through the Fall season without it– it’s pure comfort food!
Try pairing this homemade chili with our Honey Buttermilk Cornbread.
Main Ingredients & Supplies
- tomato sauce
- ground beef or ground turkey
- diced tomatoes
- chili powder
- brown sugar
- sour cream
- cheddar cheese
- lime wedges
Cook & Carry Slow Cooker
Caraway Nonstick Dutch Oven Pot
What’s the Secret to Making Good Chili?
There are three important components to making any batch of chili worth obsessing over:
I get a lot of hate for this one, but I LOVE a sweet chili with a little bit of heat behind it. This recipe calls for 1/2 cup to 1 cup of brown sugar. Every batch of chili is a little different, so you may find that you want to add more or less sugar depending on the balance of flavors that could vary slightly depending on the meat and the sauce you use.
A great chili must have BIG pieces of meat. Both ground turkey and ground beef work well in this recipe. Just be sure that you don’t process the meat too much while you’re browning it. If the pieces of meat are too small, it feels like you’re eating chili that’s supposed to go on top of a hot dog instead of in a bowl– no bueno.
The very very BEST batches of chili are made several hours ahead of serving, which gives all the flavors enough time to come together and develop. On a busy weeknight, I sometimes make this on the stovetop and serve it right away. It’s still fine, and the leftovers are excellent the next day. But if I can plan ahead, I really prefer making this in a slow cooker and letting it simmer on low all day.
What Makes Texas (Southern) Chili Different?
The most distinguishing feature of a Southern Chili recipe (sometimes called Texas Chili) is the lack of beans. This is an all beef chili.
You may be thinking… but isn’t that just glorified tomato sauce? Maybe. But add the sour cream, sharp cheddar cheese, and a pile of Fritos to the bowl, and I promise you it’s a full meal you won’t regret!
Dad's Southern Homemade Chili Recipe
My dad has been making this Southern Homemade Chili recipe for as long as I can remember, and it is the BEST. It's a little sweet, a little spicy, and a whole lotta GOOD. This southern style chili always wins the Halloween chili cook-off at church, and I can't imagine getting through the Fall season without it-- it's pure comfort food!
- 3 lbs ground turkey or ground beef
- 56 ounces tomato sauce (2 x 28 ounce cans)
- 1/2cup -1 cup brown sugar, to taste
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp chili powder or to taste
- 2 tsp garlic powder or to taste
- 2 tsp onion powder or to taste
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large dutch oven or soup pot, brown the meat, leaving large chunks.
- Drain the fat, and pat the ground meat with a paper towel to soak up any excess grease.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients (start with the minimum listed measurements) and stir to combine.
- Bring mixture to a simmer, and taste test the chili. Add more brown sugar or seasonings as desired.
- Allow to simmer on the stovetop (on low) or in a slow cooker (on low) for up to 5 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Serve with sour cream, cheddar, Fritos, and a wedge of lime if desired.
Makes great leftovers and freezes well!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 625Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 193mgSodium: 1247mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 4gSugar: 30gProtein: 50g
Our Go-To Family Dinners
Anytime we get together as an extended family for a meal, odds are we’re going to be eating my Dad’s chili or one of these meals.
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