The inspiration for this recipe came from Debdoozie's Blue Ribbon Chili. It's a great recipe that over 80,000 people have downloaded and over 1,300 have reviewed. Here's a link to her original recipe.
I tweaked the original version to make a bigger pot of chili, reduce the fat by using leaner ground beef, and make it heartier and zestier by using more beans, more onions, more chili seasoning, and more salsa. You can make her recipe in just an hour on the stovetop, but I like to let it simmer in my crock pot on low for several hours. I get raves every time I make it!
3 pounds lean (93%) ground beef (could use turkey but I prefer the texture and taste of beef)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp garlic salt (you can make your own using 1 part garlic powder to 3 parts salt, store in a spice jar)
4 1/2 cups tomato sauce
24 ounce jar Medium chunky salsa (I have substituted original Rotel for some of the salsa, if I didn't have enough on hand-not bad!)
2 packages 30% Less Sodium Chili Seasoning
3 cans dark red kidney beans, drain liquid
3 cans light red kidney beans, drain liquid
Light Sour Cream
Shredded cheddar or cheddar/jack
In a large frying pan or electric skillet, brown the ground beef (seasoned with a little salt, pepper, and 2 TBSP of the chili seasoning) and the onions. Cook til beef is no longer pink and onions are tender. Drain excess fat. While beef is browning, pour all other ingredients into a large crockpot (mine is 7 quarts, I think), and set heat to Low. Stir in beef and onions. Cover and cook for 3-4 hours. Stir occasionally, as beans will sometimes stick. Taste chili about halfway through cooking time, adding more seasoning if desired, according to your family's taste. I like to serve it garnished with a little shredded cheese, a dollop of light sour cream and a few fritos, but it's also great served with cornbread. Perfect dish for a cold night, game day or Potluck. Enjoy!