My 18-year-old brother, Elias, and I love many of the same things: music (think pop, classic rock and hip-hop), being active outdoors (skiing and hiking) and traveling to wonderful and scenic new places.

We do, however, have very different ideas about what constitutes a great meal and vary on the different flavors that we love or dislike. One of the dishes we can ALWAYS agree upon is also one of the easiest and versatile dishes to create: chili.

Whether you are eating a huge steaming bowl of its meaty goodness after skiing up at Stevens Pass or on a camping trip, or even at home with family or friends, chili is a hit. You can dress it up anyway you like, with toppings like cheddar cheese, sour cream or crème fraîche, sliced scallions or onions, jalapeños and avocado, making it as simple or fancy or spicy as you desire.

It’s the perfect go-to dish for cold winter nights and some of us, not to mention names (Elias!), love to reheat it for breakfast.



Large heavy-bottomed pot
Soup bowls

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 pound lean ground beef (at least 90%)
2 ½ tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (for those who want it spicy!)
1 ½ cups beef broth
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 16-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed with water
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce


  1. Over medium heat, warm the olive oil in your pot for about two minutes. Add in your onions and let them sweat for four to five minutes while stirring.
  2. Add in your ground beef and cook until the meat is browned, about five to six minutes.
  3. Add in chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper and optional cayenne, and stir them until they’re combined with your beef and onions. Add in the tomato paste.
  4. Add your beef broth, diced tomatoes, beans and tomato sauce. Gently stir to combine all the ingredients.
  5. Turn up the heat to bring the chili to a gentle boil. Once you reach boiling, turn down the heat to low/medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes to allow all the flavors to merge and the chili to thicken.
  6. Let the chili sit off the heat for five to 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with whatever ingredients strike your fancy!