Sweet Remedy

Grandma’s Meat + Bean Chili

Grandma's Meat + Bean Chili | Sweet-Remedy.com

I grew up eating this hearty chili. There was always ground beef. There was always red beans. There was always, always a side of rice.

Sometimes this chili would be found housed inside a green bell pepper. Sometimes it would be by itself in a large piping hot pot.

Piping hot pot, say that 5 times fast…

This recipe comes from our family cookbook that was put together as a little gift for everyone at our family reunion in 2008. At that time, I didn’t appreciate food as much as I do now so none of my recipes will be found there. Now that I do cook, it’s great to have around to refer to when I need an old recipe that I’m accustomed to eating yet have no idea how to make. When I was younger you wouldn’t find in the kitchen with the grown ups.

The original recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of sugar. I get why you would add it, I just can never bring myself to do it. While I’m sure I’ve had the version with sugar added I never noticed a difference between the two dishes. I know, I know. The addition of the sugar brings out the flavors of the other foods and helps to tone down the spice but I like it spicy! Go ahead. Add sugar to your chili if you want. You either won’t notice or it will be better. Win/win?

The recipe is titled “Babe’s Chili” and when I saw that, I broke down into tears. I don’t really know why my Grandma’s nickname was Babe but seeing that name in writing brought back so many emotions that have been tucked away for quite some time.

I miss you, Grandma! I hope you don’t mind my additions of sour cream, chives and cheddar cheese. I think you would like it. I also think all of you will like this recipe. I have enjoyed it for at least 20 years!


Grandma's Meat + Bean Chili

Make this recipe a day in advance because chili is always better the longer it sits. Add a dollop of sour cream, cheddar cheese and chives to the top.

Yield: 6-8

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 15 min


1 lb ground beef
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 28 oz can tomato sauce
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
1 onion, chopped
2 14 oz can kidney beans


In a large pot, brown chop meat and drain fat.

Add tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes.

Mix garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, salt and chopped onion into tomato mixture.

Simmer on low for 45 minutes. Drain the kidney beans and add to the pot. Continue to simmer for another 15 minutes.

Optional: Serve with rice, shredded cheddar cheese and garlic bread.

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2 Responses to “Grandma’s Meat + Bean Chili”

  1. #
    Mom — December 9, 2013 at 10:03 am

    She was called Babe as she was named after her Mother. So to tell the difference she was Babe. And at the time, she was the baby of the family. Not for long. Great Grandma had 8 kids!! She would have loved your cooking!!

  2. #
    Amy @ Elephant Eats — December 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Any recipe that’s grandma’s HAS to be good. Grandma’s know what’s going on in the kitchen. This looks so yummy and perfect for these cold nights we’ve been having 🙂

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