Top-Secret Chili Ingredients

Cooking How-To,How-To,Ingredient
February 14, 2012

Just plain tired of the same-old same-old chili? Here are a few top-secret ingredients that will put the spice back in your favorite chili in no time.

Mark Boughton/styling: Teresa Blackburn

Has your chili recipe lost its thrill? Do you find yourself looking at chili recipes you've never noticed before? Are you starting to think that maybe the chili on the other side of the stove just might be a little spicier?

Before you stray, try spicing up the chili you've already got with one of our top 10 secret ingredients. We guarantee one or all will put the life back in your bowl.

  1. Ground Pork: Instead of straight hamburger, try a half-and-half mix of ground pork and beef.
  2. Corn: Fresh or frozen corn kernels add a touch of sweetness and texture to chili.
  3. Cinnamon: Toss a single cinnamon stick into a simmering pot of chili.
  4. Chocolate: What chocolate does for mole sauce it will also do for your chili.
  5. Ale or Beer: Add a bottle of dark, bitter beer or ale for richer flavor.
  6. Masa Flour: Corn-based masa flour added the last 20 minutes or so will thicken and sweeten chili.
  7. Oregano: Nothing beats bland chili like a spicy oregano—fresh or dried.
  8. Black Beans: Black beans add fiber and flavor.
  9. Sriracha: When your chili needs a little heat, reach for the Sriracha.
  10. Molasses: Just a tablespoon or two is all you need to add rich malty sweetness to savory chili.

By Stacey Norwood, Relish Multimedia Editor

Chili with Black Beans and Beef

Serve this chili with shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, chopped fresh cilantro and nonfat sour cream for a deluxe version.

cherry chili

Dried Cherry Chili

Dried cherries add a faint sweet tempering to a robust turkey chili.

Chili with Corn and Beans

Chili is great to have on hand in the freezer, so make extra and feeze it in containers.


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