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Easy Pre-Thanksgiving One Pot Meal: Beef, Poblano and Pinto Chili

Whenever we have a rainy fall day [and if you live anywhere near me, we've had our fair share of these!], one of my go to dishes is chili. Like most of my recipes, I generally just throw things together on the fly and don’t do much in the way of measuring, simply because I know what they should look and taste like. Chili is definitely something that’s difficult to get wrong.  Basically, the longer you cook it, the better it gets [and don't skimp on the spices!]  If my slow cooker worked properly [it’s been on the fritz for ages], I’d just throw everything in there and leave it all afternoon to cook, but sorting out a chili on the stove isn’t hard at all!

Normally I use a jalepeno pepper, but I saw poblanos at the grocery, and wanted to try it out.  Aside from the pepper and some of the toppings [I don’t normally keep sorcery or cheese in the house since they can be dangerous ingredients here!], I’d normally have everything on hand in my pantry or fridge.  Chili is unbelievably satisfying and great for big groups. There was just three of us eating the night I made this, but we had plenty of leftovers for the following day. You can even do an epic chili nachos recipe using the leftovers from this! If you’re not wanting to do much in the way of cooking pre-thanksgiving, this recipe is a great one to throw together on a Sunday [perfect for football watching!] and have in the fridge for a few days leading up to the big day!

Beef, Poblano and Pinto Chili

  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 16oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 16oz. can pinto beans
  • 1 poblano pepper, finely diced [grill your pepper for an extra boost of flavor!]
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil [or olive oil works just as well!]
  • Salt and Fresh ground pepper to taste [salt will depend on how much salt is in your chili powder, hence why I don’t recommend a specific amount!]
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder [I use Mexi
  • 2 teaspoons dried aleppo chili powder [it’s not spicy, but smokey, so if you can’t find this, try a small amount of chipotle powder and add depending on your taste preference]
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch/flour [this is an alternative to using cornstarch, but of course cornstarch is much more commonly used, so feel free to sub in that!]
  • 1.5-2 cups water, with 4 tablespoons reserved [if you prefer a thicker chili, go with less water, but the arrowroot will thicken up the chili!]

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Salute onion and garlic until translucent [2-3 minutes]. Add the ground beef and raise heat to medium high, gently combining the ingredients. Cook until meat is browned [2-3 minutes]. Add the poblano pepper and stir to combine. Add all the seasonings, sprinkling to properly distribute. Cook another minute, then add the tomatoes and water and bring to a boil. Combine the reserved 4 tablespoons water with arrowroot until it forms a slurry. While the chili is boiling, add the slurry and stir to combine. Add the pinto beans, reduce the heat to low. Partially cover, and cook for 10-30 minutes [the longer it cooks the deeper the flavors become], stirring occasionally. 

While the chili is cooking, prep your toppings [the BEST part!]:

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese [freshly grated is best!]
  • 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream [or you can use greek yogurt for a healthy alternative]
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped baby spinach [great way to bulk up your chili and add another healthy touch!]
  • 1-2 avocados [depending on how much you like] lightly mashed with some lemon juice [to keep it green], salt and pepper to taste
  • chips! [I served up sweet potato tortilla chips this time, and they’re FANTASTIC! Fritos, or just your standard tortilla chip work just as well!]

Chili can freeze well [just cool it to room temperature and place in ziplock bags], but it’s best served immediately, doused in plenty of toppings! Serves 4-6, and the recipe doubles very easily. I can't say enough how much I love chili at this time of year.  I've been doing quite a lot of cooking lately, but when I'm busy and just not up for cooking dinner nightly, this recipe is about as good as it gets!