Mom’s Ultimate Chili Recipe

Mom's chili recipe

My mom was the main cook in our house when I was young (and she spontaneously stopped cooking when I was in high school one year, never to be seen again) and she specialized in a handful or two of dishes she’d always rotate between. My dad traveled for several months each year, so mom was the go-to for most of our weeknight dinners and snacks. She cooks some absolutely delicious dishes, a few of which I’ve written about and/or recreated in the past (see her lasagna, chicken tofu, and shepherd’s pie in these posts) so as not to forget the meals of hers I loved. One of her most often cooked dinners growing up was chili: a simple and tasty crowd favorite that served our whole family with lots of leftovers—my favorite! My partner now makes my mom’s chili recipe whenever he wants to, so here’s a recreation of one of her most special dishes.


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 Portuguese sausage
  • 1/2 can beef broth
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cans pinto beans
  • 2 packets chili mix
  • Chili powder, cumin to taste
  • Hot dogs (optional)


  1. Cut onion in cubes or slices
  2. Slice Portuguese sausage into shapes of choice (we prefer thin half moon shapes)
  3. If adding hot dogs, cut them into thirds lengthwise
  4. Heat pan on medium-high and add oil of choice
  5. Sauté onions until translucent
  6. Add hamburger and fully cook
  7. Drain oil from pan when hamburger is pau cooking
  8. Pour stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, and chili seasoning packets into hamburger and onion mix and fully incorporate
  9. If chili needs more liquid, add additional stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beef broth; if chili is too runny, add tomato paste until thickened
  10. Dump beans, portuguese sausage, and hot dogs into pan
  11. Season chili with additional seasonings to taste (I always add more chili powder and cumin)
  12. Serve over rice (and corn if you’re an avid corn eater like me!), baked potatoes, taco salad, nachos, tortillas, etc.!

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