Easy Four Ingredient Beef Chili

Sometimes in our lives, we need the complex and artful recipes, where ingredients are individually parsed and sauteed in butter and bourbon before being carefully assembled in a way that brings out the nuances of their flavor.

Other times, we’re exhausted just typing that sentence and we just want to throw a bunch of stuff in a pot and have magic happen so we can call it dinner.

This recipe, my friends, is for the latter of those times.

I find myself there a lot, especially after a long day at work accompanied by a tough workout compounded by carrying my lovely but ever growing son around and being confronted by a house that seems to spawn more clutter no matter how many bags of stuff I take to Goodwill.

So yeah, I might be a foodie, I might be an amateur chef, I might be capable of some amazing things, but there are many days where I just want to throw a bunch of stuff in a pot and call it dinner.

Chili is a beautiful way to make that happen.

This chili is one of our favorites. It’s a combination of ground beef, sweet mango, savory red beans, and delicious spices. I add to the sweet by dressing mine up with avocado slices. Bonus points for superfoods.

That’s the “after.” Here’s how it starts out.


Seriously, this is it. Throw these things in a pot, stir them up, and you get to call it dinner and it looks and tastes amazing.

I came up with this recipe by accident about seven years ago when I was pawing tiredly through the pantry in search of tomato sauce.

It was cold and nasty outside and I wanted the comfort of a bowl of savory chili loaded with chili spice, cheese, and sour cream. No tomato sauce.

Instead, I found a can of peach and mango salsa and thought, you know, what the hell? Salsa has tomatoes in it.

Better than that, salsa also has onions, peppers, spices, and lots of other tasty things you usually want to put in beef chili anyway, and they’re already sliced, diced, and ready to go!

The result was magic.

To this day, it’s one of our favorite chili recipes.

I hope it helps you whip together some much needed comfort food on a day where you don’t have any patience for cooking but still want something savory and delicious. We all have those days.

Easy Four Ingredient Beef Chili

Serves 4.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2-3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 16-oz jar sweet mango salsa
  • 1 16-oz can dark red kidney beans

How to Make It:

1. Place the ground beef in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Break it up with a large wooden spoon and stir and flip occasionally to ensure the beef browns throughout. Let the beef brown about 5-7 minutes. Drain off the excess fat and juices.

2. Turn heat to low and add the chili powder, mango salsa, and kidney beans. Stir to combine and let simmer about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is nicely combined.

3. Serve as is or garnished with cheese, sour cream, avocado, or whatever your preference!

I like serving mine up alongside either biscuits or cornbread with butter and honey. While fresh is best, add a little good butter and honey and you won’t care that you zapped it in the microwave.

I think this goes beyond Ina Garten’s “if you don’t have it fresh, store bought is okay,” but honestly, don’t we all have some of those store bought days?

Maybe Ina Garten doesn’t.

But if you’re one of the rest of the mortal world who needs a break, you’re welcome to leave the dream world and join me in mine for a little hearty chili, a beer, and some good talk.

What’s your favorite easy comfort food recipe?

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