Whether you cook this up from scratch or brown your beef and throw it in the Crock-pot to simmer, this delicious and flavorful chili is easy to make and requires only four basic ingredients!
Updated: Original post from February 2019; photos updated May 2020.
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 peach salsa, savory red beans, and delicious spices.
But that’s the “after” photo, once everything is cooked and assembled.
Let me just show you the “before.”
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 six or 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 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
- February 15, 2019
- 30 min
- Print this
- For the chili:
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 2-3 tbsp chili powder
- 1 16-oz jar peach or mango salsa
- 1 16-oz can red kidney beans
- 2 slices cooked bacon, chopped
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- Step 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.
- Step 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.
- Step 3
- Serve as is or garnished with cheese, sour cream, avocado, or whatever your preference!
- Step 4
- Optional: Add the chopped bacon in with the beef for extra flavor. If the chili starts looking dry, add in a half cup of beef broth.
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.
Want some more great Home Front chili or hearty soup recipes? Try these also:
- Crock-pot Chicken Chili
- Black Bean Taco Chili
- Irish Beer Cheese Soup
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Loaded Baked Potato Soup
- Crock-pot Chicken Noodle Soup
What’s your favorite easy comfort food recipe?