{Recipe} – Grandpa’s Chili

One of my favorite memories growing up is of my grandpa making his “famous” chili. He’s never entered it into any contests by any means – but in our family, it truly is famous. And delicious.Β I’ve made it twice so far this year, first for the Superbowl and now I’m making it during spring break in New Jersey for Mike’s parents. I guess it’s about time I posted about it.

This is my first real tutorial, so I can’t promise it will be the best, but I’m learning and I will do my best πŸ™‚ Also, the recipe isn’t 100% exact – it’s something you may want to adjust based on your own taste preferences. But I’ll tell you as best as I can how I make it – and hopefully if you try it, you like it too! Also {sidenote} – when I made it for the Superbowl, I was able to snap some great pics using my DSLR camera. Here in NJ, I didn’t bring my camera so I’ve just got my iPhone. So you’ll probably see a mix of the two. Alright? Here we go:

Grandpa's Chili Recipe


  • 1 pound of ground beef (use more if you’re feeding a larger number of people, or if you just like more meat in your chili)
    • When I made it for the Superbowl, we actually used ground turkey for a healthier option, and it turned out wonderful!
    • Here in NJ, I’m using 1.5 pounds of ground beef since there’s more of us who will be eating
    • You could also omit meat completely for a vegetarian option, and supplement with more beans, etc.
  • 1 – 8oz can of tomato sauce
    • You’ll want to use more if you’re using more meat, or if you want your chili to be more liquidy. I used an 8oz can and a 15oz can. Again, you will want to adjust based on your preferences. Also, the more liquid you add, the more seasonings you’ll want to add, too.
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
    • I use an 8oz can because Mike’s not a huge fan of tomatoes.
  • 2 cans of chili beans (or kidney beans, or whatever kind of beans you like!)
  • 1.5 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Garlic Powder (to taste)
    • I don’t have a specific amount, but if I had to estimate I would say at least 1.5 teaspoons.
  • Splash of cider vinegar
    • Again, not specific, I just eyeball it. But if I had to estimate I would say maybe a tablespoon or two, no more than that.

Grandpa's Chili Ingredients - AnchoredinCLE.com


  1. Brown the meat & season with a little garlic powder, salt, pepper, and a hint of chili pepper (if you like).
  2. Combine tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chili beans, meat, and seasonings into a nice big pot. For the garlic, I sprinkle a nice thin layer over the whole pot. If you’re not sure, I would recommend starting with a small amount because you can always taste & add more to your liking later on.
  3. Add the splash of cider vinegar. Then, stir everything together and cover with a lid.
  4. Let it simmer on a low heat for a couple of hours. General rule of thumb: the longer it simmers, the better it will taste. The flavors will have more time to mingle. You could also make this in a crock pot (which we did when we made our turkey version for the Superbowl). We kept it on low and let it cook all day.
  5. Stir occasionally. Check seasonings & add more if needed, to taste. I generally add more of both chili powder & paprika, and sometimes garlic if it needs it. Continue to let simmer until you are ready to eat.
  6. Serve with chopped onions, shredded cheese, sour cream, crackers, tortillas, or whatever else you prefer to top it with. Fritos, perhaps?

Grandpa's Chili Instructions - AnchoredinCLE.com

And Voila! It’s a pretty basic recipe, but it turns out so good. And you can do so many variations with this, including playing with ingredients, seasonings, and toppings… but this is our tried-and-true recipe that we generally stick to! My mom likes to put Fritos in her bowl though. Here’s how I did up mine:

Grandpa's Chili Final Product - AnchoredinCLE.com
{Our chili from Superbowl Sunday.}
Grandpa's Chili Final Product 2 - AnchoredinCLE.com
{From our NJ go at it.}

Onions, cheese, and sour cream please!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and maybe even want to try it out! If so, let me know how it turns out πŸ™‚


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