Spicy Chili Base

In the middle of National Barbecue Month, it’s time to clean up the fridge and make room for more. With the weather still iffy this time of year, a pot of chili can warm the house and you, as well as opening up space for more cooking.

I call this the chili base, as the meat I add when I make it really depends on what I have around. This is proper, bean free chili as well. You may not like it this hot, but with noodles and meat, the heat does mellow.

You will also note the only spices used are paprika and salt. I wanted to try my hand without a mix or a kit, and I think you’ll agree that chili powder and lots of spices aren’t needed for this flavorful treat. In this particular version, I used what I had in the fridge and freezer to make room, so it’s pretty inclusive. Left over smoked tri tip, ground lamb and pork, hot sausage, and ground chuck and sirloin. A little heavy on the meat, actually, but I needed the room. Feel free to add whatever you have, and remember if using leftovers, the sauces and rubs on the meat with only add to the chili flavor.

Spicy Chili Base

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Spicy Chili Base


  • 2 large onions, one sliced one diced
  • 2 Anaheim peppers, diced
  • 4 Serrano peppers, diced
  • 2 Habanero peppers, diced
  • 1 28oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 14 ounce cans of diced tomatos and chilis
  • 1 12 ounce can of diced tomatoes and habaneros
  • 1 36 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes.
  • 1/2 cup smoked paprika
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 or more pounds of meat of your choice.


  1. Slice and dice all of your veggies, and split them into 2 even piles. Leave the canned tomatoes alone for now.
  2. Brown your meats in a large frying pan and set meat to the side, but keep the grease in the pan
  3. Slow cook half the veggies in the grease until soft, about 10 minutes. In theory, they should absorb some of the flavor, adding to the deliciousness of the dish.
  4. In a large stock pot, add Half of the canned diced tomatoes and tomatoes with peppers, and bring to a simmer. When simmering, add your now cooked veggies, and stir, allow it to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the stock pot from heat, and using an immersion blender, blend the veggies until no chunks remain.
  6. Put this back on the heat, then add the other half of your veggies, and tomatoes, and bring to a simmer.
  7. Add the meat to the simmering sauce, stir, and check consistency. I added some extra tomato sauce to thin it down, as well as a beer.
  8. Once it is simmering again, add your smoked paprika, and allow to simmer 30 minutes.
  9. At this point, check for consistency again. If it coats the back of a spoon, it's good to go.



  • Chili is an individual dish, and really open to interpretation. Fresh veggies really help bring out flavors, but this is a great way to use up leftovers
  • This blend is fairly hot, but flavorful. I find some people just like to push heat without flavor, but this is full of both


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