What do we want? CHILI! When do we want it? NOW!
It's 45 degrees and raining. You just pulled in the driveway after work, and Monday Night Football is less than an hour away. You need chili in a hurry. The solution? Check out these quick and easy chili recipes you can get on the table in 30 minutes or less.
Tips for Prepping and Serving Chili
Before you get started, check out a few easy tips for prepping and serving chili.
- Whether you're using canned tomatoes or freshly chopped tomatoes, they're going to release moisture as the chili starts to cook. Your chili will become increasingly soupy as this happens. With enough simmer time, the chili will cook back down and thicken up, but if you don't have that much time, try adding a teaspoon of masa flour about 10 minutes prior to serving time. Scoop out a little of the chili liquid, mix it with the masa flour to create a slurry, and stir it back into the pot. The masa will thicken the chili and add flavor to boot. You can find masa flour online or in grocery stores.
- Garnish, garnish, garnish! Some freshly chopped cilantro, tomatoes, or jalapeños will put your chili over the top.
- Try serving in single-serving, oven-safe crocks or ramekins. Add a layer of shredded cheese and broil until the cheese is melted, then sprinkle with chopped green onions or cilantro if you're feeling fancy.
- If you like your chili to pack a punch, be kind to those who don't and serve with sour cream or plain yogurt to cut the heat.
- Just for fun, try serving thick chili with sturdy corn chips instead of a spoon for scooping. Or just go all the way and use leftover chili to make a terrific batch of nachos. You can also top a baked potato with a scoop of chili for hearty, simple meal.
- Prefer crackers with your chili? Did you know that crackers are light-sensitive? True story. Store them in an opaque container, and they'll keep much longer.
10 Quick and Easy Chili Recipes Ready in 30 Minutes or Less
1. Betsy's Black Bean Chili | Ready in 30 minutes
2. Unbelievably Easy and Delicious Vegetarian Chili | Ready in 15 minutes
In a parallel universe, there's already an Allrecipes roundup titled, "Quick and Easy Vegetarian Recipes that Meat Eaters Just Love." And this chili recipe is the lead recipe. Seriously.
Commentor GAPETERS1 knows what's up. "Let me start by saying that I am *NOT* a vegetarian. I made this for my book club (vegetarians and non) last night and they LOVED it."
3. Cha Cha's White Chicken Chili | Ready in 30 minutes
If you're looking for a fresh and different take on chili, look no further. All the reviewers agree that this recipe is HOT, so if you want to cut down on spice, take a tip from recipe originator Cathy and substitute mild green chilis for jalapeños.
4. Jeff's Hot Dog Chili | Ready in 30 minutes
This chili is especially engineered to make chili dogs, with a slightly sweet traditional chili-dog flavor. This is a great recipe for tailgating. According to reviewers, you can make this recipe thicken up quickly by reducing the amount of added water.
5. Pumpkin Turkey Chili | Ready in 30 minutes
Here's a neat way to eat pumpkin for people who might otherwise be shy about it: spike your turkey chili with it! Don't tell your kids, but it works with pureed spinach, too (*wink).
Allrecipes user hallhouse—in agreement with a numbers of reviewers—likes the opportunity to expand on this pumpkin chili: "This is a great recipe to build on. I added black beans, corn, cumin, an extra can of tomatoes, and extra chili powder. My family loved it."
6. Smoky Vegan Chili | Ready in 30 minutes
We love the smoky taste of chipotle in adobo, and we also love the avocado garnish added in the photo below by Allrecipes Allstar Buckwheat Queen.
7. Casablanca Chili | Ready in 25 minutes
Seekers of novelty need look no further. Bring this quirkily delicious recipe to a chili cook off and challenge the judges' belief systems. Once you've had a spoonful of this nontraditional recipe that includes peanut butter, mango chutney, and lime juice, you'll think twice about turning back to your old-familiar chili recipes.
Allrecipes user MAD4CUISINE nails it: "With ingredients like these I had to try it—and have been raving about it ever since. It has a most unique flavor that is very impressive wherever you take it. Great flavor and surprising heat!"
8. Quick Chili | Ready in 20 minutes
This is the quintessential fast-and-easy chili recipe. Twenty minutes and you have the real deal on the table. Rock_lobster serves it with Fritos and waxes poetic: "Quick Chili Haiku: Basic as it gets. With so few ingredients, used good quality."
9. Fifteen Minute Chicken Chili | Ready in 15 minutes
Just 15 minutes for a nutritious protein- and fiber-loaded meal that can be easily spiced up to your tastes. Recipe creator Jean Carper says, "The foods in this easy recipe are powerhouses of nutrition. Why this recipe is good for you: High antioxidants in tomatoes, corn and beans; high fiber in beans; low in fat (20% of calories from fat); beans help suppress blood sugar rises and may help combat diabetes and heart disease." Chili that loves you back? Sounds good to us!
10. Cheater's Chicken Chili | Ready in 25 minutes
Don't feel guilty about using rotisserie chicken from the grocery store in this quick chicken chili. It makes this recipe come together quickly, and is a great compromise for couples like Miss Mariko and her boyfriend. She says, "My boyfriend's top favourite food is chili, but I really don't enjoy it much. We compromised on making a chicken chili instead, and he very much enjoyed this recipe."
Did You Know? A Brief History of Chili
Legend has it, the first chili recipe came from Sister Mary of Agreda, a 17th-century Spanish nun who never left her convent but had out-of-body experiences preaching Christianity in the New World. At the end of one such episode, her spirit returned from across the Atlantic and wrote down the original recipe for chili, using venison, peppers, tomatoes, and onions. Recipes with otherworldly origin stories don't exist for no reason — they're just bound to be good.