Western Chili Western Chili

Western Chili | Food styling by Heather Shaw | Prop styling by Laura Branson Image by: Jeff Coulson

All you'll need to make this classic dish is some ground beef, a couple of onions and some pantry staples (including a spoonful of cocoa powder, which adds flavour and a deep reddish-brown colour). Serve with your choice of sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro and, for nostalgia, chopped cucumber. For a more modern touch, swap out cucumber for chopped avocado.

  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Total time 1 hour & 30 minutes
  • Portion size 8 servings



In Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook onions and garlic, stirring frequently, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes.

Add cumin; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beef; cook, stirring and breaking up with spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, breaking up with spoon.

Stir in chili powder, oregano, sugar, paprika, cocoa powder, salt, pepper and bay leaf; bring to boil. Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Discard bay leaf.

Stir in beans; cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Reheat before serving.)

Change it up: Slow Cooker Western Chili

Decrease oil to 1 tbsp; heat in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook beef, stirring and breaking up with spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to slow cooker. Stir in 1 can (156 mL) tomato paste and remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Nutritional facts per serving: about

  • Fibre 6 g
  • Sodium 688 mg
  • Sugars 6 g
  • Protein 27 g
  • Calories 360.0
  • Total fat 20 g
  • Potassium 754 mg
  • Cholesterol 67 mg
  • Saturated fat 7 g
  • Total carbohydrate 19 g


  • Iron 34.0
  • Folate 20.0
  • Calcium 8.0
  • Vitamin A 12.0
  • Vitamin C 30.0
Share X
Lunch & Dinner

Western Chili