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Chili Sin Carne

2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
1 medium onion -- chopped
1 large carrot -- minced or grated
1 red bell pepper -- chopped
salt -- to taste
1/4 cup pure ground chile powder (1/2 mild and 1/2 hot)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 garlic cloves -- minced or pressed
3/4 cup hot water
1 can crushed tomatoes - -- (28 oz)
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano -- preferably mexican
1 medium zucchini -- diced
1 1/2 cups cooked pinto or red beans (or one 15 oz can -- drained)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Heat the oil in a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until just about tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the carrot. red pepper. and some salt and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes. Add the chile powder and cumin and cook, until the mixture begins to stick to the pan. Add the garlic and stir together for about 30 seconds. Add the water and stir together for a minute or two, until the mixture is thick. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, and zucchini. Add salt to taste. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes. Stir often, since the chili tends to stick. Stir in the beans, taste, and adjust seasonings. Set aside until ready to serve. Just before serving, bring back to a simmer and stir in the cilantro. Serve with corn bread or corn tortillas This recipe yields 4 servings.



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