Gluten Free, Food Allergy Friendly Best Chili and Beans Recipe

 Hello July!  Today is officially the first day of summer in our home.  With a new schedule that includes swimming lessons, library educational programs, reading logs, play dates, parties and school homework, (Oh yes! Each of my kids have a thick packet of assigned work and even website activities to be graded once school starts.) cooking will be quite a challenge. Can you relate?
For sure, nobody wants to be stuck in the kitchen especially when the weather is beautiful right? I don’t know about your kids but mine seem to have bottomless pits when they are home.  As in every 30 minutes they are looking for something to eat! No wonder I barely can keep up with the demand.

In times like this, I rely on recipes that can be cooked once and have versatile uses.  One of my lifesavers is this delicious Chili and Beans.  If you don’t feel like watching it on the stove for an hour or so, definitely use that Crock Pot you’ve been hiding in your closet.  To use this method, simply sauté the garlic and onions and let the meat brown first on the stove before mixing it with the rest of the ingredients in the slow cooker. Then let it do its thing for 6 hours on the low setting.  It’s that easy.

You may also notice that this recipe is quite a big batch. Don’t be afraid to make the whole thing.  I often transfer this chili in small containers and keep it handy in the freezer.  So versatile, you can also serve this chili over pasta, on top of nachos, as a dip for  chips and sliced veggies and of course, as an  excellent topper to hotdogs and burgers. Whether you have a big family such as mine, love to entertain or just too busy to cook everyday, give this one a try.  I’m sure you’ll love this as much as I love it.

Happy cooking and have a great summer!

(This post contains affiliate links.)



5 lbs. ground beef (you can also use pork and turkey combination)
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. garlic minced
1 1/2 cups onion chopped
3 pcs. bay leaf
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 1/2 Tbs. Simply Organic Chili Powder
1 Tbs. garlic powder
2 Tbs. sea salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbs. dried oregano
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 cup cognac (optional)
2 15 oz. cans beans (I used cannellini)
1 Tbs. sriracha or hot sauce (this amount is for a kid friendly version, you can definitely add more if you like)
2 Tbs. mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy life) *

1. In a big Dutch oven or pot, heat the oil and sauté the minced garlic and onions for about 2 minutes or until the onions become translucent.
2. Add the ground meat and cook until brown.  Stir occasionally to make sure the meat is cooked evenly.
3. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and cognac. Mix and let the alcohol evaporate for about 5 minutes.
4. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and oregano.
5. Add the beans and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil.
6. Once the mixture comes to a boil, add the chocolate and mix until melted.
7. Let the chili simmer for at least 40 minutes.  The longer you simmer it, the better (about 2 hours).
8. Just before serving, mix the Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce.
9. Enjoy!

* If you are not dairy free, you can use 3 pcs. of Hershey’s kisses.


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