Weeknight Chili

Boots standing on fall leaves
Ah, Fall.  It’s my favorite season.  I know, I know, Summer gets so much love.  And Spring’s a close second.  But for me?  Fall is where it’s at.  Maybe it’s different where you live.  But here?  Fall is the bomb.  Yeah, I said it.  I know, I know — the 90’s called and they want their word back. But I don’t care.  I’ll say it again.  Fall. Is. The. Bomb.
Why?  Glad you asked.  Let me answer your question with a question – what’s not to love about fall?  Cool, crisp air after all those sweaty days of August.  Clothes?  Wear, what you want!  Short sleeves? Long sleeves? Jeans? Shorts?  It’s all fine!
It’s just that kind of weather.  Blue skies, colored leaves.  That feeling that anything is possible.  What did they say in You’ve Got Mail?  Fall is like  “bouquets of newly sharpened pencils.” All around I love fall.
Fall sunset with trees
4 pm sunset? Definitely need a warm filling dinner!
Plus, I’m not gonna lie.  And other mommas will agree with me.  Kids going back to school is one of the top things to love about fall (That and putting away those body-shaming bathing suits. Bleh.)  By the end of August my kids and I are sick to death of each other.
I mean, love ’em to death but every relationship needs space to breathe, to grow, to miss.  And August?  It’s got no space.  The kids and I are on top of each other.  In mid-August I start my mental count down to Labor Day and breathe a big sigh of relief when it arrives.  Of course, when school actually starts and the hecticness of the school year takes over, I wonder what I was thinking . . .
But my all time favorite part of Fall?  The comfort foods.  As soon as there’s a hint of crispness in the air, I’m all it over it.  Nachos while watching football. Chicken pot pie for dinner.  A nice roast chicken with mashed potatoes.  Goodbye grillin’, hello shepherd’s pie.  My old friend, how I’ve missed you.
My love affair with comfort food is eternal.  And my first love, my best love, the one I go back to again and again?  Chili.  What’s better than a warm bowl of chili on a cold day?  What’s easier than throwing together a quick batch at the end of a long day?  I challenge you to tell me.  Can’t be done.
My recipe for a simple weeknight chili may not be traditional.  I know, I know some think chili is only meat.  Some say it’s only meat and beans.  Me?  I don’t care much about rules.  If my blog name tells you anything — I don’t care about creating the picture perfect version of chili.  I care about taste. I care about texture.  I care about satisfaction. I care about whether my whole family will eat it.  And this simple chili recipe checks all those boxes.
Chopped onion on cutting board
A few minutes to prep and voila — dinner is served

On top of that? And I’ll deny it if you ever tell my kids, but it’s pretty healthy all around.  The veggies in this chili may be the only ones my kids eat that day.

Sorry, but I’m not one of those moms who power struggles with their kids about what they eat.  I put (semi?)-healthy food on the table every meal.  What part of it they eat is on them. . . .

And aside from being healthy, this chili is crazy simple to make.  Like done in under a half hour simple.  And it freezes like a dream.  Make a double batch then serve one and freeze the other.  But make sure to invite me over.  I never say no to chili.  I like mine with cheese and chips, thanks so much.

Chili, grated cheese and tortilla chips

Weeknight Chili

  • Author: closeenoughcook
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


This is the chili you make when the chill of fall hits and comfort foods on are your mind.  It’s veggie-packed, easy to make and freeze, and never fails to please.



1 lb. ground beef or turkey

1 medium onion, diced

1 medium red pepper, diced

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz.)

1 cup frozen corn

1/3 cup chili powder (more or less to taste)

salt and pepper to taste


  1. In large pot, brown ground beef with salt and pepper.
  2. Once beef is browned, add onion and pepper and cook until vegetables are tender-crisp.
  3. Add crushed tomatoes, beans, chili powder and corn. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Allow chili to simmer for approx. 15 minutes or more.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips (or cornbread), cheese and sour cream.

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