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Fall Chili Cookoff

by Bob Radcliff
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The cooler evenings, appearance of Autumn colors, and earlier sunsets makes Fall a perfect time for preparing & savoring a bowl of Chili. It is a perfect comfort food.


Serves: 10 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 4.7/5
( 3 voted )


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 large onion(s), chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 green peppers, chopped
  • 3 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 2 pkg celery hearts, chopped
  • 5 16 oz cans tomatoes (stewed, diced, and/or petite diced)
  • 5 16 oz cans Bush's Best® or Brooks Chili Beans in chili sauce (pinto, kidney, and/or black)
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco® sauce
  • 1 or 2 lb spaghetti
  • 1/8 tsp salt


Prepare Chili

  1. Chop onion, garlic, green peppers, jalapeño peppers, & celery.  Set aside.
  2. Heat small amount of olive oil in a large soup pot on high.
  3. Add ground beef and break apart with a wooden spoon.
  4. Cook on high heat stirring often until ground beef has browned.
  5. Add chopped onion & garlic.
  6. Continue cooking on high heat stirring often until onion is translucent.
  7. Reduce heat.
  8. Add green peppers, jalapeño peppers, celery, beans, and tomatoes.  Stir.
  9. Add chili powder, cumin, basil, oregano, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and sugar.  Stir.
  10. Add Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce.  Stir.
  11. Simmer partially covered for 2 - 3 hours.  Stir often.

Prepare Spaghetti

  1. Bring pan of water to boil and season with salt.
  2. Add spaghetti to boiling water and stir gently until spaghetti is completely covered with water.
  3. Stir occasionally to make sure spaghetti is not stuck together.
  4. Cook for the time indicated on the spaghetti package.
  5. Drain.


  1. Add about 1/2 cup cooked spaghetti in the bottom of each bowl.
  2. Layer about 2 cups of cooked chili on top of spaghetti in each bowl.
  3. Suggestion.  Top with shredded Cheddar cheese, Fritos® corn chips, and/or diced, red onions.
  4. Suggestion.  Serve with Ritz® crackers topped with crunchy peanut butter.
  5. Suggestion.  Serve with cornbread.
  6. Suggestion.  Serve with lime wedge on the side.


Chili, also known as Chili Con Carne or Chile Con Carne (i.e., chili with meat), originated in Mexico in the 1500's as a chile pepper-seasoned stew.  Over time it made its way to Texas where in 1977 it became the official state dish.  Today it can be found on the menu in bars and restaurants all across North America and beyond.

With or without beans?  Beans play a starring role in this Chili recipe and their presence makes for a delicious, hearty, and healthy dish.  In fact can't imagine making Chili without them.  But opinions differ on the proper inclusion of beans and even tomatoes in Chili.  Some say if it has beans, it can’t be called Chili.  But geography and culture result in the continuous adaptation of recipes. Therefore, today Chili is enjoyed by many different cultures in several different ways in geographies around the globe.

A Cincinnati (Ohio) regional adaptation is a dish named "Chili Spaghetti" which has Mediterranean origins and includes use of the spices cinnamon, allspice, cloves, & nutmeg; it is served over cooked spaghetti with toppings such as cheddar cheese, beans, and chopped onions.

Another excellent adaptation is a dish called "Chili Mac" which includes use of pasta macaroni instead of spaghetti.

Other adaptations includes the use of ingredients such as chocolate, peanuts, raisins, coffee, corn, and beer plus meat from a wide range of animals.   It's so easy to customize Chili to just your own taste.

The recipe in this post is like a marriage of Texas Chili Con Carne and Cincinnati Chili Spaghetti.   It's what my mother made when I was a kid in Louisville, Kentucky.

According to Brooks Beans, Jesse James, outlaw of the old American West, refused to rob a bank in McKinney, Texas (about 5 miles from where I now live) because that is where his favorite chili parlor was located.

calendar Last updated 26-Oct-2021.

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