Bacon & Chipotle Chile Chili

best chili recipe
(If I can’t find Danny in the grocery store, I now know where to look.  🙂

Danny cooked his heart out for the Chili Cook-Off.  He didn’t win, but we both decided that his chili is the best we’ve ever had.  We even liked it better than the dessert he made that took 1st Place for Fruit Pies (that’s why this post is about chili and not pie! 🙂  After the cook-off, we were wanting so badly to have more of that chili so Danny made a big batch of it on the day of the hurricane.  I mean, if we were going to have one more hot meal, it was going to be this chili

Here’s the recipe he wrote out, below.  #7 cracks me up.  Next year he’s certain he’ll be bringing home this apron.  🙂

Bacon & Chipotle Chile Chili

Part One  (Danny followed Design Mom’s winning chili recipe)
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
2 heaping tsp garlic, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 16 oz. cans tomato sauce
2 16 oz. cans light kidney beans
2 16 oz. cans dark kidney beans
2 16 oz. cans black beans
1/2 packet of Ranch Dressing powdered mix (optional-contains dairy, fyi.)
1 T cumin
1 T chili powder
1 t salt
2 spoonfuls cream cheese (optional)

Part Two (Danny added his own twist.  He thinks this sets it apart even more!  🙂
1 lb bacon (cut into 1/8 inch strips)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 dried chipotle chile peppers
1 dried pasilla chile pepper


1.  In a large pot over medium heat, add ground beef and separate and stir with a wooden spatula.  When beef is mostly cooked, add chopped garlic and chopped onion and let it all sauté for a few minutes until onion is a little translucent.

2.  Add cans of beans (I slightly drained mine) and cans of tomato sauce to the pot, along with the cumin, chili powder, salt, and Ranch dressing powdered mix (if desired).  Keep the pot on medium heat until the chili starts to bubble, after which you can set the heat to low/simmer.

3.  While chili is heating, take 1 lb of bacon and cut into small strips (this is easier to do if the bacon is still slightly frozen…otherwise it’s too slippery).  Place bacon strips into large frying pan over medium/high heat and stir to separate.  Let cook until bacon bits are just browned and crispy.  Remove from heat and remove bacon bits from pan using a slotted spoon or tongs, leaving bacon grease in the frying pan.  Set the bacon bits aside in a bowl (to be added before chili is served).

4.  Put frying pan with bacon grease back over medium low heat and add chopped onion.  Let simmer until onion is translucent and slightly golden/browned.  While onion is simmering, chop the 2 dried chipotle peppers and 1 dried pasilla pepper into 1/4 inch pieces, making sure to remove stems at the top of the chiles.  When the onions are golden brown, add the chopped peppers and their seeds into the frying pan with the onion, and sauté for another 3-4 minutes.  Remove from heat.

5.  Pour the onion/pepper/grease mixture into a blender and puree (please make sure to cover top of blender with a towel or something to prevent hot stuff from splattering).  You may need to add a ladle full of chili liquids (don’t worry if some beans and meat get in as well) to the blender to make it easier to puree.  If there’s not enough stuff covering the blender blades it doesn’t do what it’s suppose to. 

6.  Add the puree to the chili, and make sure to get every last ounce of this delicious concoction out with a spatula :).  About 15 minutes before serving, add the bacon bits to the chili as well (I would also add the cream cheese at this point if you plan to include that in your chili). 

7.  Eat with a gigantic smile on your face as you realize you’ve just made one of the most delicious chilis this world has ever known.

P.S.  This is the brand of chipotle chili peppers and pasilla chili peppers Danny uses:

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  1. Celesta November 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    YUM! Thanks for the recipe, it sounds amazing!

  2. Rik November 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    This looks so good that I just got back from the grocery store with the ingredient. 🙂 I'm making it today!

  3. Kaycee Pidcock November 1, 2012 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    This sounds delicious! Chili is one of my all-time favorite foods! However, my Craig doesn't like kidney beans or onions so I don't make it often enough. Have a beautiful day Mara!

  4. kylie November 1, 2012 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    This recipe sounds so delicious! I personally dont eat bacon, so i wa wondering if this would taste good even without the bacon?

    • danny November 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm - Reply

      Yes, it would absolutely be good (though of course Bacon makes everything better).

      When I make black beans for my mexican food cravings, I use a similar technique, except I do white onions sauteed in olive oil (no bacon is used in that recipe). So, you can definitely go another route on this one and will be amazing. Mara and I make those black beans a few times a month and think they are the most delicious things ever, and it is totally because the chipotle and pasilla chiles add this incredible flavor.

      My chili was inspired mostly by the idea of adding the chiles. The bacon was a last second add on that I didn't regret in any way.

      Good luck and enjoy!

  5. Scarlett November 1, 2012 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Sorry you didn't win! I've never won that dang competition, even though I've entered some pretty good chilis, if I do say so myself. I've made a similar one to yours, including the bacon, but I used chipotle chili powder and ancho chili powder instead of dried chilis. I'll have to give your method a try. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. toadberry January 18, 2013 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    I love this. I'm making it for a bacon cook off. How many does this recipe serve?

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