Karla’s Famous Chili Recipe

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Karla’s Famous Chili


My chili recipe has won first place the church chili cook-off for four years straight and one year before that. (The other year I didn’t enter–but my husband did and won! I gave him tips.)

The twins “make” the chili but they use my recipe. As you know, if you’ve followed me for very long, my twins have autism and cognitive impairments. They’ve been entering this contest since they were fifteen years old and are so tickled to win each year. I think we may sit out next year and volunteer to judge in order to give other folks a chance. So, since we’re going into retirement, I thought I’d share my “secret” recipe here.

Award-winning Chefs, Isaiah and Isaac of Team Akins

Award-winning Chefs, Isaiah and Isaac of Team Akins

Before you get all excited, there’s something you should know.

It’s not that amazing. It’s simple, and I kind of shoot from the hip each year in terms of what to throw in it and how much.

I do have a few things I always do, but I cook by how I feel. (Which goes perfectly with my INFP personality.)

There’s no earth-shattering secret to my–er, I mean, our–chili. It’s simple and easy and it tastes good. That is all.


Chili Cook-off Winners 2015: 1st place, Isaiah & Isaac Akins; 2nd place, Sylvia Myers; 3rd place, Talbot McKee; 4th place, Matt Myers

The basics are as follows (This makes a huge pot of chili):

4 pounds grass-fed ground beef

2 large onion

1 bell pepper (this year I used a yellow, green and red pepper)

Garlic (you can use what you’re used to, and how much, from either fresh cloves, paste, or minced from a jar.)

1 stick of butter

4 – 6 cups diced stewed tomatoes (depending on the size of the pot)

1 can tomato juice

4 cans tomato soup

2 large cans kidney beans

2 large cans chili beans

2 large cans sweet corn (or bags of frozen corn)

2 Carroll Shelby Chili Kits


Saute the onions and peppers in butter. Add the hamburger and brown.

Add tomato juice and soup and rest of ingredients. Follow directions on the chili kit for either mild or hot chili. (I find that the medium hot usually wins best here in the north.)




Tweet This: Do you serve your chili with crackers or corn bread?

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