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Quickest Chili in the West (URS: Make Ahead Meals)

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Looking for a quick, hot meal? How about a quick supper to give as a gift? I gotcha covered on both counts with this make ahead chili spice mix!

Quick meals, especially those that can be made ahead, are the name of the game in these here parts. Especially since I came down with the Plague on Saturday morning. I’ll spare you the details, but it was another case of “Mom gets the germ after everyone else is better.” So, quick meals it is.

I whipped up this chili in the slow cooker on Sunday morning to go with hotdogs or with chips and toppings later in the day. Everyone was very satisfied, and the next day I added cooked rice and beef broth for a quick riff on Beans and Rice Soup. Yes, yes, I did. Two meals for the price of one.

This chili, dubbed The Quickest Chili in the West, is super make-ahead. You can combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker and then go on your merry way. Or you can simply gather all the ingredients in one place and mix it in about 20 minutes before serving. Either way, you can do a lot of the “heavy lifting” in advance.

You’ll be so pleased to have this chili spice mix on hand. It costs just pennies in comparison to those little brown packets you buy at the store. And you can give this meal as a gift!

Bag up all the ingredients to gift a meal for another time.

FREE Printable Recipe Card

Print out this printable recipe card sheet, cut it into fourths, and then combine all the cans, spice mix, and a bag of chips into one bigger bag along with the recipe.

It’s a wonderful gift for the busy family, allowing them a home-cooked meal when they want one. This is an easy meatless, gluten-free, dairy-free meal that should fit all diets and food preferences. Just double check the food labels to make sure that there aren’t some tricky allergens lurking in your cans and bags.

Be on the lookout for installments of A Simpler Season each week, from now until New Year’s.

What’s YOUR favorite make ahead meal?


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Comments

  1. I linked up a favorite go-to crock pot meal: http://lifeasmom.com/2011/12/quickest-chili-in-the-west-urs-make-ahead-meals.html

    thanks for the link up and I hope you are feeling better!

  2. That looks yummy Jessica. Chili is one of my favorite slow cooker meals. I linked up one of my favorite chicken recipes.

  3. I love make ahead meals – can’t wait to check out all the ideas!

  4. Thank you for hosting. I shared my southwest rice and beans. It can be made ahead and frozen. Just pop in oven to reheat.

  5. I think I need to try hominy. It seems like I’ve been reading about it all month!

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      My husband doesn’t like sweet corn stirred into things, so generally I substitute hominy in recipes that might call for corn.

  6. Thanks so much for hosting! I shared my Asparagus Risotto recipe this week.

  7. I really like to eat chilli…and this recipe looks easy. Oh, yeah, I like “made ahead” and “fast and easy”…and my personal favorite “slow cooker” :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :) :) :)

  8. Ok I know this sounds really weird, but next time you make chili added diced dill pickles on top. Apparently it’s a southern thing. I don’t even like pickles, but I do like this.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      That does sound weird. ;) Definitely an interesting twist. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that.

      Would love to hear from others who do the same. It must have an interesting history.

  9. I love make ahead meals on busy days, I linked my Christmas morning breakfast already in the freezer!

  10. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! The only tweak I would make is I am blessed to live in a bean growing area and cook weekly batches of dried black and pinto beans in a pressure cooker to have ready for awesome recipes like this one. The conversion is usually 1-2/3 cups of dried beans for every can, so I’ll use 3-1/3 cups of black and pinto beans. That is easy enough. Thanks again for the awesome, simple, and quick slow cooker recipe!

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Great! Thanks for sharing your tweak. Sounds very economical, too. I cook with dried beans, but lean on cans often. Trying to get away from that. I’m honestly a little scared of my pressure cooker.

  11. Jessica,
    We made this yesterday. Oh my Gosh! This is some good chili. We used half canned beans and half dried beans that were in the freezer. When I saw 1/4 C chili powder, I thought “My goodness that’s a lot!” To my surprise it wasn’t spicy as I expected. And I believe mine came out a little on the soupy side so it makes a great stand in for taco soup.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      You’re not the only one to comment about the chili powder. LOL. I buy it in mega containers at Costco and it doesn’t make a dent in it. Glad you enjoyed it!

  12. Here’s an e-hug from me to you for such a great, easy, quick recipe!

    I made this for the first time a while back on one of those nights when I had NO dinner plan… I made the 20-minute version: all the ingredients were in my pantry…threw everything in a pot, and by the time the table had been set and the baby’s diaper was changed, dinner was ready.

    What a lifesaver it has been ever since. Here’s another example: Yesterday started going down hill quickly as one of my children became sick and all my plans changed for the day. My husband walked in the door from work and cheerfully asked, “What delicious Super Bowl snacks have you prepared?” I smiled blankly…and stared into the fridge…I had leftovers of this chili in the fridge…plus canned salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream…done! Transformed into a delicious dip for tortilla chips! The Quickest Chili in the West is a “wifesaver.” And it’s tasty, too!

  13. Paula Barton says:

    Breakfast Casserole
    1/4 cup chopped onion
    1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
    1/4 cup chopped mushroom
    1/4 diced ham
    2 mission Artisan corn & wheat tortillas diced
    6 beaten eggs
    1 cup shredded cheese
    Spray olive oil
    Fajita seasoning
    Directions:
    Prepare 9×13 casserole dish with lightly oiled olive oil.
    Sautée vegetables and ham in a frying pan with olive oil. Cool the sautéed vegetables and ham. Add to this mixture tortillas, eggs, cheese, fajita seasoning.
    Pour the mixture into prepared casserole dish.
    Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

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