Thick, hearty and loaded with flavourful chorizo, two types of beans and colourful veggies, this homemade chorizo chili recipe is super easy to prepare and hits the spot on a cold day.
Chili is something I could enjoy all year-round (and do). And it’s the kind of recipe where leftovers taste just as good as the next day as when the dish is first made.
We’ve been having extra cold weather around here lately, so there’s nothing more comforting than having a big pot of chili simmering on the stove. I just love it!
- Vegetable oil: To sauté the onion.
- Veggies: I used yellow onion, bell peppers and corn.
- Chorizo: Fresh ground chorizo is the way to go here. You can usually buy it loose from your grocery store or butcher. If you can’t find loose, you can purchase fresh chorizo sausages and remove the meat from their casings.
- Tomato paste
- Canned beans: Pinto beans and black beans are the beans of choice for this chili recipe. Dark or light kidney beans are another option or you can use a mix of your favourites.
- Seasoning: Chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt and black pepper.
- Diced tomatoes: Cans of diced tomatoes vary in salt content, depending on the brand or variety. Therefore, you may want to add a little more salt once your chili is made if you feel it needs it.
- Tomato sauce: Like diced tomatoes, cans of tomato sauce vary in salt content. So, again, you may want to add a little more salt to your chili.
- Broth: I used beef broth, but chicken broth would work.
- Brown sugar: I like to add a bit of sugar to balance out some of the acidity of the tomatoes and tomato sauce.
How To Make Chorizo Chili
Here is an overview of how to make chorizo chili (full details are in the recipe card below):
- Heat some vegetable oil in a large pot, then cook the onion until softened.
- Add the ground chorizo and cook, breaking it up into crumbles as it cooks.
- Stir in the tomato paste.
- Stir in the veggies, beans and seasoning.
- Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and broth, then sprinkle over the brown sugar. Give everything a nice stir to combine.
- Cover with the pot lid just slightly ajar and cook until the veggies are tender and the chili has thickened.
Can I Use Something Else Besides Chorizo?
For sure! If you can’t find chorizo at your local supermarket or butcher shop, you can substitute with ground beef.
It’s important to note, though, that because chorizo is highly seasoned as is, it will impart a slightly different flavour to your chili than if you simply used ground beef.
Chorizo also tends to be fattier than ground beef, especially when comparing it to, say, a leaner variety of ground beef.
Having said that, both options will still yield a tasty, hearty chili.
And, if you want to use a combination of chorizo and ground beef, that’s perfectly fine.
Is This Chili Spicy?
This chorizo chili does have a bit of spice. I adore spicy food so my tolerance is probably higher than others.
Depending on the brand of chorizo you use, it could also impact the overall flavour of your chili.
If you want to tone down the spice a bit, you can add less chili powder, cayenne pepper and smoked paprika, for example.
After your chili is made, if you feel like you want more spice, you can always add more to taste or mix in a little hot sauce. Remember, it’s always easier to add than to take away.
How To Thicken Chili
This chorizo chili recipe is pretty nice and thick as is, but if you want to thicken it even further you can remove the pot lid partway through cooking (rather than having the slightly ajar). That way, it’ll further reduce and thicken.
Another option is to mix in more canned beans or corn to add more heft to the chili.
How To Thin Chili
Conversely, if your chili is too thick for your liking, you can easily thin it out by stirring in some more beef or chicken broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce or water.
What To Serve With Chili
Being as hardy as it is, this chorizo chili doesn’t need much served with it. However, I do love to serve chili with tortilla chips for dunking. They provide a lovely crunch and flavour. If you don’t feel like dunking them, I also enjoy crushing up some over the top of my bowl of chili.
Another yummy option is to serve the chili with a big wedge of cornbread or a slice or two of homemade bread.
And, of course, chili toppings are a must. Some of my favourite toppings for chili are:
- Sliced green onion
- Chopped cilantro
- Diced avocado
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Pickled red onion (or fresh red onion)
- Drizzle of hot sauce
- Dollop of sour cream
Fun Ways To Enjoy Chili
Besides enjoying homemade chili as is, if you want to mix things up there are loads of delicious ways to enjoy it:
- Over nachos
- In an omelette (yes, and it’s so good)
- Over creamy polenta
- With fries (hello chili cheese fries)
- Over a hot dog
- With corn chips (open and bag and add a spoonful or so of the chili over top)
- Taco Salad
Leftovers and Storing
Properly store any leftover chorizo chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. Alternatively, allow the chili to cool, then freeze in resealable freezer bags or freezer containers for up to 3 months (thaw in the refrigerator overnight when ready to reheat and enjoy).
Leftover chili can be reheated in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat, while stirring occasionally until thoroughly heated through. If you need to thin out your leftover chili, just stir in a splash of water or broth.
Tips for Making the Best Chili
- Remember, you can easily adjust the spice level to your tastes by just adjusting the seasoning. If you like a little less spice, try using less chili powder, smoked paprika or cayenne pepper. If you like more spice, add a little extra. Remember, as mentioned, it’s always easier to add than to take away.
- Periodically stir your pot of chili as it cooks so it doesn’t stick.
- Brands of canned beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and broth can vary greatly in salt content. If you feel your chili needs a little more salt, add more to taste until it’s just right for you.
- If you want to add a little tang to your chili (totally optional), mix in a tablespoon or so of apple cider vinegar (or to taste) or serve with plenty of lime wedges for drizzling over.
More Easy Chili Recipes
If you make this easy chorizo chili recipe, be sure to leave a comment below!
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 1 pound fresh ground Mexican chorizo
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 bell peppers, chopped (I used red and green, but you can use whatever colour you prefer)
- 1 (19-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (19-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (12-ounce) can corn kernels
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, use a little less if you prefer your chili less spicy
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste if needed
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (13.5-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 2 cups beef broth, or chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Heat vegetable oil in a large enameled cast-iron Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat.
- Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add ground chorizo. Cook, breaking the chorizo into small pieces and stirring occasionally, until the chorizo is fully cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain any excess grease from the pot, if necessary.
- Add tomato paste and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, ensuring the chorizo is well coated in the tomato paste.
- Add the bell peppers, pinto beans, black beans, corn, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt and black pepper. Stir until everything is well incorporated and covered in the seasoning.
- Pour in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef (or chicken) broth and sprinkle over the brown sugar. Give everything a good stir.
- Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat (to about medium-low) to maintain a simmer (you want a gentle bubbling). Cover with the lid slightly ajar and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally and making sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot, until the bell peppers are tender and the chili has thickened to your liking. Add more salt to taste, if necessary.
- To serve, divide the chili into bowls. Garnish with your favourite chili toppings (if desired) or enjoy as is.
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.
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Tried this recipe?
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