Curtis Stone’s Southwestern Chili

Bring warmth and spice to your life with this delicious chili recipe.

Bowl of chili
Photo by Ray Kachatorian

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Whole dried red chiles make this chili like none other. I first made it in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where chiles are a cooking staple, for the cooking show Take Home Chef.

Southwestern Chili

(Makes 10 servings)

Bowl of chili
Photo by Ray Kachatorian
  • 9 dried red New Mexico or California chiles, stems and seeds removed
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed, peeled
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 2 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 medium white onions, finely chopped
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes no salt added
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Two 15-ounce cans reduced-sodium red kidney beans, drained, rinsed


  • Grated white cheddar cheese
  • Chopped scallions
  • Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Corn tortillas or corn chips


In large saucepan, bring 4 cups water to boil over high heat. Remove pan from heat and add chiles. Weigh down chiles with plate and soak for 20 minutes, or until they soften slightly. Drain.

In blender, puree chiles and garlic with broth. Season to taste with salt and set sauce aside.

Heat large Dutch oven over high heat. Add canola oil, then add ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up meat with side of spoon, for 8 minutes, or until beef is browned. Stir in cumin, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, if using. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until tender.

Stir in chili sauce, tomatoes, and vinegar and bring to gentle simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour, or until sauce thickens slightly.

Stir in beans. Cover and simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until chili has thickened a little more. Season to taste with salt.

To serve: Ladle chili into bowls and serve with cheddar cheese, scallions, yogurt, and tortillas or chips on side.

Make-Ahead: Chili can be made up to 3 days ahead, cooled, covered, and refrigerated; reheat gently until simmering before serving.

Per serving

  • Calories: 336 calories
  • Total Fat: 12 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 4 grams
  • Sodium: 646 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 22 grams
  • Fiber: 7 grams
  • Protein: 30 grams
  • Diabetic Exchanges: 1.5starch, 2 very lean meat, 2 vegetable, 2 fat

Excerpted from What’s for Dinner? by Curtis Stone. Copyright © 2013 by Curtis Stone. Excerpted by permission of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. Photo by Ray Kachatorian.

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