Award Winning Screamin’ Mimi Chili

If you really think about it, most chilies are very similar and this family recipe doesn’t really have any secret ingredients but it does have three things that make it special:

  1. A good chili needs some kind of sweetener and I have seen things from brown sugar, to agave and cinnamon to do this but I prefer a little grape jelly cooked into the meat. I had a friend that worked at a fast food restaurant (that I won’t mention) in high-school and I like that it does not add any overpowering flavor.
  2. My kids will eat my chili above others because they don’t recognize the vegetables. I cook them separately and add them to the chili so they get soft and add a lot of flavor.
  3. The most important part of the process is about the beans. Canned beans work fine (and save a lot of time) but the liquid that they are packed with bad spices and sometimes preservatives. A quick drain and rinse will bring about some freshness and let only the flavors that you want to be tasted come through.

Enjoy this simple and delicious family recipe:

3 lbs. Ground Beef
2 Tbs. Grape Jelly
2 Tbs. Vegetable Oil
1 Large Onion, diced
3 Stalks Celery, chopped (optional)
3 Bell Peppers (use multiple colors for variety), diced
3 Jalapeno Peppers, finely diced
6 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 (28 oz.) Can of Crushed Tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) Can of Stewed Tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) Can of Chopped Tomatoes
1 (8 oz.) Can of Tomato Paste
1 (7 oz.) Can of Chopped Green Chilies
1 (15 oz.) Can of Chili Beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz.) Can of Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz.) Can of Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz.) Can of Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
6 Tbs. Chili Powder
3 Tbs. Ground Cumin
2 Tbs. Garlic Powder
2 Tbs. Onion Powder
1 Tbs. Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbs. Ground Paprika
1 Tbs. Salt
1 Tbs. Chipotle Powder (optional to taste)
1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper (optional to taste)
1 Cup Water
3 Bay Leaves


  1. Brown the Ground Beef over medium heat in a large stock pot and then add the jelly and let it mix in.
  2. While the Beef Mixture is cooking, saute the Onion, Celery, and Peppers in a separate pan until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for two or three more minutes then add the vegetable mixture to the beef mixture.
  3. Add all the tomatoes and the green chilies and then all the drained and rinsed (very important) beans.
  4. Combine spices in medium bowl and then mix in the water to form a thick slurry. Add to pot along with bay leaves.
  5. Cook over low heat for at least an hour (the longer the better) to combine all the taste and serve with your favorite toppings.



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