Pickleball Chili

Awhile back I shared my dad’s chili which he and I have both entered into several chili cook-offs and either won or came in second place. For the a recent cook-off with his pickleball crew, he entered a slightly altered version and won again (and hence the name of this version)! He is a master of his recipes, even when it comes to making changes and improvements, and as a result I trust his recipes/modifications before all others. Yet he claims that I am the cook and he just follows recipes. Such modesty!

But anywho. My dad shared his newest chili recipe with me and I decided that the perfect time to make it was when my friends came to visit this past weekend. It helped that everyone was in a chili mood with fall all around us. So while lounging around and just spending quality time together on Saturday, this simmered away on the stove top until we couldn’t bear the teasing aromas any longer. Crammed around my dining room table, it pleased and satisfied everyone’s taste buds! A couple people added a little hot sauce to theirs but that’s to be expected as everyone has different spicy preferences.

It was so great to have 5 of my favorite people in town for the weekend and was very sad to see them all leave yesterday. We had crazy conversations and nerdy-intellectual conversations, played games, watched movies, ate and cooked a lot of great food, went out to Beale street and just did what friends do best. Now back to the stinky norm of living 8+ hours away from them. Beware Memphis friends, I may be extra needy this week.

Pickleball Chili

One year ago: Sweet Potato Pie Dip with Pie Crust Dippers

Three years ago: Devil’s Food Nutella Cake


Serves 6-8


Scant 1/4 cup olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 lb. lean cut of beef, fat trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1 bottle beer

2 (10.75 oz.) cans condensed tomato soup

2 (15 oz.) cans tomato sauce

1 (12 oz) can tomato paste

3 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp oregano

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp salt

3/4 tsp dry mustard

2 (15 oz.) cans hot chili beans

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for topping if desired


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook onion in olive oil until tender. Add meat and brown. Add all remaining ingredients except beans, pepper and cheese. Thoroughly mix and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 3 hours or until meat almost falls apart and mixture is thick.
  2. Add beans, pepper and cheese. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve with additional cheese on top and with crackers or cornbread.

Source: My dad


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