Baking and Cooking,  Recipes

Magpie’s Super Easy (& Super Quick) Fall Chili

Fall Chili title

So I LOVE Chili in the fall. Like, a lot. It’s seriously the perfect fall comfort food. Pair it with rice for a filling meal, use it as dip for those lovely Tostito’s Scoops, or just eat it alone… you really can’t go wrong.

As long as it’s not too spicy. I don’t like spicy. But I’m a weenie with spiciness, so there’s that.

Because chili is absolutely perfect for the way the weather has been lately, I figured I’d finally get around to keeping track of and sharing the recipe for my hearty fall chili.

Magpie’s Super Easy (& Super Quick) Fall Chili

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: approx. 30 minutes

Chef beware: this is a 30 minute recipe, but it is NOT a recipe for the super health conscious. What makes this recipe SO quick is the use of canned items. Using canned items is not something that bothers me – but if you’re someone who prefers to avoid using processed food like that, it would be easy to substitute fresh ingredients for most items, but would add to the prep and cook times significantly.

– 1.5 lbs Ground Beef or ground meat of your choice
– 2 packets McCormick’s Chili Seasoning Mix (they come in different levels of spiciness to suit your tastes – your own personal chili seasoning blend would work well here too, but I’m generally too lazy)
– Portabello mushrooms
– 1 can diced tomatoes
– 1 can diced carrots
– 1 can black beans
– 1 can kidney beans
– 1 can pumpkin puree
– salt and pepper
– 1 can black olives
– 1 can diced (or sliced) water chestnuts
(Jim thinks it’s weird that I use these two things in chili, but my mom always did, and I really like it. The water chestnuts soak up all the chili seasoning goodness, and both things add a little variety to the texture. I particularly like the crunch the water chestnuts add).

ground meat in pot

First, throw your ground meat into a big pot with a little bit of oil over medium/medium-high heat to brown. Salt and pepper that baby.

It really doesn’t matter what kind of ground meat you use – I usually use plain old ground beef (it’s cheaper), but a mix of pork, beef, and veal (usually packaged as a “meatloaf mix” in these parts) makes a killer chili as well. I imagine this’d even be great with ground turkey.

chili spice mix

As the meat is browning, add in the packets of chili seasoning. I know, the two packets seems like wayyyy too much for that amount of meat. Do not panic. I promise that once you add in the other two pounds of stuff we’re going add, it’ll be juuuuussstttt right on the seasoning front.

Chili spice mixing in

Mix it up well and continue browning the meat.


When the meat is pretty much cooked through, take your Portobello mushrooms, chop ’em up (I paid a little extra for the pre-sliced because I was feeling PARTICULARLY lazy that day) and throw them in.

add the mushrooms

Give it all a stir, and let the mushrooms soften up as the meat finishes browning.

canned stuff

Once the meat is finished browning, take all of your canned stuff and dump it in. Seriously, just open the cans and dump it in. Well, you do need to drain the carrots, olives, and water chestnuts. I also added a can of button mushrooms because I really like mushrooms and didn’t feel like the Portobellos I bought were enough. Those needed to be drained too. And I guess you can drain and rinse the beans if you feel like it – I don’t bother though. I think the liquid adds to the flavor.

I’m also lazy. This is a lazy recipe.

I’ve made peace with it.

Throw it all in

Once you’ve dumped everything in, give it a good stir.

give it a stir

Then slap a lid on and turn the heat down to low/simmer.

slap a lid on

Let it sit and all cook together into fall chili goodness while you go hand-transpose wedding music from treble clef to bass clef because you don’t trust yourself to read from the treble clef parts on cello the next morning.

in the meantime

Wait, that’s not something normal people do in their down time?


Well, do something else for at least half an hour, checking in and stirring it every once in a while. If you want to let it cook longer, you can.

After at least 30 minutes has passed, serve as you please – I love it over rice – and enjoy the flavorful, hearty goodness.

Chili finished with rice

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