everything-but-the-kitchen-sink chili


i don’t know how food bloggers do it!  i couldn’t take a decent picture of chili if my life depended on it!  i think they officially have the hardest job ;)

i’ve been making this chili for years, and its different every time.  i make it in huge batches, usually filling my 2 largest pots.  this time i borrowed a gigantic pot of a friend’s and fit it all in there.


 so remember, this recipe is very loose.  like i said, its different every time i make it but always yummy!  another key to this soup is preparation.  as in, i prepare for months to make this.  every time i have veggies that we won’t be able to finish before they go bad, i chop them up and freeze them until i have time to make my next batch of chili.  my kids will eat pretty much all veggies, so i just chop them up.  but if you have picky kids (or husbands!) you can also grate up the veggies so they aren’t discernible.   we also chop up left over meat (pork or steak) and freeze it for the chili.

also, i prefer to just use canned beans, but you can use dry beans and soak and cook them yourself.  i’ve only done it once and it was definitely cheaper, but it took forever and didn’t taste as good!


2  20 oz. packages of ground turkey (or beef, your choice)

2 packs of italian sausage (sweet or spicy)

variety of veggies – we use broccoli, celery, onions, garlic, peas, corn (canned is fine), tomatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers, green beans, carrots… whatever we can get our hands on!

beans – whatever kind you prefer.  we use cannelini, black, pinto, kidney…  we probably use about 12-15 cans of beans (less if we get the big cans).

diced tomatoes – about 10 cans

tomato sauce – 8 cans


chili powder

i told you it was loose!  so often i will just make this with what i have on hand.    you can use more or less of any of the ingredients and be just fine!

i’ve even added v8 when i needed more liquid in my chili!


 so let’s get started!

i grab all my loot  out of the freezer and defrost it in a sink of warm water.


while thats defrosting i start browning the sausage and turkey.  once thats done i drain the fat off and add it to my giant pot.


get a cute assistant to help you open the million of cans.  i start with the beans, for no reason.


 get another cute assistant to rinse all the beans for you until there are no more bubbles, then add to the giant pot.


 get a hunky assistant to do all your chopping and add all the veggies (raw) to the pot.

keep adding all the canned everything.  once i start adding the liquids i turn on the heat, just on low, to get it all cooking.  remember to stir often so the stuff on the bottom doesn’t get burnt.


get even another assistant to take all sorts of random pictures for you.  this step is really important ;)


i told you we put everything in this and here’s proof:  someone gave us a random squash and we didn’t know how to cook it so we grated it up and froze it.  in it went!


 i think onions add so much flavor so i usually add one or 2, depending on size.  i do chop it up pretty good because that is the one veggie my kids don’t love.  then i saute it until they are translucent.


 get another assistant to peel the garlic (i use almost a whole head), then chop it up teeny tiny.  or buy the pre-chopped stuff.  add to the sauteing onions just before they are finished.  then add it all to the pot and stir.

i also add salt and chili powder to taste.  i also sometimes add a variety of other spices, but these 2 are for sure.  i also like to add some tabasco, but not enough that its too spicy for the kids.

then i let it sit all. day. long.

until dinner time.  then eat!


 we like to add shredded cheese, sour cream, and diced avocado to ours – yummmmm!

see all the veggies in there?!  so good!


 once i serve up the chili for dinner, i turn off the heat to get it to start cooling off.


 when i serve up the chili for dinner for my family, i pay attention to how many ladles full i serve.  that way i know how many scoops it takes to serve my family.  once the chili has cooled a bit i fill up freezer bags with the number of scoops it takes to feed my family.  then i spread out the bags on the counter and let them cool off for a couple hours.  then i can stack them flat in the freezer.


the beauty of this chili, besides it being filled with veggies (and sausage, yum), it made about 8 extra meals for us!  i am really bad about planning meals ahead of time, so if its 5 o’clock and i don’t know what to make, i’ll grab a bag of chili from the freezer, defrost it in some warm water, and reheat it on the stove.   while the chili is defrosting i’ll start a batch of corn bread muffins.  they are usually done by the time the chili is warmed up.  and dinner is on the table within 20-30 minutes!




  1. 1

    This looks delicious. I love large batch recipes!

  2. 2

    yum! I never would have thought of putting sausages in chilli, brilliant! we do lots of veggies in ours too :-)

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. 3

    That looks like a nice hearty chili. Have you tried cumin in the chili? It’s technically what gives it the “chili” taste in traditional mexican cooking. We have a BIG bottle of it cuz we love it in hearty stews, soups, and chili.

  4. 4

    Delicious!! This is my kind of chili :)

  5. 5

    I think your chili pictures looks great…so does your chili!! I bet it’s deicious with all those veggies!

  6. 6

    I never thought of putting all those veggies in! Looks delicious especially with cornbread muffins :).

  7. 7

    Ha!! I have the same problem with food posts. Most of the things I want to share, while extremely yummy, are not the most photogenic. Though I think you did pretty good with the chili. And it sounds tasty. :)

  8. 8

    This recipe looks wonderful – and you’re so smart to make such a large batch.

    I do want to let you know that you should be defrosting your frozen foods in a cold water bath, not warm, to ensure the food remains in the safe zone is bacteria doesn’t begin to multiply. You can read more about it here:


  9. 9

    Yum! It is cold here and your post made me hungry for chili! It also made me laugh because your recipe looks like something out of my box, I mean head. I throw so many randoms into my recipes that it is hard to share them and for someone to get the same end result!

  10. 10

    That looks yummm! I will have to try that! : )


  11. 11
    Virginia Anglin says:

    Lindsey, thanks SO much for sharing your chili recipe! Looks REALLY yummy & healthy! Can’t wait to try it!!! :-))) Virginia

  12. 12
    Susan R. says:

    Lindsey, this looks wonderful. I make my own homemade chili as well (chocolate chili) and my family loves it (I wonder why), but I absolutely love your version. I can tell it is amazing tasting just by looking at it. I am an avocado junkie, but I have never thought of adding it as a topping to chili, I’m trying it.
    Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  13. 13

    Yummy. You have inspired me…guess what we are having for dinner tomorrow night??? I chopped everything up and am throwing it in the crock pot/slow cooker so it will be ready in time for dinner tomorrow. I even love your idea of cornbread muffins too. I am such a copy cat! I love to cook but just hate thinking of things to cook. Thanks for the great ideas!

  14. 14
    Susan R. says:

    I made your chili the other night and the family loved it. Three of my five kiddos said they liked it better than the chili I make, so it looks like your recipe is a keeper.
    I even added avocado to mine and loved it.

  15. 15
    Elizabeth M says:

    I love big batch meals to freeze. It is the only way my family avoids the “Drive-thru Dinner”. Something else to try – instead of cornbread muffins, we put our cornbread batter into the waffle iron. Super quick, and there are all of those nooks and crannies to butter.

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