October 28, 2021

Winning Chili Recipe

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If you’re looking for a winning chili recipe, look no further than this one crafted by Nate Maynard, a WashU Ortho medical assistant at Barnes Jewish West County Hospital.


When the ortho team administrators announced a chili cook-off event, Nate was instantly up for the challenge. “At this point in the year, my fiancé and I are making chili probably once a week or more anyway, and I love cooking, so I was immediately in for making some to bring to the clinic…even if I didn’t win, I’d get to eat some great chili for dinner!” 


You might be wondering, what makes this recipe so praise-worthy? “I think it’s just the sheer amount of experimenting I do with any food I make. I use the recipe like an outline, and much to my fiancé’s frustration, I like to mix it up. There have been times I’ve added ground ginger, different kinds of beans, different kinds of onions (I’ve mostly settled on sweet Vidalia onions); it’s probably a little bit different every time I make it. 


Get creative and add your own personal flare, or follow the master recipe...either way, it’s sure to delight! 


Nate’s Award-Winning Chili


·      1 tbsp olive oil 

·      1 medium yellow onion, diced

·      2 pounds ground beef

·      5 tbsp chili powder

·      4 tbsp ground cumin 

·      4 tbsp sugar 

·      2 tbsp garlic powder 

·      3 tsp salt

·      1 tsp black pepper

·      ½ tsp cayenne *optional*

·      4 tbsp tomato paste 

·      2 cans fire roasted diced tomatoes 

·      2 cans tomato sauce 

·      2 cans red kidney beans (drained and rinsed) 

·      3 cups beef broth 


This will make about 8 servings. 



1.    Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Hint: Nate likes to add some sugar at this point, a couple tablespoons or so, and really let the onions cook down closer to 7-10 minus to get the onions caramelized a little.)

2.    Add the ground beef to the pot. Cook until the beef is browned, stirring occasionally.

3.    Add the chili powder, cumin, sugar, garlic powder, salt, pepper and optional cayenne. Stir well.  

4.    Add the broth, diced tomatoes (with their juice), drained kidney beans, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Stir well. 

5.    Bring the chili to a low boil, then reduce heat to medium-low to gently simmer, uncovered for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

6.    Remove from heat and let the chili rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

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