Evan’s Sunday Chili

This chili borrows from several styles, but the cinnamon sets it apart

This chili borrows from several styles, but the cinnamon sets it apart

I grew up eating chili made with Carroll Shelby’s spice mix and didn’t begin to question it until my early twenties when I started wanting to make tweaks to the flavor. I was also heavily influenced by Mark Bittman’s recipe which led me to start adding beans to this recipe, something I know causes my Texan friends to gasp in shock.

I’ve been gradually refining this recipe over the years, particularly enjoying the way the cinnamon and the tomato play off each other and add to each other. Others add chocolate, cloves, and/or beer to their chili when going for something of a Texas/Cinncinatti hybrid like this. I, however, prefer this simpler approach.

I don’t normally measure the spice mixture, but I think the above amounts are a close guesstimation.


  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 pounds 80/20 ground beef
  • 1 28 oz. can of diced tomoatoes
  • 1 15 oz. can of tomato paste
  • A splash of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 15 oz. can of black beans
  • 1 15 oz. can of red kidney beans
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cup cumin
  • 2 tbsp cup oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground red chipotle
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • green onions (optional)
  • tortilla chips (mandatory)


  1. Dice yellow onion and green pepper and sauté it in a little olive oil in a large stock pot, with some of the salt and pepper.
  2. Dice the garlic. Give the onion a few minutes to soften and add the garlic to the pot.
  3. Add the ground beef and set the temperature to a low-medium. Stir regularly while the beef is browning.
  4. Once the beef is browned, add the tomatoes and the tomato paste. Do not drain the tomatoes. This recipe doesn’t call for extra water, so we need that water.
  5. Add the apple cider vinegar and the spices, and bring the pot up to a simmer
  6. Wash the beans in a colander and add them to the pot
  7. Bring things to a low simmer for 60-90 minutes, and watch a sauce turn into that great chili consistency
  8. Serve with the fixins of your choice