How to Make Chili Using What You Have


In the winter my family and I eat a lot of chili. I have one recipe that I use every time. Except, I forgot to pick up the items at the store. So what do you do when you want to cook chili but are missing a lot of the ingredients? You grab stuff out of your cabinet and throw it in the pot. Here’s a look at what I found in my cabinet to make this dump chili.

I started off sautéing some chopped onions in a little bit of olive oil. After about 5 minutes I added lean beef. So my husband and I actually put dijon mustard, Italian bread crumbs and seasonings in the burger meat. We made a few burgers but didn’t finish using the rest of the meat. I used it anyway. I also added about a cup of water. Usually I use broth but I was out.

Next came the random beans. I had no chili beans so I used what I found. A can of black beans and a can of chick peas (Garbanzo beans) and a can of rotel. I drained half of the juice from each can of beans.

Since I didn’t have broth I wanted to add something to give it more flavor. So I put in half a can of coconut milk. If you don’t have this then milk should do just fine.


I stirred everything together. Then I added the seasonings.

  • 1/2 Tablespoon of Chili Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Cumin (I did not have this so I skipped it. But it’s a usual)
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper

I turned the heat under medium. I let it cook on the stove about 10 minutes. So all the seasonings could soak into the other ingredients.


It’s not my usual chili recipe but it turned out amazing. Sometimes the best recipes are created when we use what we have.

What’s your favorite meal you created when you didn’t have what you needed?

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