When the weather turns cold, my thoughts turn to warming up with a winter comfort food recipe. Nothing beats the cold like a big bowl of spicy chili. This one pot chili con carne has layers and layers of flavor that develop on the stove and in the oven in the same pan. It has become one of my family’s favorite one pot meals.
There is something about this style of cooking that adds a depth of flavor to the meal that you won’t get when things are cooked in lots of pans and then plated. What could be more satisfying than the taste of tonight’s dinner recipe after having the aromas of it filling the air in the cooking, and tempting you to dig in. See my one pot cooking tips here.
And I won’t even get into the clean up part of it. One pot = easy cleanup!! We are all busy and anything that makes this part of the job easier is a win in my book. Be sure to check out my one pot cooking tips here.
Developing the flavors of this one pot chili con carne recipe.
One pot cooking develops flavor from the layers of cooking. Each one adds something a bit more special to the dish until you end up with a meal that is sure to please. Check out my one pot jambalaya recipes for a full bodied dish.
I started by heating some olive oil in a deep sided sauté pan over medium high heat. I allowed them to brown a bit but not cook too much.
Once the onions had started to caramelize a bit, I stirred in the garlic and then added my chunks of beef. No ground beef in this chili! Tonight we are going to have chunks of lovingly cooked beef that will satisfy the hungriest meat eater. This is going to be a knife and fork kind of chili and I don’t apologize for that in the slightest!
Once the beef has started to brown, I added some arrowroot flour to help thicken the sauce as it cooks and browned it a bit to add more flavor. (arrowroot keeps the recipe gluten free but normal flour is also fine if this is not an issue for you.)
The sauce gets its start with canned, diced tomatoes and tomato juice as well as chili habanero hot sauce, cumin, dried oregano and some sea salt and cracked black pepper.
Everything comes to a boil to blend the flavors well and then the whole pot gets covered and goes into a 325 º F oven for 1 1/2 hours to bring flavor to the pot and a delicious smell to my kitchen.
After cooking in the oven, the beef will become very tender and now it’s time to add another layer of flavor. And what goes better with chili than beans? I chose red kidney beans that I drained and rinsed to get rid of as much of the sodium content as I could (nutrition label doesn’t take this into account so the sodium looks higher than the dish actually is.)
We aren’t done with the flavors of this comfort food yet. I added some fresh oregano and parsley and tasted and adjusted my salt and pepper and returned the pot to the oven for another 45 minutes.
OH MY YES! I just cannot wait to try this heavenly one pot wonder. The aroma that came out of the pan when I lifted the lid was amazing!
Tasting this winter comfort food recipe
The taste of this one pot chili con carne is as rich and flavorful as it is colorful. The chunks of fork tender beef takes the normal ground beef chili recipe to a whole new level. It’s spicy for sure with a tbsp of hot sauce in it, but not over the top spicy. (you can adjust the hot sauce to your personal taste.)
The beef is fork tender, so no need for a knife. I found some gluten free rice crackers at my local BJs Wholesale club, called “Rice Works Gourmet Rice Snacks.” They are seasoned with sea salt and make a great scoop to get some of that sauce. The crackers are made from whole grain rice and taste amazing. They are a good alternative to tortilla chips for those on a gluten free diet.
This recipe is perfect just as it is with the rice crackers for a true one pot meal, but also tastes great over some boiled rice if you don’t mind the extra pan. The flavors of the sauce are so amazing, you’ll want something to sop them up with.
This delicious one pot chili con carne recipe is one of my favorites. I love that I can make it bit by bit and walk off, letting the flavors develop, go back and add another layer and come up with this great taste. It’s not as easy to make as my crock pot beef chili or any crock pot recipe, but is so worth the extra time tending the steps to get this flavor.
This recipe makes 4 delicious servings at 373 calories each. The chili is high in protein and fiber but low in total calories and fat. It’s filling, rich and delicious!
The next time someone asks you to bring along something for a pot luck dinner, take this comfort food delight. The recipe is a real crowd pleaser and there will be nothing left to bring home. I promise!
- 1½ pounds of lean beef
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp arrowroot starch (can also use flour if you don't want it gluten free)
- 1¼ cup of tomato juice
- 1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp of chili habenero hot sauce (adjust to your taste if you don't like as much spice.)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 1 15 oz can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1½ tsp fresh oregano
- 1 tbsp dried parsley (or 3 tbsp fresh parsley)
- fresh oregano to garnish
- Optional: serve with hot rice and gluten free rice crackers
- Preheat the oven to 350 º F.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, deep sided saute pan over medium high heat. Cook the onions until they start to caramelize. Stir in the garlic and beef cubes and cook, stirring often, until the meat starts to brown.
- Stir in the arrowroot starch (or flour) and cook a bit to toast the flour. Pour in the tomato juice and canned tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the dried oregano and cumin and season with sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Stir well and cover.
- Place the covered saute pan in the preheated oven and cook for 1½ hours until the beef is almost tender.
- Stir in the red kidney beans, fresh oregano and parsley and adjust the salt and pepper if needed. Cover again and return to the oven for 45 minutes longer.
- Transfer to serving bowls and serve immediately, garnished with sprigs of fresh oregano.
- Optional: Serve over boiled rice with some rice crackers (for gluten free) or tortilla chips.(for normal diet
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