Seriously Good Chili Recipe

Whip up a batch of Brian Baumgartner’s (AKA Kevin Malone’s) hearty meat and bean chili the next time you need to feed a crowd, warm your soul, and/or binge-watch “The Office.”
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Serves: 6 to 8 
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes

This is it, folks. My own personal go-to chili recipe. Has it been passed down for generations? No. But it serves as my own best chili recipe that I cook all the time. Don’t be afraid to play! Like it spicer? Add red pepper flakes or Spicy Bush’s® Chili Beans. Like it thicker? Feel free to cook this over the stove all day. (Just add water as needed for best consistency.) I felt it was important to add my personal favorite recipe to this book, but know that it is always changing. I love exploring new flavors and employing new techniques every time I make it – so you should feel free to make any adjustments you love and send them along to me! Enjoy. 



1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or cooking oil) 
1 large yellow onion (or 1 cup|200 grams shallots), chopped 
1 green bell pepper, chopped 
2 cloves garlic, diced 
2 pounds|907 grams lean ground turkey or lean ground beef, undrained 
1 (6-ounce|170-gram) can tomato paste 
1 (24-ounce|680-gram) can diced tomatoes 
1 (16-ounce|450-gram) can tomato sauce 
½ cup|125 ml water (optional) 
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
2 teaspoons kosher salt 
4 teaspoons chili powder 
2 teaspoons ancho chile powder 
4 teaspoons dried oregano 
1 teaspoon granulated sugar 
1 (16-ounce|450-gram) can Bush’s® Pinto Beans in a Mild Chili Sauce, undrained 
1 (16-ounce|450-gram) can Bush’s® Kidney Beans in a Mild Chili Sauce, undrained 
shredded cheddar cheese, to garnish  



  1. In a large pot, sauté the chopped onion, green bell pepper, and garlic in oil over medium-high heat. I like to use grapeseed oil because it’s a little less oily. 
  2. Add in the ground turkey or beef. Before the meat has completely cooked, add the tomato paste. Finish browning the meat completely. 
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the beans and the cheese. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes (or longer until the desired consistency is reached), stirring occasionally. 
  4. Then, 20 minutes before serving, add the beans. You can’t add the beans in right away or they get mushy. 
  5. Finish with sharp cheddar cheese. Any leftovers are easy to freeze! 

This recipe is provided courtesy of Brian Baumgartner from Seriously Good Chili Cookbook (Fox Chapel Publishing, 2022).

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