late-nite smoky chorizo chili

Inspiration can strike at odd times, and this is a perfect example: I get home the other night from the bar, a little hungry, but there’s nothing ready-made in the fridge. I’m staring down a link of chorizo that I bought at Holiday Market’s Sausage Fest a few weeks ago (stay tuned for more sausage-related recipes; I have a whole freezerful!) and figured out that I could make a really easy chili with that and a few pantry items.

Chili ingredients

Chili ingredients

I’m not really a fan of ground beef in chili- I like to use steak or venison or chorizo. The great thing about chorizo is that it has a lot of flavor in it already, so for this quick chili it was perfect… keeping the ingredient list short. The only work I did besides opening cans was chopping the onion and chipotles. In my opinion, the final product tasted just as good as a chili that had simmered for hours (or maybe that was just my late-night taste buds being indiscriminate)!

Smoky Chorizo Chili

1 link chorizo sausage (about 3/4 to 1 lb)
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic (optional depending on how lazy you want to be- your chorizo should have some garlic flavor already)
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 14-oz can black beans or pinto beans
1 cup frozen corn kernels or small can of corn, drained
1 7-oz can chipotles in adobo


Smoky Chorizo Chili with Sour Cream & Plantain Chips

Directions: Squeeze the chorizo out of its casing and fry in a large heavy skillet (I like cast-iron) over medium heat, breaking up the chunks as it cooks. Meanwhile, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add these to the chorizo, frying and stirring until the onions soften. While those are cooking, rinse and drain the beans, open the tomatoes. Remove the chipotles from their sauce and chop them up*. By this time, the onions should be cooked. Dump the beans, tomatoes, corn and chipotles into the pan and let everything simmer for 5-10 minutes to heat through. I ate this plain with corn chips, but a dollop of sour cream or even yogurt is always nice with chili and helps cool the spiciness. Plantain chips are a nice change of pace for a garnish as well.  You can salt to taste if needed, but if your tomatoes are salted you probably won’t find it necessary.

 *For the chipotles in adobo, you have some options. If you want it quite spicy, you can just use the whole can, sauce and all (chop up the chilies first though). I deseeded the chiles prior to chopping them, and froze the remaining adobo sauce for a future use. I’d say the result was “medium” heat. If you wanted it less spicy, just use a couple chiles instead of the whole can, and freeze the remainder.



6 responses to “late-nite smoky chorizo chili

  1. That was the best non-ground beef, “from a can” chili I have ever tasted! I was surprised by the economy of ingredients and full flavor.

    🙂 Yummy!

  2. I am going to make a vegetarian version of your chili recipe! I feel inspired now. I actually have a can lying around of those chipolte peppers(I love them!) Luckily, I have all the ingredients in my pantry right now. Would it be nasty to use vegetarian sausage instead?

  3. I am so impressed with the results of this recipe! Perfect for cold days like those of lately. Thank you so much for the inspiration and keep it coming!

  4. How big is a “small can” of chipotle peppers? Michelle made this chili last week and used a 12 oz can, “mostly” de-seeded….the result was the most fiendishly spicy item of food that I have ever put into my body. Hotter than the spiciest Thai or Indian dishes. Hot enough that I could feel the trail of burn as it traveled down my esophagus to my stomach. Hot enough that after about five bites, I realized the only way I could eat it was to take a bite of bread, slam some ice water to numb my mouth, gobble down a big bite of chili and swallow as fast as possible.

    We finished a bowl each, but barely. I was slightly hallucinating from the burn by the end. I’d call the result of using a full can of peppers more “XXtreme Hellfire” than “quite spicy.”

  5. Ooh sorry about that Ian! As you can see from my photo, the can of chipotles I used is about half the size of my can of black beans, not nearly 12 oz. I have only ever seen them in this size (I believe it’s a 7-oz can). Where did you guys get a 12-oz can??
    I guess the moral of the story in regards to spice is “taste as you go”… 😛
    P. S. If you still have the chili left over, you could always add another can of beans and tomatoes to dilute the spice. You’d end up with quite a lot of chili, but you could always freeze some.

  6. I used the whole can of Chipoltes. Sauce and all. This was amazing.

    I guess that I can handle spice a bit better than Old Man Williamson.

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