Do you find yourself yawning at the thought of another bland bowl of chili? Fear not, my gluten-free friends! Nigella Lawson's homemade chili recipe is here to spice up your life, quite literally. As a lover of all things delicious, I'm excited to share this recipe that'll make your taste buds tingle.
Be prepared to impress your taste buds and any dinner guests who are lucky enough to get a taste this delicious homemade chili recipe!
Fresh is Best: Why Using Some Fresh Ingredients is Key to Making Delicious Chili
Here's a shocker, folks: using fresh ingredients in your cooking makes your food taste better. Who would've thought? Oh right, pretty much everyone. Fresh ingredients provide more nutritional value and better taste. So skip the canned red chiles that have been sitting in your pantry since the '90s, and opt for fresh garlic, onion, and red chiles instead.
The best way to make sure you add that punch of freshness is with the toppings. Add a bunch of fresh onions, avocado, jalapeños, cilantro, & more!
You can also top the chili off with gluten-free Fritos to add a delectable crunch! Wait, Fritos are gluten-free? Yes, Fritos are gluten-free! However, not all varieties are guaranteed to be free of gluten, and there is a chance of cross-contamination, so it's vital to read the label.
Chili for Dummies: Nigella's Recipe is Simple and Straightforward
Nigella's homemade chili recipe isn't rocket science, which is good news for those of us who aren't culinary geniuses. Just sauté some garlic and onion, brown some chorizo sausages & boneless beef shank, and throw in the rest of the ingredients. Then, sit back and let it simmer for a few hours.
The Surprising Ingredient in Nigella's Chili Recipe
Now, for the moment you've all been waiting for: the secret ingredient. Drumroll please...it's bittersweet chocolate chips! Yep, you heard that right. Chocolate chips in chili. It might sound crazy, but trust me on this one. The chocolate chips add a depth of flavor and a velvety texture that'll make you wonder how you ever lived without it.
How to Customize Nigella's Chili Recipe to Your Liking
As I say before changing any recipe, TRY IT! There is not one thing I'd change about this homemade chili recipe because it is just that good, but if you do want to change it up a bit please do not change any of the spices or the chocolate chips. That's where the magic happens!
The beauty of chili is that it's a customizable dish. Don't like boneless beef shank? Use ground turkey instead. Want a vegetarian option? Remove the meat & add more beans. Topping options are endless, but I suggest you steer clear of the neon orange cheese that comes in a can.
If You Enjoyed This Homemade Chili Recipe, Check These Out:
This creamy, delicious White Chicken Chili with Bacon is easy to pull together and can be made on the stove top, slow cooker or InstantPot.
A hearty dinner perfect for a chilly fall or winter night, this pumpkin chili recipe from Tina of Just Putzing Around the Kitchen is packed with enough flavor to have you going back for thirds.
Chickpea and white Bean Chili is one of my new favorites it's packed full of peppers and onions, layered with tons of spices like cumin and oregano, and filled to the brim with homemade veggie stock, chickpeas, and 2 types of white beans.
Nigella Lawson's homemade chili recipe with a secret ingredient is a game-changer. It's simple to make, customizable, and packed with flavor. And let's not forget the health benefits of the bittersweet chocolate chips (because who doesn't love feeling virtuous while eating chili?)
The recipe is featured in Nigella's cookbook: Nigella Christmas: Food Family Friends Festivities, which is one of our favorites!
Nigella's Homemade Chili Recipe
- 10 (or 5 linked pairs) chorizo sausages (not the salami sort), approximately 1 ¼ pounds.
- 3 ¼ pound boneless beef shank cut into ¾-inch cubes
- 3 onions (about 1 pound), peeled
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 fresh long red chile seeded
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- Seeds from 3 cardamom pods
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ¼ cup tomato ketchup
- 4 cans red kidney beans (15 ounces each), drained
- 3 cans diced tomatoes (14 ounces each)
- ¼ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup water (swished out in one of the diced tomato cans)
- Preheat the oven to 300° F.
- Finely chop, or process the onion, garlic and chile.
- Heat the oil in a large ovenproof pan (with a lid) or cast-iron or enameled Dutch oven and fry the onion, garlic and chile until soft, on low for about 10 minutes, then add the cardamom sees, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and red pepper flakes.
- Stir the oniony spiced mixture together and then add the chorizo, sliced into ¼-in. coins, letting them ooze their paprika-orange oil.
- Drop in the cubes of beef, turning them in the pan with the chorizo and onion mix, to brown the meat.
- Stir in the tomato paste, ketchup, drained kidney beans and diced tomatoes. Add the water and bring the chili to a boil.
- Once it's started bubbling, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the chili and give it a good stir. Put on the lid and transfer to the oven.
- Cook at this low heat for 3 hours. Once cooked it is best left overnight to improve the flavor.
Photos: Meg van der Kruik
Frequently Asked Questions About Homemade Chili:
What benefit can bittersweet chocolate offer a pot of chili? Richness, deeper taste, and umami are all added. The chilies and other spices come alive and taste more authentic thanks to the chocolate.
The Aztec civilisation enjoyed chocolate before it was brought to the Europeans, and the combination of dark chocolate and chilli dates back to that time. This practice of combining the local cocoa bean and chiles is still prevalent throughout Central and South America.
Chile powder, beans, tomato, and ground beef. There are many variations of chili, but the fact that it uses a lot of fresh chilies or chili powder sets it different from other stews.