Dad’s Tavern Chili Recipe by Lynne (2024)

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by Salad Foodie

Dad’s Tavern Chili Recipe by Lynne (4)

This batch shows chili with 1 can of pinto beans; I decided it needed 2 cans. Suit yourself with amount of beans!

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4 votes | 21691 views

2 reviews | 4 comments

As an adolescent I was commissioned by my dad to make a huge pot of chili for his tavern weekly, and I earned fifty cents a batch doing so! (This was before the era of food safety regulation and inspection - I just made it in our home kitchen!) Dad had taught me how to make his chili, and everyone agreed it was in a class of its own. I hadn’t thought much about it and certainly never tried to replicate it for the past 60 years or so, and now some of the ingredients are either unavailable or non-existent. But this week I started thinking about the old times and wondered if I still “had it in me” to make that wonderful chili. This recipe is about one third of that humongous kettle I made back then, stays close to my memories of how it was made, and tastes nearly the same. Dad would be proud of me if he were here to sample it. (But my price for making it today for him would be inflation-adjusted LOL!)

Prep time:

Cook time:

Servings: 10


SouthwesternDad’s Tavern Chili Recipe by Lynne (6)


Cost per serving$1.06view details

  • 1 or 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
  • 1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin beef (90% lean)
  • 1 14.5 -ounce can diced tomatoes (or use 3 large fresh tomatoes chopped)
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste, plus one can-full of water
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce, plus one can-full of water
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder (I use Gebhardt Brand)
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 or 2 15-ounce cans pinto beans (I don't drain)


  1. Heat oil in 5 or 6 quart Dutch oven pan. Add onions and sauté 5 minutes, stirring. Add green peppers, jalapeno garlic and sauté 3-4 minutes.
  2. Crumble beef over vegetable mixture and brown thoroughly, allowing juices to evaporate as you do so. (If 90% lean beef is used, there should be no need to drain fat away.)
  3. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste and its can-full of water, tomato sauce and its can-full of water, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching (chili is thick!)
  4. Add beans and heat though.
  5. YIELD:about 2-3 quarts, or 10 1-cup servings


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving%DV
Serving Size 204g
Recipe makes 10 servings
Calories from Fat10245%
Total Fat11.36g14%
Saturated Fat3.74g15%
Trans Fat0.01g
Total Carbs14.92g4%
Dietary Fiber4.0g13%

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Menus and Pairings

Salad Foodie

recommends serving this with:

  1. Blue Cornmeal Cornbread

    Salad Foodie

  2. Buttermilk Cornbread with Green Chilies and Cheese

    Salad Foodie

  3. Southern Corn Bread

    Salad Foodie

  4. Cornbread Waffles

    Salad Foodie

Goes Well With: saltines, corn bread, corn muffins

Wine and Drink Pairings: milk


  • Reply

    Michael Stock

    Dad’s Tavern Chili Recipe by Lynne (23)December 23, 2013

    This is easy to make and fantastic! I used 1 lb ground beef (85% fat) and 1 lb sweet Italian sausage. I also used a 12 oz can of tomato sauce and substituted the pinto beans with one can of kidney beans and one can of chili beans unrinsed and used the whole can. I let it cook for eight hours is a crock pot and it was fantastic!!

    I've cooked/tasted this recipe!

    This is a variation

    • Reply

      Frosted Flaker

      Dad’s Tavern Chili Recipe by Lynne (25)February 19, 2021

      For chili nights, this is definitely our FAV.

      I've cooked/tasted this recipe!


      • Reply


        September 16, 2013

        Another good chili recipe that i can try.

        • Reply

          Lea Ann

          September 15, 2013

          I agree with Bob, this is similar to chili made when I was growing up in Kansas. Great stuff.

          • Reply

            Bob Vincent

            September 10, 2013

            Hi Salad Foodie:
            This chili is very similar to one my Mom made for the family during the winter in Nebraska when I was a kid. Nothing like a hot bowl of chili on a snowy winter day. I'm sure to make your version and certain it will bring back fond memories of childhood. Thanks for sharing!

            • Reply

              Frosted Flaker

              September 10, 2013

              Looks delicious. Will be popular in the upcoming cold months this winter, no doubt.


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