This Italian Sausage Chili is the perfect warming bowl of hearty goodness. You won’t want to make your chili any other way.
I love a good chili that stands all on its own with no beans. The combination of the chipotle with the sweetness of the roasted tomatoes is unexpected and will keep you coming back for more.
- Is It Gluten Free?
- How Do You Thicken Chili?
- The Best Seasoning for Chili
- What Do You Do with Leftover Chipotle Salsa?
- How Do You Garnish Your Chili?
- Chili No Beans
- Do You Have Leftover Chili?
This chili is different than any other chili I’ve ever made. And, it’s the most delicious I’ve ever had. The combination of flavors turned out to be incredibly perfect.
To begin, there is the obvious use of Italian sausage. It was just a fluke that I decided to add it. I accidentally thawed out the wrong package. But, my accident, wow. Chili will never be the same.
You can try to make this sausage with ground beef but I assure you that Italian sausage chili is the way to go. You won’t believe the incredible flavor.
I didn’t use anything unusual. Just like most chili I’ve made, I used onion, bell pepper and celery.
For the tomatoes, I’ve used Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes. I love these tomatoes. The roasting brings out such a nice sweet flavor.
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Garlic powder, cumin and paprika. Nothing unusual there, right? I know I’m missing the chili powder. But, here’s where it gets interesting.
Rather than a powder, I used a can of San Marcos Chipotle Sauce. I really love this stuff. It’s a mixture of tomato sauce and chipotle.
If you’re unable to find it, you can get a very similar sauce by mixing a little bit of tomato sauce with the sauce from a can of chipotle in adobo.
It’s readily available at our grocery store in central Arkansas so I would imagine that it’s available in most places. If not, I believe you can find it at Walmart or Amazon online.
Better Than Bouillon
Okay, this is in the chili because I just like it. I love it, actually. Ever since discovering it, I’ve been adding it for flavor in a lot of things.
Balsamic vinegar may seem like an unusual addition to chili but it’s perfect with tomatoes so it seems like the perfect pairing for a tomato-based chili.
Is This Chili Gluten Free?
Ordinarily, I would say that everything in this chili is gluten free. The Better Than Bouillon, though. The company says that they cannot confirm there is no gluten.
There may not be any in the ingredients but it could still be made where gluten is found. Just be careful if you’re sensitve to gluten. Use a different bouillon or omit it.
How Do You Thicken The Chili?
If you find that you need to thicken the chili, try adding corn flour, also known as masa harina.
Masa harina isn’t exactly cornmeal. It’s the corn flour used to make tortillas and tamales. You can use regular masa harina or masa harina specifically made for tamales. We use Maseca brand.
Mix two or three tablespoons of masa harina in about a ¼ cup of cool water to form a paste before adding to the chili.
The Best Seasoning for Chili
My mom passed to me her secret ingredient for the best chili. No matter what kind of chili she makes, she always adds a can of San Marcos Chipotle Salsa. It’s a mixture of tomato sauce and chipotle chiles.
The Chipotle Salsa is fairly spicy. It’s not overwhelmingly spicy. To the uninitiated, you may need to reduce the amount to half the can. Maybe add half and taste it before adding more.
If you’re unable to find this not-a-secret-anymore ingredient, try using the same amount of tomato sauce and add 1 or 2 teaspoons of chipotle powder.
What Do You Do with Leftover Chipotle Salsa?
If you use half a can of chipotle sauce, this leaves you with the other half. Not to worry. I love it and try to use it frequently in my recipes.
So, if you’re looking for something else to make with the leftover, try this Creamy Chipotle Shrimp. It has just the perfect amount of spicy heat, just like this chili recipe.
Of course, if you want more heat in your chili, you still have the other half of the can. You can add as much as you like. Use it a a table sauce too!
On the other hand, if you don’t like a lot of heat, try adding even less of the chipotle sauce before you taste it. You can get just the right amount.
How Do You Garnish Your Chili?
Because I felt like this chili had a sort of Mexican flair with the chipotle, I garnished with my standard shredded cheese, cilantro, lime and sour cream.
Try chopped fresh onions, jalapenos, corn chips and avocado.
Chili No Beans
I decided no beans for this chili. I didn’t want to take away from any of the delicious flavors. But, if you want to add beans, you could go with black beans or maybe even a can of chili beans.
I may have added chili beans if I could find some in the pantry. But, beans aren’t really necessary. The chili is so hearty as it is.
Do You Have Leftover Chili?
The next day, I decided to add some cooked macaroni to the leftover chili. If you would like to spread out the Italian sausage to more than six servings, chili-mac works great too!
More Recipes for Chilly Days
Did you see what I did there? I’ll bet you did!
I have lots of recipes that are perfect for when the temperatures start coming down outside. When some people start thinking about pumpkin spice, I start thinking about stew, soup and chili!
- Instant Pot Creamy Chicken Soup
- Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Kielbasa Sausage Soup with Lentils
- Steak and Mushrooms Soup
- Instant Pot Tortellini Soup
Italian Sausage Chili Without BeansTap to leave a star rating
For more information, be sure to check the recipe details in the attached 24Bite® post.
- 1 pound Italian Sausage, ground
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 1 Bell Pepper, red or green, seeded and chopped
- 2 Celery Stalks, chopped
- 14.5 ounces Fire Roasted Tomatoes, canned, not drained
- 7 ounces San Marcos Chipotle Sauce
- 7.4 ounces Tomato Sauce
- 6 ounces Tomato Paste
- 1 cup Water
- 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Chicken Flavor
- 2 teaspoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Paprika Powder
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
- 2 tablespoons Masa Harina, optional
- In a large, heavy pan, brown Italian sausage on medium high heat, breaking up the meat and stirring frequently.
- Once meat is fully cooked, add onion, bell pepper and celery. Stir well and continue cooking for about 3-5 minutes until fragrant.
- Add all remaining ingredients except masa harina. Stir well. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer, uncovered for about 15-30 minutes.
- If you want to thicken the chili, you can continue cooking for more of the liquid to evaporate. Alternatively, stir about 2 tablespoons masa harina in ¼ cup cool water until it forms a paste then add slowly to the chili. Allow to continue cooking until desired consistency.
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