Basic Chili Spice & Herb Mix, Substitute Chili Packet

When I first started making Chili, I used to just guess and add a little of this and a little of that – the problem? Well, other than the need for a lot of adjusting was standing there at the stove thinking, “What is it missing?”

Chili Packet Substitute
Chili Packet Substitute

The other problem? Child: “I don’t like Chili.” Me: “Well, you liked it last time.” Child: “It doesn’t taste the same!” Hard to argue with that!

So here’s a blend I use, suitable, I’d say for most families – a great substitute for a chili packet. This has become my basic “signature” chili. It makes a great flavor base to riff off  of, too, if you’d like to change it up or add additional heat or flavors.

Feel free to use less salt, by all means – I generally make mine with dried beans, unsalted. If you like to use canned beans, you may easily go with half the salt.

Chili Con Carne Mix

  • Servings: abt 3/4 cup
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 teaspoons cumin
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 8 tablespoons chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons salt

2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons generally works well for a pot of chili using a pound of ground beef. This will make about four to five pots of chili.

from the kitchen of

A recipe to get you started:

Saute a diced onion and green pepper in a little oil until soft. Brown a pound of ground beef and drain fat. Add in the chili mixture, and stir around until fragrant. Add in the sautéed vegetables and a 15 ounce can of crushed or diced tomatoes plus juice. Add a little water or stock until desired consistency. Add a can or two of beans, pinto or kidney; rinse beans first.

Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook until flavors are blended and chili is thickened as desired, at least 30 minutes at a simmer.

If you’d like to see more of my spice & herb blends, check out Spice, Herb & Flavor Packet Substitutes. I’m adding as I go along!