This Michigan style, Midwestern Style Chili soup is full of ground beef, beans, and macaroni in a flavorful broth. It’s very different from the chili you might be used to but once you try it you’ll be hooked.
The chili I grew up with was quite different than the chili I learned to make here is Texas. While I DO love me some Texas chili I ultimately go back to the Midwestern (or Michigan) style when I need comfort food.
Well, the Midwestern style chili is more tomato-y and has a thinner sauce, more like a broth. The chili is less pronounced and the flavors are fresher; bell peppers, onions, tomatoes… Each spoonful is full of vegetables and macaroni, beef and kidney beans for a hearty meal that is somewhere between a soup and a stew.
It’s simple, quick to put together and perfect for a crock pot meal. You really don’t need much else on the table when you serve this; maybe a loaf of sour dough to soak up the broth. It freezes well so you might as well make the biggest batch of it that you can. You can also adjust the amounts of the ingredients to make it stretch further, or use less meat and more beans, or whatever you like. This, my friends, is what I like to come home to.
My mom made a tradition of making this on the first cold day of the autumn season. Even when I was married and in my own home she’d call me up to tell me that she had a big pot of chili on the stove and I should bring the kids over. She’s been gone for years but now I call MY daughter up on the first cool day of the year and invite her over for chili — even though I can’t make it nearly as well as my mom did.
That’s one of the hardest things about losing someone who cooked for you. You all of a sudden realize that no matter what you do you’ll never taste that dish again. Oh, you may replicate it but it’s never going to taste exactly the way your mom, grandma, or aunt made it. I don’t know if you’ve experienced that but there are times when it leaves me with a deep longing that I just have to work through.
This? It’s my go to comfort food. So, you can argue that this isn’t real chili if you want but while you do? I will be finishing off your bowl. Remember the Applejacks commercial?
I eat what I like! Oh, and please try this with my homemade chili powder recipe!
Midwestern Style Chili
- 1 1/2 lbs ground beef , browned
- 4 cups cooked red kidney beans
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 2 chopped bell peppers
- 1/2 cup sliced celery , optional
- 1 quart tomato juice or V-8
- 3 14- ounce cans stewed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chili powder , or to taste
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- Add all ingredients except macaroni to a crock pot and simmer for 8 hours.
- About 30 minutes before serving cook the pasta, drain it, and add it to the simmering chili.
- Allow flavors to blend another 30 minutes or so.
If you liked this Midwestern Style Chili you may also like…
Three Bean Chili Spicy Southern Kitchen
Slow Cooker Chili with Black Beans and Corn Chew Out Loud