Chili is one of the best things to eat during the winter months. This One Pot Kielbasa Chili is just the thing to warm you up and it’s so hearty and filling. Making your own chili is actually really easy and it’s exciting to find new ways to make great tasting chili.
Since cooking chili is so competitive and chili chefs spend years perfecting their recipes, chili making can also be very intimidating, but creating a basic chili that tastes good is not at all difficult. There is no pressure to make a blue ribbon winner here.
However, if you just concentrate on what you like, you are bound to customize your chili recipe over time and perfect it, just like the best of them. There are a few ways I make my one-pot kielbasa chili unique and I’ll share those with you right here.
How do I Improve My Chili
There are so many different ways to make great chili and it all starts with a basic chili recipe. Before you can develop a chili that wins contests, you first need to understand the typical ingredients and how they work together to make the perfect blend of flavors. Once you understand the recipe for basic chili, you can start importing other food knowledge into the equation.
Do you want it sweeter? Spicier? Is it thick enough? What kinds of meat do you want to use and how can the ingredients best highlight its attributes?
Making a great chili can involve one or more of several components. You could improve the cut of meat or the type of meat used for a start, or, if you are satisfied with your meat choice, you could look for what’s missing from the chili.
What are you hoping the chili will taste like? How does it compare? What would give it that extra punch of flavor you are looking for?
Every great chili recipe has a surprising secret ingredient. My one pot chili kielbasa recipe comes from a few different angles to bring some uniqueness and robust flavor to the table. I use enchilada sauce to give my chili a little bit of a flavor starter pack.
One of my favorite finishing spices to add is a good portion of Slap Ya Mama. Funny enough, my chili uses no spicy peppers. Green bell peppers are the only peppers used with the exception of some of the black pepper you sprinkle in later.
Slap Ya Mama brings most of the heat in this chili. I love what its distinct flavor profile does with the other ingredients in the pot.
Of course, one of the big secrets to my special kielbasa chili is the kielbasa itself. Though that’s no secret, what is sort of a secret is that I also throw in some breakfast sausage.
Using Kielbasa in Chili
Typically if you are using ground beef in your chili, you would want to use chuck steak. There are other cuts of meat you can experiment with and you can try out other meats like pork or venison. When you make chili with sausage it’s a whole new ball game.
Like the enchilada sauce and the Slap Ya Mama, sausage is often pre-packed with seasoning power of its own. You can add a lot of powerful flavor components to your chili, just by using sausage as your meat. For example, breakfast sausage with maple will contribute a wonderful sweetness to the chili.
Another key purpose to using sausage in chili is the fatty content. As the chili stews, the fat blends into the other ingredients of the pot adding even more depth of flavor. That’s because the fat breaks down and dissolves flavor and odor chemicals in the food, unlocking their essence.
Kielbasa is a hearty and thick sausage that holds up well in a one-pot chili. Another secret to how this unique protein makes this chili shine is how you cut it up before throwing it in the pot. This will affect the cooking of the sausage and the texture of the chili.
When to Make Your One-Pot Kielbasa Chili
Make this chili a day ahead of time for the best results. If you make a lot of it, take care with the leftovers. The chili tastes even better after it has been in the refrigerator for a little while. The magic of chili is in how all of the flavors run together.
Whether your sauce is smoky, spicy, or sweet, it doesn’t matter nearly as much as the body of flavor that is consistent with each bite. The longer you let these ingredients marinate, the better your chili will taste. That’s why chili usually tastes so much more incredible on leftover night.
Although time is chili’s friend, it does spoil at some point. As with just about any prepared food, you can expect your chili to last for about 3-5 days in the refrigerator if it is properly stored. Keep this in mind as you cook your chili and make sure you only refrigerate what you plan to eat within a week.
If you have even more chili leftover from the batch you can freeze that chili for several months. That means one big pot of chili can last you throughout the season if you store it properly.
Try and have a plan for how much chili frozen chili you will need at a time. Then, distribute measured portions of chili into a prescribed number of freezer bags that way reheating will be easier for you and you won’t waste any.
Ingredients needed to make One Pot Kielbasa Chili
- Breakfast sausage
- Smoked Kielbasa
- Green bell pepper
- Black beans
- Kidney beans
- Enchilada sauce
- Chili powder
- Slap Ya Mama
(Actual measurements in the recipe card below.)
How to make One Pot Kielbasa Chili
- Cut kielbasa into 1/4 inch slices then cut in half to create bite size pieces.
- In a large pot, brown breakfast sausage until fully cooked. Drain and set aside.
- In the same large pot, add kielbasa, onions, and bell peppers. Cook until kielbasa has browned and veggies are tender. Add garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Drain any excess grease.
- Place breakfast sausage and kielbasa back into pot.
- Add remaining ingredients: black beans, kidney beans, enchilada sauce, pepper, and seasoning. Stir until combined.
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium/low and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve with cheese, sour cream, onions, and corn bread.
Try this delicious One Pot Kielbasa Chili
Here are a few more delicious recipes you can find on the blog:
- One Pot Beef Stroganoff
- Crockpot Multi Bean Soup
- Crockpot Spicy Vegan Chili
- and, Crockpot Spicy Charro Beans
- 1 lb breakfast sausage
- 1 lb smoked kielbasa, sliced ¼" then cut each slice in half
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 15.5 oz cans black beans, drained, rinsed
- 2 15.5 oz cans kidney beans, drained, rinsed
- 2 15 oz cans red enchilada sauce
- 1 tsp Slap Ya Mama®
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
Cut kielbasa into ¼ inch slices then cut in half to create bite size pieces.
In a large pot, brown breakfast sausage until fully cooked. Drain and set aside.
In the same large pot, add kielbasa, onions, and bell peppers. Cook until kielbasa has browned and vegetables are tender. Add garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Drain excess grease.
Place breakfast sausage and kielbasa back into pot. Add black beans, kidney beans, enchilada sauce, pepper, and seasoning. Stir until combined.
Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Reduce heat to medium/low and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve with cheese, sour cream, onions, and cornbread.
Here are a few pics that are the perfect size for pinning to Pinterest.
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