Grandma’s Notre Dame Chili

Every fall from almost birth until I was in my early 20s, my family made the annual pilgrimage to Notre Dame for a football game. We would stay at my Aunt Margaret’s house, and as the sun rose on Saturday morning, a few of us would climb in the motor home and drive to the tailgate lot to stake out our usual spot. Grandma would always have made enough food to feed the army that would stop by the tailgate for a few minutes or hours before and after the game. There were always coffee cakes, sandwiches, cookies, cheesecake, lemon bars, chips and dip, etc. The two foods that I would always make sure to eat, though, were Grandma’s Notre Dame Baked Beans and Grandma’s Notre Dame Chili.

My grandma is in town helping with the babies, and Seattle has been having the perfect fall weather, so it seemed like a great time for chili. Trying to get grandma to give me the recipe was like pulling teeth, as she has been making it forever and doesn’t measure.

Prep Time: 20-30 min.


Ingredients:precooked chili.JPG

  • 1.5 ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 1 can dark kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can light kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can chili beans in chili sauce
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can Mexican style tomatoes
  • 2 packets chili mix
  • Extra chili powder to taste
  • Optional: shredded cheese and crackers

Cook ground beef on the stove. Then drain it and add it to the crockpot. Drain the kidney beans and add them, as well. I usually rinse my beans so that I get less of the sodium. Add the chili beans, tomatoes, and chili packets. If you would like a little more kick, add chili powder. Stir it all together and set the crockpot for 6-8 hours on low. Serve as is or topped with cheese and crackers. 

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