A chili without tomato totality (just in time for the Super Bowl)


I love tomatoes, but the totality of tomato in most chilis is too much for me. Here’s a chili recipe that tones down the tomato factor. (Photo copyright Laura Groch 2015)

Super Bowl season brings up visions of other ‘super’ bowls — hearty soups, stews, chilis and gumbos that can be left in a slow cooker for dishing out at halftime and beyond.

I’m not a fan in general of most chilis, finding them way too-tomatoey, which tends to knock out most of the other flavors. But hey, that’s me. My husband, on the other hand, enjoys chili with plenty of tomatoes.

What to do to keep us both happy? Well, I recently adapted a recipe that makes a great compromise. You can do it on the stovetop or the slow cooker, and it’s hearty enough to serve your football fans on this big football day. Serve with brown rice or biscuits to get every bit of the gravy, and you’ve got one souper — er, super — bowl of your own.

The original recipe is from Cindy Heller in Family Circle magazine a couple of years ago. I made several changes, and this is now a chili — with some tomatoes, but not tomato totality — that I can really enjoy.


1 large onion, chopped

1/2 pound shredded rotisserie chicken, white or dark meat, your preference (see note)

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 green, red, yellow or orange pepper, seeded, chopped

1 jalapeno chile, seeded, chopped (optional, or add more if you prefer)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, or more to taste

1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained (see note)

1 can (8 ounces) El Pato tomato sauce (or other brand with Mexican seasoning) (see note)

1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed, or canned corn

1 can (15 ounces) cannellini, great Northern or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons stone-ground cornmeal

Shredded Cheddar cheese or other to your taste (Monterey Jack, Colby, etc.)

Combine all ingredients except cornmeal and cheese in large pot or slow cooker. Bring to gentle simmer and allow to cook for about 1 hour on stovetop, or for about 4 hours on High if using slow cooker.

With a wooden spoon, mash some of the beans against the side of the pot or slow cooker bowl to thicken the chili. Stir in cornmeal and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let sit 5 minutes to soften the cornmeal. Stir thoroughly again. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and serve.

Makes 6 servings.


— Costco sells rotisserie chicken meat in 2-pound packages. I portion them into four half-pound servings and freeze them. I find one half-pound package is enough for this recipe.

— The original recipe called for a can of tomatoes with jalapenos. I use whatever canned tomatoes I have on hand — stewed, with Italian seasoning, with Mexican seasoning. They all work. If you prefer not to add the extra can of tomato sauce, then don’t drain the can of tomatoes.

— If you feel like adding a small can of diced green chiles, go for it.

(c) Copyright Laura Groch 2015


3 thoughts on “A chili without tomato totality (just in time for the Super Bowl)

  1. Chili Without Carne — and chili — is right up my alley – beyondbites

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