Cheeseburger Chili

Serve with the Easy Oven Fries, or with good-quality potato chips or tortilla chips. Instead of serving the chips under the chili, like you do with the fries, serve them alongside or crumbled up on top.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds ground beef (chuck for a buttery flavor or sirloin for lean steak-like flavor)
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder blend (such as Gebhardt’s) or ancho chile powder
  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 cup good-quality ketchup (such as Heinz Organic)
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard (such as Plochman’s or French’s)
  • Hot sauce
  • 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups shredded sharp yellow cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup dill pickle relish
  • 1/2 small white or yellow onion, finely chopped (1/4 to 1/3 cup)
  • Easy Oven Fries (optional)


Make the chili: In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Pat the meat dry, add to the pan, and cook, breaking it into crumbles as it browns. Add the onions, garlic, chili powder, and salt and pepper. Cook to soften the onions, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the Worcestershire, stock, ketchup, mustard, and 1 teaspoon hot sauce. Taste and add more hot sauce if you like spice. Stir in the beans, reduce to a simmer, and cook, partially covered, for 20 minutes to thicken.

Make-ahead: Cool and refrigerate.

Make the cheeseburger sauce: In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, season with salt and pepper, and cook the sauce until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the cheddar in a figure-8 until melted. Stir in the relish and onion. Adjust the seasoning.

Make-ahead: Cool and refrigerate.

Night of: Return the chili to room temp before reheating gently over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reheat the cheeseburger sauce over medium-low heat, stirring frequently once the sauce loosens up. Or reheat in the microwave on high, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for a total of about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or until evenly hot throughout.

Make the Easy Oven Fries, if desired. Put some fries in the bottom of each serving bowl. Ladle the chili on top. Top with cheeseburger sauce.

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