Chili Colorado

A slow cooker beef chili

Note: this recipe was published here, once before, but the pictures didn’t look right, so I redid the recipe, and updated at the same time.

I haven’t posted a lot of recipes, lately, but I sure cook a lot of food! If you’ve been a reader of my old blog, you might recognize this one from way back when. This is one of my go to meals, because it’s popular, even with my kids, so I thought I’d update it.


The Chili Controversy

The history of ‘chili’ is controversial, but my gut tells me that this is an ancient ancestor to today’s Texas Bowl of Red (aka chili con carne). Texas Red is more complicated, and this is a simple version.

Real chili doesn’t have beans, so this gets to be called chili, plain and simple. Yes, if you put beans, corn, and chunked vegetables in chili, it’s not longer the real deal!

Chili Colorado should be beef (not pork) and have a fairly smooth sauce, with any spices finely ground, and vegetables? …on the side.

chili colorado

Chili Colorado

This is a simple recipe, and can be as mild or as hot as you like. Many people don’t realize that paprika is ground chili, and as long as you don’t get some fancy paprika from the Hungarian section, it tends to be sweet and mild and readily available. I buy mine in a large pack at the local Persian market, where you get fresh and sweet paprika at the price of $4 for about a pound!

Alternately, look for ground California (mild, but not as mild as paprika), Anaheim or New Mexico (tends to hot), or Ancho (tends to hot).

Just make sure not to buy chili powder, which is usually a spice mixture, not just ground chilis!

Makes 4-6 servings


1.5 lbs beef (like chuck roast)

1 tsp fat (beef fat, bacon fat, etc.)

1 medium onion

1-2 oz ground chili (powder), such as paprika, California, New Mexico, ancho, etc.

1 tbsp cumin, ground

1 tsp salt

2-3 cups water


chili colorado


Cube the beef chuck or roast. If desired, brown the meat in a heavy skillet, then place it in the slow cooker.

Add fat to the skillet and brown the onions. Add the onions to the slow cooker.

Spinkle the powdered chili, cumin, and salt over the meat and stir to coat.

Deglaze the skillet with water. Taste to make sure it’s not bitter, and if not, add it to the slow cooker along with the rest of the water. Stir, and cook for the day on the low setting, or several hours on the high setting.

If you don’t have a slow cooker, just simmer for a couple of hours in a heavy, covered pot over low heat until the meat is tender. The biggest downside to this is you can’t just go to work and come home to Chili Colorado.

Salt to taste, and serve with a lot of grilled or roasted vegetables, such as zucchini, squash, peppers, and onions.

If you’re not a paleo, or want more of a one pot meal, do what you will with this (like adding beans, veggies, etc.). Just remember that chili with ‘extras’ is no longer chili, but it’s still good. I will not be responsible…


Free Bonus Veggie Recipes

Avocado Lime Salad

Makes 4 servings

2 red bell peppers, seeded, quartered, then cut into slivers

3/4 large ripe avocado, cubed

1 lime, juiced

1/4 tsp cumin, ground

salt to taste

Mix everything together and let it sit out for 30 minutes to an hour. Eat.


Mexican Chopped Salad

Makes 4 servings

1 colorful bell pepper, seeded and chopped into bite size pieces

1 seeded, diced hot chili, optional

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half

3 Persian cucumbers or 1 large cucumber, chopped into bite size pieces
salt to taste

1/4 large ripe avocado, mashed

1-2 tsp lime juice

Add all veggies to a large bowl. Salt to taste, and stir. Allow it to sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes until it’s good and juicy. Stir the mashed avocado and lime juice together. Stir well, incorporating the avocado and vegetable juices into a dressing. Eat.


Pan Grilled Zucchini

Makes 4 servings

6 medium zucchini, cut into circles

2 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp paprika

salt to taste

Heat oil in one or two large skillets, Add zucchini, cooking until browned on one side. Flip and brown the other side. Sprinkle with paprika and salt. Eat. Everything.



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