There is nothing better than fresh garden chili made from the end of the season produce from our raised row garden.
As the green and red peppers are in still in full production, the majority of our tomato plants are ending their peak harvest period.
We have used the majority of our San Marzano, Amish Paste and Roma tomatoes for canning salsa, picante and pasta sauce. We have even used them to make diced tomatoes and tomato sauce for use throughout the winter. See our Canning Recipes pages.
However, our larger heirloom tomatoes are primarily used for slicing tomatoes. We eat them with just about every meal during harvest season.
Slice a whole Brandywine tomato and serve it with two eggs over easy and you have a full meal. At lunch time we cut them up and use them in our salads or on our sandwiches.
And don’t forget dinner time! We add fresh tomatoes to almost every dish including rice and pasta dishes, stuffed peppers and as part of one of our favorite summer time side dishes: Cucumber, tomato and onion salad.
But as our garden season winds down and we have canned all we need to get us through until next year, we turn to our garden to make our fresh garden chili recipe.
The end of the season garden crops are perfect to use in all sorts of soup recipes. We use them to make our homemade vegetable soup, zesty pepper soup, creamy tomato basil soup, in addition to fresh garden chili.
When we have time we will put a fire in the firepit and cook a large batch of soup in a cast iron kettle and let it simmer all day long.
But there are times when cooking over the fire just isn’t possible. So instead, we make a smaller batch in our kitchen.
We make it to either eat it right away or freeze it for a quick and easy, garden fresh meal in the middle of winter. To make everything stack neatly in our freezer, we use Rubbermaid Take Along rectangular containers to freeze the soup.
We will then transfer each block of soup into our Food Saver plastic bags and vacuum seal and store in our freezer for long term use.
There is just something satisfying about pulling out a block of fresh garden chili on a cold and snowy day. It makes us have hope and excitement in anticipation of next year’s garden.
Fresh Garden Chili Recipe
*makes approximately 8-10 servings.
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 Tbsp butter
8 cups chopped tomatoes
2 red peppers, diced
2 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 cans chili beans, not drained
1 tsp smoke paprika
2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp chili powder
1. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat.
2. Add the onions and sauté until they begin to soften, approximately 5 minutes.
3. Add ground beef and garlic. Cook until the beef is browned.
4. Add remaining ingredients and put the lid on and reduce heat to a slow simmer.
5. Simmer for at least an hour.
If you don’t have fresh tomatoes,you could also use 2-15 oz cans of diced tomatoes and 2-15 oz cans of tomato sauce.
Serve immediately or freeze for later use.
Mary and Jim
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Fresh Garden Chili Recipe
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 8 cups chopped tomatoes
- 2 red peppers diced
- 2 large onion diced
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 cans chili beans not drained
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoke paprika
- Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions and sauté until they begin to soften, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add ground beef and garlic. Cook until the beef is browned.
- Add remaining ingredients and put the lid on and reduce heat to a slow simmer.
- Simmer for at least an hour.
You could substitute 2-15 oz cans of diced tomatoes and 2-15 oz cans of tomato sauce instead of fresh tomatoes.
Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms