boca crumbles

"Cans of things" chili

I make this chili once a month-ish. It freezes and refrigerates well. It’s less of a recipe and more of a guideline!


  • Ground beef OR Boca crumbles (these have wheat in them though) OR other meat substitute of your choice (don’t know about the wheat content of other options)
  • Packet of chili seasoning
  • 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes


  • One large-ish soup pot
  • Stirring implement - I like a large wooden spoon
  • Can opener

These first three ingredients are the only “essentials.” Brown the beef in your soup pot, drain fat, add chili seasoning, add crushed tomatoes.  After that, add your cans of things!

Suggested cans of things:

  • Salsa
  • Beans - black beans and kidney beans are the most “chili-ish”
  • Corn
  • Old random cans of soup you have laying around
  • Jalapenos
  • Handful of dried lentils

Stir every 10 minutes or so, over low heat. Chili is one of those things that gets better with time, so feel free to turn it off, go have a nap, and come back 4 hours later. This recipe is great because it can be gluten free, or meat free, or dairy free, or anything-else free depending on your needs. Personally, I like to top my chili with shredded cheese and plain greek yogurt, but I bet it would also make a good topping over hot dogs or a variety of other foods. Hope you enjoy!