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Granny’s Award Winning Homemade Chili Recipe

I swear to you – Granny Schmidt makes the best chilli in the world! She finally sent me the recipe and was surprised when I told her that I wanted to share with the world,

She just won second place at a Chili Cookout in Seaforth, Ontario, Canada – and I am sure it had to be a very, very close and the judges had a difficult decision to make!

Well – here it is – enjoy and “Thanks Granny”!

Granny Schmidt’s Award Winning Chili:

  • 2 teaspoons of cooking oil
  • 3 lbs. of lean ground beef
  • 1-1/2 lb. of mild Italian sausage (casing removed)
  • 2 stalks of celery – chopped fine
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 small Jalapeno pepper (seeds removed and chopped fine)
  • 2 large garlic cloves – minced
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes
  • 2-8 oz. cans of tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon granules

  • ½ cup of honey
  • 2 large cans (15 oz each) of red kidney beans
  • 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons of sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • ¼ cup of white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder
  • 1 can of dark beer

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. In a large deep frying pan or Dutch oven pot, heat oil, add celery, peppers, onions and sauté for 8 minutes on medium high heat. Brown the ground beef and sausage in a separate pan (as you are frying the sausage, get the meat to come apart to have the consistency of ground pork) and when done, move all into a large oval roasting pan.
  3. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and kidney beans.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together honey, cayenne pepper, chilli powder, oregano, black pepper, salt, brown sugar and white sugar, cumin, cocoa powder and mix until well blended. Add to the ingredients in the roasting pan.
  5. Pour the can of dark beer over everything in the roasting pan and mix well. Put the lid on and bake in the 325F oven for 2-1/2 – 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve with garlic toast or crusty buns.

This recipe will make about 40 cups of chilli – enough to feed at least 20 people!

And just a little note: If you have any leftovers (it usually doesn’t happen – but just in case) you can package them in smaller servings as you choose and freeze them with no problem!

Enjoy and send in your comments and experiences – they are always welcomed!


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About the author

Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

Gail - September 17, 2017

Hi Hanna! I chose this recipe for an upcoming chili cook-off (by all of the great reviews!), and have all of the ingredients. I was reading the recipe, and wondered if you could tell me when the garlic goes in?

    Hanna Trafford - October 11, 2017

    Hi Gail!And thanks for asking! I usually put the garlic in at the same time as I put in onion try it!

Brittany - September 15, 2017

I had high hopes for this chili. It was good, but for my taste it was way too sweet. I thought the spice would balance the sweet out. When I first tried it the spicy and sweet did seem to compliment one another really well, but then it seemed to just get sweeter as I let it simmer in my crockpot. I entered this recipe in to a chili cook-off at work and we will see what others think. I just prefer a savory chili.

Jennifer - February 12, 2015

Just made this for a chili competition!!! Thanks for sharing! Only thing I did differently was I used ground sirloin vs ground beef! :).

Angie - July 9, 2014

AMAZING chili. I’ve made chili for years and by far this is the best I’ve ever had.

    Hanna Trafford - July 10, 2014

    Thanks so much for your message Angie and I am so glad the chili turned out well for you!

Toni - November 22, 2013

Wow, the best chilli ever. I decided to cut out the white sugar and decrease the amount of other sweet ingredients since my family prefers savoury foods and I couldn’t get the pot to the table fast enough. Fabulous recipe! Thanks for sharing it.

    Hanna Trafford - November 25, 2013

    Thats just awesome Toni! I really appreciate you taking the time to write the message to me – this is exactly why I do what I do! Please try other recipes and stay in touch!

Lanny - December 11, 2012

Great recipe!!! I won 1st place at a chill cook-off held by our local pub and got rave reviews! Thanks so much for sharing!!!


    Hanna Trafford - December 11, 2012

    Awesome news Lanny! Congratulations – I am very happy about that!

Doug H - November 20, 2012

What a great recipe. I have made chile for years, and have had people loving the way I prepare and care for my chile. But this, I can tell you that I will continue to use this recipe until I find another to top it. Highly doubtful, but I enjoyed making this and having my family and friends rave about it. I do add a few of my secret ingredients for name recoginition only.
Thanks for the great recipe.

    Doug H - November 21, 2012

    Please just list my first name and last initial on my first comment. Doug H.
    Thank you

    Hanna Trafford - November 21, 2012

    So glad that recipe worked out for you Doug!And thanks very much for letting me know – it always feels good when I get a positive comment like yours!

Nola - May 4, 2012

I just won our church’s chili cook off with this recipe! Fantastic combo of ingredients! Thank you!

    Hanna Trafford - May 23, 2012

    What a great news Nola! Congratulations and I an absolutely delighted that my recipe did so well for you!

    Scott - February 14, 2015

    This is excellent! Completely different than my normal. I added 2 nips of fireball rather than the cinnamon. looking forward to giving this a go in 4 more hours!

supersparky1 - August 13, 2011

hi, thanks for the recipe,i need to know a couple things, what kind of dark beer did you use, an how many ounces is the large can of diced tomatoes, thank you for your time

    Hanna Trafford - August 22, 2011

    Hi! I do apologize for the very late rely – hope the information will still be helpful to you. I use whatever dark beer I have on hand – we have a local brewery that makes great dark beer – the brewery is Brick Brewing Company and the beer is Waterloo Dark. If you want to find out more about this brand, check out their official Facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/#!/waterloo.dark.beer. As far as the can of tomatoes goes,the one I used is 16 oz. Let me know how your chili turned out and thank so much for your comments!

fortwander - July 7, 2011

I enjoyed it but my guests thought it was too sweet… : (

    Brittany - September 15, 2017

    I agree with your guests. It was too sweet, but still enjoyable.

shelly - April 3, 2011

while using this recipe for the first time I’ve noticed the list of ingrediants calls for cinnamon and chicken and chicken bouillon granules but in the directions I do not see eaither cinnamon or chicken bouillon granules, So I figured they went in and added them anyway, hopefully it turns out as good as it looks!

    Hanna Trafford - April 4, 2011

    Hi! Thanks so much for your comment – you were correct in adding the cinnamon and chicken buillon granules in – they go in at the same time the rest of spices do and I didn’t realize that the recipe didn’t list them separately. I would love to know how your chili truned out – it has been one of my most popular recipes and everyone reported success,m including couple of people who won chili cook-outs! Let me know and thanks again!

Darold - February 28, 2011

Thanks! It turned out great and won the cookoff at a friends place. First choice from both the kids and adults. I found it a little sweet to what i am used to but hey, i have the trophy! Cheers.

    Hanna Trafford - February 28, 2011

    Thanks so much for letting me know – love receiving feedback like yours! And big congratulations to you – hope you keep visiting my website often and sending in more comments. If you have picutre from your fabulous win and would like me to feature it on this site, I would be very happy to do that!

steve - February 26, 2011

Just made this chili today for a minor hockey team that I coach. It was for a coasting party. It was gone in 20 minutes. even the 10 year old kids ate it! Amazing! We loved it! Thank you so much for sharing. I wish more people would share there family secrets. Great job!

    Hanna Trafford - February 28, 2011

    Excellent! And thank you so so very much for letting me know – I love reading messages like yours – it just makes my day. If you have pictures that could be added to my site, I would love to do that – please let me know and I hope you stay in touch!

Superbowl Party Tips and Recipes | Mama Knows - February 4, 2011

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Alishya - December 8, 2010

10 out of 10 — 2 thumbs up!!!!

My dad found your recipe and made it a few weeks ago…I’m not a huge fan of chili, but this recipe was fantastic, I couldn’t get enough of it. The flavour was great!

Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Hanna Trafford - December 9, 2010

    Thanks so much for your message and Hurray for your dad and for the chili! Hope you will keep visiting my website often – there are more great recipes there and more to come!

Dan - October 28, 2009

I made it and it’s great. One thing I noticed was the chili powder is missing from the list of ingredients. I winged it by using three tablespoons but am curious what the actual measure should be. Thx!

    Hanna Trafford - October 29, 2009

    Thanks for pointing that out Dan – I double checked with granny Schmidt and she told me she usually puts in about 4 tablespoons of chili powder – so your guess was pretty much right on!

Anna @ BloggerMommies - August 13, 2009

I just LOVE chili and cannot wait to try Granny’s recipe. It looks delicious!

    Hanna Trafford - August 27, 2009

    Did you make the chili yet? I really want to hear how it turned out for you – please let me know! And – if you have a recipe – or a story you would like to share, I would love to hear back from you!

      Jerry - February 6, 2011

      Great chili !! Won the church chili cook off yesterday. Thanks for the recipe

        Hanna Trafford - February 7, 2011

        Wow Jerry! That is awesome – thank so much for letting me know! If you have any pictures, I would appreciate if you send them to me and I would post them on the website. Congratulations!

Hanna Trafford - July 31, 2009

Thanks so much for your comment Lucky Lester – and please send in your recipes anytime!

Lucky Lester - July 30, 2009

Very similar to my own recipe minus a couple of ingredients, I look forward to trying her variation this fall.

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