I love chili topped with some shredded cheddar cheese!

I’m one of those weirdos who loves chili year ’round, but with September here and fall just around the corner, it’s officially chili season! To me, chili is the quintessential fall food. I inherited my recipe from my Dad – and the secret ingredient might surprise you!

Chili is great for several reasons:

  • It’s a versatile recipe that will fill your belly on a budget.
  • You can either throw it together in a hurry on the stovetop, or take your time and simmer it all day in a Crockpot (either way, your house will smell AMAZING!)
  • You can make a huge pot and it’s great for freezing to enjoy months later.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 pound ground beef/ground turkey/shredded chicken
  • 1 large can tomato sauce
  • 1 can black beeans
  • 1 can or frozen package of yellow corn
  • 2 cans Rotel (I use store brand diced tomatoes with green chiles)
  • 1 package of chili seasoning

Once the meat is cooked and you’ve added it to the onions, you’ll just combine all of the ingredients listed above (if you’re using a package of frozen corn, steam it in the microwave according to package directions.)

Now comes the secret ingredient – and I know this sounds so weird, but just trust me here – one heaping spoonful of creamy peanut butter.

If you’re cooking your chili in a slow cooker for hours, just drop the peanut butter into the chili and cover it. It’ll dissolve and will mix in when you stir it. If you’re making a quick stovetop chili, then you’ll microwave the spoonful of peanut butter for about 20 seconds to make it thinner. Then you’ll simply stir it into the chili. Cover & simmer on low for 10-15 minutes.

My chili recipe is a friend favorite – and I always get the strangest look when they ask for the recipe and find out my secret ingredient. Give it a try and let me know what you think!


Jenny Bender is one third of the Kicks Wake Up Krew on Kicks 99 in Augusta, Georgia, along with Cash & Dub. She's married to Chris Bender and is doting dog mom to their two rescue fur babies, Mary Poppins Bender & Truly Scrumptious Bender. Jenny is a karaoke queen who loves Jesus, country music, cheese, and the color pink.

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