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First Place Chili recipe is a great cold-weather meal. Made in one pot, it’s an easy weeknight dinner for your family with plenty of leftovers.
First Place Chili recipe is a great cold weather meal. Made in one pot, it's an easy weeknight dinner for your family with plenty of leftovers.

Over the years I have tried more chili recipes than I can count on both hands trying to find the perfect mix of flavors to suit the Hubs. I’ve tried countless homemade recipes and many mixes before altering this Chili recipe numerous times.

He wanted the chili thick but still ‘soupy’. He wanted spicy, but not too spicy. And, yes, to beans. And I finally figured out he doesn’t like the taste a masa even though he insisted that he did.

Don’t let the name, First Place Chili, fool you. I’ve never won a competition with it. This recipe has simply come in first place with Hubs after many, many attempts at perfecting chili.

First Place Chili

First Place Chili is spicy and hearty and can be made on the stove-top in just a few minutes. Make it early in the day and allow it to simmer for optimum flavor. It also makes a lot and is great for game day or entertaining. When I make it for my family of four I plan for leftovers such as chili dogs, nachos, and over tamales.
As well, First Place Chili can be made in a slow cooker. Break up the meats and cook on 1 one hour stirring and breaking up the meat 3 or 4 times during the hour. Next, simply add the remaining ingredients and simmer 4 hours on low.
 First Place Chili recipe is a great cold weather meal. Made in one pot, it's an easy weeknight dinner for your family with plenty of leftovers. 
First Place Chili recipe is a great cold weather meal. Made in one pot, it's an easy weeknight dinner for your family with plenty of leftovers.

First Place Chili

Hearty and spicy, First Place Chili is the perfect cold-weather dinner. It's a tasty, quick dinner that IS made in one pot with plenty of leftovers.
Author: Paula
5 from 22 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 10 servings


  • 1 pound pork sausage regular flavor
  • 1 pound ground beef you can use lean ground beef, ground chicken or turkey
  • 1 large onion chopped, about 1 cup or to your taste
  • 10 ounces diced tomatoes with green chiles Rotel tomatoes
  • 16 ounces chili beans drain & rinse if you're concerned about sodium
  • 15 ounces beans drained & rinsed. Any beans will work; use your favorite. I used chili and great Northern today.
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder adjust to your liking this is what I've found we like
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 Tablespoon masa harina instant corn masa mix- this will make it thicker. You can leave this out


  • Place sausage, beef and onion in a large stew pot over medium heat and cook until meat is browned and onions tender (about 15 min).
  • Break the meat into crumbles as it cooks. Drain off excess fat. Mix the diced tomatoes, chili beans, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, salt paprika, oregano, garlic powder and cayenne pepper (and masa harina, if using).
  • Bring the chili to a simmer and reduce heat. Simmer for at least an hour.
  • Alternately, mix all ingredients in a slow-cooker and simmer for 4 hours on low.


Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 1150mg | Potassium: 792mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1131IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 5mg
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  1. Great recipe! We have won 2 Chili contests with it, it lives up to its name. Highly recommend!

  2. 5 stars
    Do you drain the beans? And so is this just 2 cans of beans total then? the 16 oz can of chili beans and one other can (what size)..thanks

  3. 5 stars
    I will be making this chili in a couple weeks, it looks delicious…can’t wait!

  4. I love chili, Paula! I like that this one adds masa harina! Some of those words I know and use …. some of them I had never heard (nictitate and lily-livered?!) Ha. Who uses those words?

  5. 5 stars
    Maybe you should enter it into a contest….it sure looks good! I like words too and you had a few there I didn't know!

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Your email address will not be published. Have you tried this recipe? Consider giving it 5 stars!