Monday, January 2, 2012

Cashew Chili

I'll be honest. I'm pretty competitive. I like to win and don't usually mesh well with other competitive people. Especially if they are winning instead of me. But luckily I married a guy who isn't competitive, and he's brought me down a few notches.

Until...somebody said our church was having a chili cook-off. I have to win! I started digging around for good chili recipes that I could take bits and pieces from and make my own recipe. In fact, the first recipe I ever created on my own was a chili recipe (which I'll post at a later date). But back to the cook-off. So I mentioned to my sister and fellow Girl in Apron Carissa that I needed a good chili recipe and she told me about this crazy thing called Cashew Chili. A friend of ours (hey Susan!!) had made this chili recipe for a church function and Carissa said it was amazingly good. Susan says she makes it every year on Halloween as tradition. I made it once a week as tradition because it's so good!

Yes, it's weird, to think of cashews in your chili.How did someone ever come up with this recipe? Did they like accidentally knock a container of cashews in their chili and realize they'd stumbled upon something brilliant? But really they go so well with the recipe. The different textures of the cashews with the hamburger and the beans (especially the garbanzo beans!) make this a unique and tasty chili. And it's not spicy but rather sweet (hmmm....sounds like me) although you could for sure add any spice you want to add some heat. So give this recipe a try! It's pretty healthy, easy to make, and so yummy.

Cook one pound hamburger with green pepper and onions. Season meat with salt and pepper. Drain any fat!
Add one can each of black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and baked beans. I drain all of the beans except the baked beans. I like my chili thicker. You can adjust your chili the way you like it. Add one can diced tomatoes.
Add chili powder. I just estimate in my hand because it's not an exact science. And I like to pretend sometimes that I'm Rachael Ray ("Just eyeball it!") 
Add brown sugar - sometimes I add a little more than the recipe calls for because I'm a rebel like that.
Seriously, I could just dip into this with a bag of chips!
Right before serving add the cashews.
Top with sour cream and cheese.

Cashew Chili
Submitted by Celeste, adapted from Susan Gehring

1 pound hamburger
1 sweet onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced (optional - I used it for this post, but I think next time I'll omit it)
1 24 oz. can baked beans (I used the country-style)
1 14 oz. can black beans, drained
1 14 oz. can kidney beans, drained
1 14 oz can garbanzo beans, drained
1 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 to 2 tsp chili powder
2 to 3 T brown sugar
1 cup cashews

Cook hamburger, onions, and pepper until cooked through and onions are tender. Season meat with salt and pepper. Add beans and tomatoes. Add spices and sugar. Simmer for 30 mins and then add cashews.  Top with sour cream and cheese.

**Variations - you can omit the meat and make this a vegetarian dish. You can also switch up the beans to you whatever you like or have on hand. I highly recommend using the garbanzo beans! I like the combination in the recipe, but to each his own! And you can make this in the crock pot. Just cook up the meat, onion, and pepper and throw everything in the crock pot on low for 6 hours or so.


  1. this is what you did for the progressive dinner-right? it was so good...thanks for posting


  2. It is the recipe! I got lots of good feedback from it so I thought I'd share :)