top of page

Italian Chili- 'Gesimas

Updated: Jan 6

Welcome to Meat Week!

We are in the first week of Pre-Lent, also known as Septuagesima and during this time we prepare ourselves for Lent by giving our life of prayer more focus and clearing out the fridge. I found that in the Byzantine and Orthodox tradition there is a Sunday called "meatfare" in which they use up the meat in the house before Lent begins. I joyfully adopted this tradition, out of my fond memories of going to the grocery store with my dad. We spent a lot of time in the meat section and he knew just how to make it too, I am spoiled by a father that is an AMAZING cook! I've been that way ever since, so you'll know where to find me if we get separated in the grocery store.

This bowl of meaty goodness unites the Italian to the Southern belle which in my house is also known as a dinner compromise. It was actually perfect for these pseudo winter day that we get down here, I love indulging in hot comfort food when it's cold and rainy. Who am I kidding, I enjoy a good bowl of chili anytime! I think this recipe is just perfect for a meat week clear out, two meats-one recipe-Amen!

Let's get to it because with any good chili you're going to want plenty of time.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2-3 hours

Serving: 6


1. 1 tsp olive oil

2. 1/2 lb ground beef

3. 1/2 lb Italian sausage (hot or mild)

4. 1/2 tsp chili powder

5. 1/2 tsp dried oregano

6. 1/2 tsp dried basil

7. 1/4 tsp dried cumin

8. Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

9. Sea salt and pepper (to taste)

10. 1/2 yellow onion

11. 1/2 red bell pepper (diced)

12. 3 cloves of garlic (minced)

13. 1 - 15 oz can of diced tomatoes

14. 1 - 10 oz can of tomato sauce

15. 1 - 15 oz can of chili beans with sauce

16. 1/2 - 15 oz can of kidney beans (rinsed and drained)

17. Fresh Parmesan Cheese (shredded)

Get the garlic ready by removing the skin. This is one of my favorite things from Sur La Table and I use garlic for almost everything so this made peeling way simpler. Pop the garlic in, give it a roll, and badda bing badda boom!

(Italian chili lingo, I can only get away with saying that online.)

Dice 3 cloves of garlic!

Peel your onion and dice half of that too!

Remove the seeds from the bell pepper and dice that along with the garlic and onion. I used red but you could use green too if you want to be a rebel, I won't stop you!

Set those ingredients aside and heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat.

Remove the ground beef from the casing and toss it in the pot. I used 1/2 lb but if you want yours to be meatier you can use 1 lb.

Add 1/2 lb Italian sausage, hot or mild.

Brown the meat over medium heat while breaking it up into crumbles with a wooden spoon.

While that is cooking it's time to spice things up so get our measuring spoons ready.

Sprinkle in 1/2 tsp chili powder.

Then, add in 1/2 tsp dried oregano.

Add 1/2 tsp dried basil and give it a little swirl.

Throw in 1/4 tsp dried cumin.

Add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes for a little heat and give it another stir.

Give the sea salt and pepper a shake over the meat and give it a try.

Add in the garlic, onion, and bell pepper to the meat and let it cook for 3-4 minutes.

Stir, Stir, Stir!

Once the bell pepper, onion, and garlic is soft we can move on to the canned items.

Pour in 1 - 15 oz can of diced tomatoes.

Then add 1 - 10 oz can of tomato sauce to that, juice and all!

Stir those ingredients together and add in 1 - 15 oz can of chili beans with sauce.

Rinse and drain the kidney beans then measure out half of the 15 oz can. You could add the whole can, but I just couldn't commit to it.

mmmMMMmmm look at that! Stir together, put the lid on, and lower the heat to low so that it can simmer for 2-3 hours.

Don't forget to go back and stir, and taste... for re-seasoning purposes of course. While that is cooking make some rice as a bed for your chili and toss some rolls in the oven. Frito's also make a good spoon replacement, I'm just saying!

Shred fresh Parmesan over the top and enjoy!

Heavenly! A feel good hearty bowl of chili, while bundled up watching a movie is my happy place. Make it for yourself, you are worth it!

Peace & Good,


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page