Photography: Randy Mayor; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke
8 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups chili and 1 tablespoon cheese)

This all-American chili recipe is perfect for an outdoor cookout but can also be made on the stove for a comfort classic on a cold day.

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage. Add sausage, onion, and the next 4 ingredients (onion through jalapeño) to pan; cook 8 minutes or until sausage and beef are browned, stirring to crumble.

Step 2

Add chili powder and the next 7 ingredients (chili powder through bay leaves), and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine, tomatoes, and kidney beans; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Step 3

Uncover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard the bay leaves. Sprinkle each serving with cheddar cheese.

Step 4

Note: Like most chilis, this version tastes even better the next day.

Ratings & Reviews


February 13, 2016
Just made this chili and yum!  I bought the wrong tomatoes so ended up using a 28 oz can of kitchen ready tomatoes and 2 14 oz cans of roasted crushed tomatoes.  I didn't get the hot turkey sausage but extra ground beef (almost two pounds) and we like it hot so added 4 jalapeños instead of 1. Next time I'll use 3.  This will need sour cream to tone it down.  The wine adds an excellent sweetness especially to offset the added hot I added.  Will make it again!!  

October 29, 2016
Thank you for your post. We like it hot too.Extra jalapeños all around! !!!

smd1212's Review

February 13, 2014
I used to make this regularly before we got hooked on white chili made with chicken and decided to try it again - the snowstorm was coming and my store was out of ground chicken! It's a good as I remember; I used 3/4 lb. ground sirloin and a hot Italian sausage (pork, not turkey, it was what I had on hand). I had about a cup left of an Italian dry red wine and added an extra 1/2 T of brown sugar to make up for sweetness - it ended up a little too sweet so I won't bother next time! I used 4 14-oz cans of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, two regular 14-oz cans, one with chipotle peppers, and one with green chiles, which made for nice spicy heat. I also used black beans, but otherwise I followed the recipe as is - yum!

pamwozniak's Review

February 04, 2014
I have made this recipe for more than 10 years. EVERYONE absolutely loves it! Yes, there are other recipes out there but this might be perfection. Don't skimp on the wine. It's a must. If you like more heat, you can always add more. If you prefer more mild, use less jalapeño. You can always get fancy but remember, this is chili.

ehanauer's Review

November 01, 2012
This is a nice, basic chili recipe. I'd definitely omit the brown sugar. It doesn't need it and makes it too sweet. I also mix up the beans - maybe a can of black beans and a can of pinto. The wine is a nice addition though.


January 16, 2016
This is a great recipe! My family does not like a very spicy chili so I omit the jalapeños. You can add pepper for heat, or not. This is such a nice easy recipe. I've amended it from time to time, by adding steak cut in cubes, making my family think it's a new dish. It's perfect as is and we all loved it. It's best the next day, like all chili and stews, but excellent the same day. Very healthy and hearty. Thanks cooking light!!


January 03, 2016
Cooked as per recipe with the exception of brown sugar as I used honey and one can of red beans and one can of kidney beans. It turned out with great flavor but was a little more soupier than we like. Will make it again to see what I may have done wrong.

Belanos's Review

November 14, 2014
Very good. The wine was an interesting, but positive, addition. I accidentally left out the tomato paste and black pepper, and used a can of no-salt-added black beans and one of cannellini beans, as I already had them on hand. I also had to substitute hot Italian pork sausage for the turkey sausage, as I wasn't able to (easily and quickly) find hot Italian turkey sausage. I'm adding this to my "Keepers" file.

clc1040's Review

February 01, 2014
One of our favorite recipes. It is my go to chili recipe. I don't find a need to make any modifications as it is a quite satisfying dish. I serve with cornbread on the side.

ChicagoDJ's Review

January 22, 2014
This is one of my favorite chili recipes - everybody I’ve made this for has loved it. I sub ground turkey, add more jalapeno and use half wine/half vegetable broth. I think the wine adds a nice flavor but can be overpowering if you use that much. Also try a spicy red zinfandel to make it less sweet. I've tweaked it a few times and finally found my perfect spice/wine balance. Serve over quinoa for a warm, healthy dinner on a cold night!