Jane Watrel’s Award-Winning Chili Recipe

Jane Watrel Shares Chili Recipe on Nonstop Foodies DC

Jane’s All-American Chili from Cooking Light magazine

  • 6 ounces hot turkey Italian sausage
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 jalapeno pepper chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/4 cups Merlot or other fruity red wine
  • 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes (original recipe calls for whole tomatoes--undrained and coarsely chopped)*
  • 2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese


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

2. Add chili powder and 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 for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

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

Yield: 8 servings.

Note: Like most chili, this version tastes even better the second day.

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