Jalapeno Chili for a Quick Weeknight Dinner

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Fresh jalapenos give heat and flavor to this simple chili that comes together in 30 minutes or less. Enjoy Jalapeno Chili for an easy weeknight dinner.

Jalapeno Chili | Good Cheap Eats

Chili is one of my go-to meals. It’s got spice and heat which keeps things exciting. It’s got lots of beans, a cheap, plant-based ingredient with lots of fiber. And chili is a great vehicle for using up whatever meat and exciting toppings you have on hand. This Jalapeno Chili is a perfect example.

Typically, I add spice to chili via chili powder, but in this recipe I use fresh jalapeno pepper. It’s a great way to get a kick of heat into the chili for a really low cost. You can buy fresh jalapenos at the grocery store for a few pennies. They’re lightweight, so a single pepper doesn’t cost all that much.

Pro tip: Alternatively, canned chopped green chiles are extremely expensive. Consider using fresh chiles instead to lower the cost of your dish!

In this Jalapeno Chili, I’ve designated that you can use whatever meat you like: ground beef or turkey, cooked chopped pork, shredded chicken or beef. Anything goes which means that you can use up leftovers from earlier in the week and save some money.

Or just go without. This chili is just as tasty without the meat.

Just be sure to offer some toppings. The toppings really make this an eye-catching dish.

Jalapeno Chili | Good Cheap Eats

How to make this good and cheap:

Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:

  • Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. When you see a good price on tomato sauce, beans, or your favorite meats, buy a few extra to stash for later. You know you’ll use them.
  • Cook your own beans. It’s a lot cheaper to cook dry beans than to buy canned. Recently I’ve started using my electric pressure cooker for beans and it just may be a game changer.

How I make this recipe easy:

This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.

Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:

Jalapeno Chili | Good Cheap Eats

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Updated March 18, 2017.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe great meals don't have to be complicated or expensive. There's a better way, and it won't take all afternoon.

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  1. I just had to let you know how much our family enjoyed this chili!!! One of our sons is a bean hater and he LOVED it. It will definitely be eaten at our house again 🙂

  2. I made this chili tonight and it was SO delicious! Instead of chicken or meat, I just added a little extra beans and it was just as good. Thank you so much for sharing it! It’s printed and found a permanent place in my recipe book. 🙂

  3. Wow…I came across this website by searching for a Rapunzel birthday cake. I plan on using your Rapunzel recipe for my daughter’s fourth birthday! But, today I was looking over your website at the weekly meal planning and I am excited to try it because I am horrible at meal planning and making grocery list. I have always wanted to somehow get my act together to be more organized in this area. I’m tired of deciding at the last minute about what to make for dinner. So, thanks for providing your great ideas and I look forward to trying to be more organized in this area!

  4. As someone who has never been a great cook, chili has always been one that my family loved (even before this recipe). However, I have tried a few food delivery places and have vastly improved my cooking skills via their recipes, ingredients, and merely seeing things that this Alabama southern Belle, simply hasn’t been exposed to. The delivery sites get somewhat expensive and I appreciate the stepping stone they have made in my cooking improvements. I started looking for cheaper ways to still feed my family with the same quality. I just want to say thanks for this recipe. My family said it is a new favorite and really enjoyed the freshness the toppings gave that traditional chili was lacking. I never thought to combine so many flavors. Hope to try more of your recipes soon!

    • Wow, Misty! This made my day! I’m so glad to hear this. High praise, indeed. Please let me know how I can help you specifically. I’m happy to help. And there are tons of resources here and on my other blog, Life as MOM to help you.


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