Tried and True: Italian Sausage Chili

Italian Sausage Chili | Cooking In Stiletto

Every Grammy night, I have a bit of a tradition.  I make a pot of Jambalaya or Chili, curl up on the couch and enjoy Music’s Biggest Night.  No need to read the tabloids or recaps – just enjoy the talent of the artists and collaborations that rock the Grammy stage.  Where else are you going to see a classical pianist rock the stage with Metallica, listen to a one time only performance of Daft Punk with Stevie Wonder, Nile Rogers and Pharrell or watch musical success story Macklemore & Ryan Lewis perform with Madonna and Queen Latifah?  Plus – who doesn’t love the fashion that you see on the red carpet.

During my recovering publicist days, I had the opportunity to attend the Grammys and that experience was memorable.  I had a blast watching memorable performances (like this performance of Rich Girl by Gwen Stefani & Eve), danced up a storm at the after party with friends while The Black Eyed Peas performed (interesting sidenote – Food Network was there filming “Behind the Bash” with Giada de Laurentiis), had a starstruck/speechless moment with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and learned that sometimes one should never dye their hair at 4am before a flight cross country.  While I’m not an active member of the academy and that life is behind me, I still have a soft spot for the awards.  These performances are from the heart and the awards are from their peers so when you see an artist get a Grammy, you know it will be cherished.

As it has been record breaking cold temps here in Philly, I decided that chili would be on the menu except I was going to change it up a bit.  I love using Italian Sausage in recipes lately, and I got some fabulous chicken Italian sausage at Whole Foods.  This recipe was out of the world amazing – spicy, flavorful and with a touch of Greek yogurt and monterey jack cheese, this Italian Sausage Chili was worthy of its own Grammy.

To take off the winter chill, make a pot of this, cozy up on the couch and enjoy!

On to the recipe:

Gather your ingredients

Italian Sausage Chili - Ingredients | Cooking In Stilettos

To quote Anne Burrell – there’s flavor in the brown!

Italian Sausage Chili - Browning the Sausage | Cooking In Stiletto

Time to bloom the spices

Italian Sausage Chili - Blooming the Spices | Cooking In Stiletto

Time to simmer (sidenote – I adore these Ruhlman Acacia wooden paddles – perfect for getting every last bit of flavor)

Italian Sausage Chili - Time to Simmer | Cooking In Stiletto

Now – don’t you want a bowl?

Italian Sausage Chili | Cooking In Stilettos

Italian Sausage Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
One of my favorite chilis to make for weeknights - sweet and spicy Italian sausage simmered with beans and spices and topped with your favorite chili garnishes. It couldn't be easier
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 pound of Italian Sausage (I used 3 sweet Italian sausage & 1 hot Italian sausage), casings removed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • ½ - ¾ teaspoon of salt
  • ⅛ - ¼ teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1 14 ounce can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 14 ounce can of dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup of water
For garnish:
  • Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  1. Over medium heat, add the olive oil to a large dutch oven.
  2. Add the Italian sausage and brown, using a wooden spoon to break up large chunks.
  3. Remove the browned sausage to a bowl and add the onions.
  4. Saute the onions until slightly browned, about 5 minutes or so.
  5. Add the minced garlic and saute for one minute.
  6. Add the chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, and oregano. Saute for another minute or so to bloom the spices.
  7. Add the salt and pepper, followed by the tomato sauce.
  8. While the tomato sauce comes to a bubble, using a wooden spoon, scrape up any fond from the bottom of the pan.
  9. Add the diced tomatoes, kidney beans and water, and return the browned sausage to the pan.
  10. Stir to combine.
  11. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  12. Partially cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  13. Serve with a bit of Greek yogurt and Monterey Jack cheese and enjoy!

Did you check out the Grammys last night?  What did you think?

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  1. says

    When I make a recipe for the 1st time I always follow directions to a t. I’m making the Italian Sausage Chili and noticed it doesn’t say when to add the sausage back to the pot. Common sense dictates when but I hate when that happens. Made this for my son to have when he gets off the school bus on this rainy day. Hope he enjoys it!! He is one picky boy.



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