I have been asked by a number of people to post my chili recipes.  So, here you go.

The first recipe was made available to me by former student, turned EMU faculty member, Dave Pawlowski.  I have modified it a bit, but not greatly.  The resulting chili is quite spicy, and abundant.  In fact, I just made a batch last night, and it cooked up 20 pints.  That, my friends, is a lot of chili.  So, make a gigantic batch and freeze it (as we do), or make a much smaller portion, and share with a few friends.

Pawlowski Chili – a spicy treat

  • 1 pound of locally raise, grass fed beef that was humanly killed to provide meat for you
  • 1 pound of sweet italian sausage (obviously same rules apply)
  • An onion
  • A few cloves of garlic (maybe 4)
  • A variety of peppers (I typically do something like 3-5 of 4-5 varieties, ranging from habanaros, pablanos, and other spicy things)
  • A bunch of chili powder (like 3 tablespoons)
  • A bit of spicier chili powder if you want to spice it up more (like 1 tablespoon of something hot)
  • Some cumin (like a tablespoon)
  • Some oregano (a bit less than a tablespoon)
  • Some garlic salt (like 2-3 teaspoons)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 x 16 oz cans of tomato sauce.  I like  Dei Fratelli, which is made in Ohio. They have an Italian sauce also, which is very good (we use it on pizza).  I typically use 2 tomato and 1 Italian, but it doesn’t matter much.
  • 15 x 15 oz cans of beans. I typically use something like 10-12 cans of kidney and 3-5 cans of navy. Also, we used to get the ~30 oz cans of Eden beans, and it required less than half the number, since Eden packs the beans in there, but lately, we have been getting Busch’s organic, and it seems like it is half fluid.  So, if the cans are packed with beans, use less cans.
  • A bag of frozen corn (this is optional, but I like it)


  • Brown the meat
  • Add onions and garlic and brown some more
  • Add all of the herbs and spices and make your house smell good
  • Add the tomato sauce and corn (if you remember the corn, which I often forget)
  • I typically move everything to a big crock pot
  • Add bay leaves here
  • Simmer on low heat for something like 8 hours
  • Add beans and heat for something like 10 minutes or so
  • Eat

The second recipe is for vegetarian, not too spicy chili.  This is pretty much for everyone else in house besides me. I got the recipe off the internet somewhere, but I have altered it.  It is only labeled in the black binder as “NOT SPICY”

Joey’s Chili (NOT SPICY)

  • An onion
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • Something like a pound of meatless meat.  I used to not use this, but we have added the the last few times.  People seem to like it.
  • A 16 oz jar of salsa. You can choose the salsa obviously. I have used Pace and Anne Marie and homemade stuff.  It all tastes good.
  • 2 x 16 cans of tomato sauce.  See note above.
  • A bit of chili powder.  Like a teaspoon or 2.  Add more to make it more spicy.
  • Some cumin (like a tablespoon)
  • Some oregano (a bit less than a tablespoon)
  • Some garlic salt (like 2-3 teaspoons)
  • Some season salt (like 2-3 teaspoons)
  • 12 x 15 oz cans of beans. See note above.

For Joey’s Chili, everything needs to be local, if at all possible.  Organic too, but that is a secondary consideration.  The spices should be purchased from a place where you can take your own bags and scoop it.  Like Arbor Farms. None of the Busch’s Valu Land crap.


  • Brown the onions and garlic
  • Add the meatless meat if desired
  • Add spices and herbs
  • Add salsa and tomato sauce
  • Add beans
  • Cook for about an hour or two on low to medium heat
  • Eat

This produces something like 15 pints of chili. Freeze and eat every day for 2 weeks. Repeat.


About aaronridley

Professor at the University of Michigan, Department of Climate and Space Science and Engineering.
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