This Harlem Meatloaf chili is meaty, thick, and ultra flavorful with just the right amount of heat.
Today for #SundaySupper we’re having a good old fashioned chili cook-off. Truthfully, the chili cook-off scene terrifies me. For some reason, it gives me visions of being mean-mugged by a giant, burly, overall-clad man who eats habenero peppers raw.
But my overactive imagination isn’t the only thing keeping me away. Honestly, me transferring a giant vat of chili to a competition is a recipe for disaster. If I didn’t spill it all over my car, I’m 99% sure I would trip while rushing to the table and have a full blown chili wipeout right in front of the judges.
Yep, I’d go full scale Kevin on this one.
But this virtual cook-off thing is totally my style. This way I can enjoy everyone’s recipes, take my time, and not be faced with any overly aggressive chili fiends.
Chili is one of my favorite things to make. It’s typically a one pot meal, it’s great for clearing out your fridge, and it’s easy to adjust the seasonings to your liking. The problem is, I’ve never been great at recording my chili recipes. I’m more of a dump and stir kind of girl.
But I knew for the chili cook-off I would have to bring out the big dogs (ie: my measuring spoons), and get some serious inspiration. This time, inspiration came in the form of an old favorite: Harlem Meatloaf. Like the meatloaf, this chili begins with a mixture of Italian Sausage and ground beef. Yes, you should put Italian Sausage in your chili. Trust me.
My husband insisted a meatloaf chili couldn’t have beans, so I added bell peppers and jalapeno instead. From there, the flavor builds with a hefty dose of Frank’s red hot sauce, garlic, chili powder, and cumin.
The end result was good. It was darn good. Spicy, intensely meaty, and super flavorful.
But of course, I couldn’t leave well enough alone. I really wanted to create the same taste as my favorite meatloaf sandwich, so I did what any other normal, sane person would do and stuck a slice of bread on top of the bowls, smothered it in cheese, and broiled it until golden and bubbly.
Guys, this is a chili experience. Hearty, comforting, thick meat sauce topped with gooey, melty, cheese bread. It really does taste like a meatloaf sandwich. And like its meatloaf counterpart, this chili gets better and better the longer it sits. So do what we did and make a big batch to enjoy for lunch all week. This is one meal you won’t get tired of.
- 1 lb. Italian Sausage
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
- 2 15 ounce cans tomato sauce
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
- 3 Tablespoons Franks hot sauce
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 5 slices day-old bread
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.
- Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the Italian sausage and ground beef and break it up with a wooden spoon or metal spatula. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until browned on the outside. Stir in the bell pepper, onion, and jalapeno and cook for another 5 minutes or until no pink remains in the beef. Sprinkle with salt.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Franks, garlic, chili, and cumin. Increase the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low then allow everything to simmer together for 5-10 (or more if desired) minutes, stirring often. Taste. Add salt, pepper, or additional Franks red hot sauce for heat if desired.
- To serve, preheat the broiler. Place individual servings of the chili in oven safe bowls. Top each bowl with a slice of bread and hefty sprinkling of cheese. Place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately.
- Note: This chili tastes best the day after it's made, so feel free to make it in advance and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
Recipe by NeighborFood