September 16, 2017

Fresh Garden Tomato Chili

I originally posted this recipe back in 2013.  I have been making it every year since.  I have simplified the recipe a little since then.  I originally would peel my tomatoes, but then I discovered the peel really doesn't stand out to me, so I don't do that anymore, which saves a ton of time.  I also have been throwing the tomatoes in my food processor instead of dicing them.  You can do whichever you prefer.

Here is my original post from 10/07/2013:
My mom brought me a big bag of fresh garden tomatoes the other day.  Garden tomatoes have such an amazing flavor.  A flavor unlike any store-bought tomato.

Rather than eating the usual BLT or making salsa with the tomatoes, I wanted to try something different.  I had seen a recipe for Fresh Tomato Chili awhile back and I wanted to create my own version.

I am super happy with how it turned out and the flavor is incredible.  I prefer a thick and chunky chili and so I simmered mine with the lid off and that way the liquid evaporated.  To top it all off, I added a healthy amount of shredded Cheddar, a dollop of sour cream and some chopped green onions . . .  mmm.

I will make this recipe over and over again.  If you can't get any garden tomatoes, you can always use regular store-bought tomatoes.  The flavor will be a little different, but it will still be good.  If you like a little kick to your chili, you can add some chipotle chili powder or a diced canned chipotle chili in adobo.

Serve alongside:
French Bread Rolls
Soft and Chewy French Bread
Cornmeal Buttermilk Biscuits
Chili Cheese Bake Potatoes (use leftovers)

Fresh Garden Tomato Chili
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) 

1/2 Lb. lean ground beef
1/2 Lb. ground pork or ground turkey
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
*12 large ripe garden tomatoes (see notes down below)
1 Tbl. chili powder, or to taste
2 tsp. ground cumin, or to taste
2 tsp. garlic powder, or to taste
1 tsp. oregano, or to taste
2 bay leaves, opt.
1 Tbl. brown sugar
salt and pepper
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chili beans, undrained

For serving:

sour cream
shredded Cheddar cheese
chopped green onions
Fritos or tortilla chips

Brown ground beef and ground pork or turkey in a large pot over medium heat.  A few minutes before it is completely cooked through, add the chopped bell pepper and onion and saute for 3-4 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute 30 more seconds.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes.  I like to simmer mine for at least 2 hours for better flavor.  The longer it simmers the more the liquid will evaporate.  If you like more liquid, then simmer with the lid on.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.  Remove bay leaves before serving. 

Garnish with sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, chopped green onions and serve with Fritos or crushed tortilla chips.  Serves: 4-6.    

*For the tomatoes:  I like to remove the stem, cut the tomatoes in half and remove half of the seeds.  Then, I throw all of the tomatoes into my food processor and process until there are only a few chunks.  I pour the tomato puree into my chili.  The tomatoes break down when you cook them anyway, so I don't spend the extra time peeling or dicing them.

Or, if you prefer skinned and diced tomatoes, you can remove the peel, stem and seeds and dice, but this will take a lot longer. 


  1. I love using fresh tomatoes in my chili! Especially garden-grown- you are so lucky to have access to some!

  2. Oh WOW!!! Wish I had a big bowl right now!! Pinning this one!!!

    1. Thanks!! I can't wait to make it again as soon as the garden has some tomatoes.

  3. I'm making this tomorrow. I have tons of romas and big boys. Thanks for the recipe

    1. Yum!! I just made it again last Sunday using Romas and Early Girls. It's takes a little time peeling the tomatoes, but it is so worth it for that fresh garden tomato flavor!!! Let me know what you think.

    2. Oh I will. I have the chili simmering now.
      Thanks again

  4. The chili turned out fantastic. This is the first chili recipe that I made and the hubby did not complain. I doubled the recipe. I also added red and yellow bell peppers and 1 maraschino pepper for the kick. I did not have any black beans so I used kidney beans. We are also having bacon wrapped cheddar best with chili on top for dinner tonight. Thanks again. I wrote this recipe down so I don't lose it. Thanks

    1. Yay!! I am so glad you liked it. I love bell peppers - great addition. Thanks for letting me know.

  5. This was a big hit with the family! Will be making again!

    1. That is so good to hear, thanks for letting me know!

  6. This sounds great Jenn but for those of us not so fortunate as to have a garden, can you tell me your opinion of using canned tomatoes as far as how much to use and how you feel canned would impact the integrity of the recipe. Thanks, Leann


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