This hearty elk chili is loaded with ground elk, beans, and flavor! I love this recipe because it is so simple to make and it is a milder chili that doesn’t skimp on flavor. It tastes great as leftovers and freezes really well.
I wouldn’t consider myself a chili snob, but if I’m going to eat a bowl of chili it needs to be a GREAT bowl of chili. I don’t want it to taste like plain chili powder, I want a chili that has a little spice but a great depth of flavor. This is my perfect bowl of chili.
Ingredients Needed for Elk Chili
Chili is something you can usually make on a whim. If you have a freezer full of wild game or beef, all you need are an onion and some pantry items. This is what you’ll need:
- bell pepper (optional)
- ground elk or venison (can substitute beef if that is what you have)
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- chili powder
- beef broth
- diced tomatoes
- tomato sauce
- kidney beans
- pinto beans
Can you freeze chili?
Yes! Chili freezes wonderfully. Since it does not contain any potatoes or pasta that could get mushy when thawing, it keeps the original flavor and texture. I love to freeze my leftovers (if there are any!) in these souper cubes. It makes it super simple to thaw and reheat in the amount of portions you need.
Should I drain my beans for chili?
Yes, I drain the beans before adding to the chili. You want a thicker and hearty chili and adding the liquid from the beans could make the chili too soupy.
What is the best way to reheat frozen chili?
Defrosting in the refrigerator overnight is ideal. You can also sit the frozen chili out on the counter for a few hours. In a pinch, I will place the frozen chili in a saucepan with a small amount of water. The water prevents it from scorching. Defrost on low heat, stirring often as the chili thaws.
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 medium diced onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 yellow bell pepper (optional)
- 1-1.5 pounds ground elk or venison
- 2 tsp salt (divided)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1-2 tsp chili powder (adjust depending on how spicy you like it)
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1-2 cups beef broth (If you want a really thick chili add 1 cup. Like it with more broth? Add 2 cups!)
- 2 cans kidney beans
- 1 can pinto beans
- Put the butter in a large pot or dutch oven and set it to medium/low heat. Add the diced onion and cook for 3-5 minutes until they start to become translucent.
- Next, add the garlic and cook briefly until it becomes fragrant. This only takes about a minute.
- Add the ground elk to the pot along with the garlic powder, onion powder, and 1 tsp of salt. Cook until it has browned and no pink remains.
- Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, bell pepper, kidney beans, beef broth, and pinto beans. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
- Taste the chili, add the remaining 1 tsp of salt if it needs more.
- Simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally for 30-45 minutes.