The Starving Chef Recipe: Apple Cider Chili

Apple Cider Chili Mimi
Fall without a trace of pumpkin spice.

By Felicia Vargo, The Starving Chef

Some people may hate fall, but I fully embrace it.

There’s nothing better than a crisp autumn evening and a steaming bowl of apple cider chili.

Slow cooked to perfection, this chili uses notes of cocoa and cinnamon to wrap up your taste buds in a blanket of fall flavors.

Apple Cider Chili

Prep time: 30 minutes
Stove top cook time: 3-4 hours
Slow cooker: 6-8 hours
Makes: 4-6 servings


1 ½ lbs ground beef
1 C apple cider
2 C spinach
2 T garlic, minced
15 oz tomato sauce
14.5 oz diced tomato
15.5 oz kidney beans, drained & rinsed
10 oz golden sweet corn
½ white onion, finely chopped
2 apples, cored, peeled & roughly chopped
¼ t cinnamon
1 t unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T olive oil
Salt & pepper, to taste

Here’s How
  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the oil and sauté the onions until translucent—about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, then add the kidney beans and ground beef. Cook until the beef is sufficiently browned with a few pink spots. Stir in the apples and continue to cook until the apples begin to soften—about 5-10 more minutes.
  2. Stove Top Method: Stir in the apple cider, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, sweet corn, cinnamon and unsweetened cocoa powder. Bring to a rolling simmer then cover. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for three to four hours. Five minutes prior to serving, add the spinach and stir until wilted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove from heat and serve.
  3. Slow cooker method: Transfer the cooked beef mixture to a slow cooker or crock pot. Stir in the apple cider, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, corn, cinnamon and cocoa powder. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Slow cook on low for six to eight hours; or on high for three to four hours. About 10 minutes prior to serving, stir in the spinach until wilted. Turn the slow cooker onto warming mode and serve.
  4. Serve chili with cornbread and a glass of your favorite apple cider. Enjoy!

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Categories: Food & Dining