Camp Chili – Recipe

I may have mentioned before that I hate to cook. I really hate to cook.

But in the last week, I’ve discovered the joys of the mini Crock Pot I just got. I have it in my office and put a meal-sized portion in it in the morning, so I have a warm, delicious meal at lunch time.

So I made an old favorite recipe for chili, one that I often make when I’m camping because it’s easy.

I should qualify that. I think I made the old favorite recipe. In reality, I might have made things up a bit, because I can’t remember exactly what went into the old camp chili, only that, with the exception of the meat, it all came from cans. So I dug into the cabinets, pulled out all the likely ingredients and made chili.

It was delicious.

We had friends over last night, and I re-created the chili recipe again, this time keeping track of the ingredients I used. When the evening was over, my friend asked for the recipe.

Remember: I hate cooking. She asked for the recipe. That can only mean one thing: I made something easy-to-make that other people might like. Thus, I’m posting it here.

Penny’s camp chili.

I used a large Crock Pot to make this. It can be made stove-top as well, just like we do in the field. This recipe fed five adults last night with some left-overs. You can halve the recipe for fewer people, or plan on storing some for later.


28 oz can of tomato puree (or some sort of tomato-y base)
2 15oz cans of dark red kidney beans
2 15oz cans of black beans
1 10oz can of red Enchilada sauce.
1 pound of ground meat. I’ve made this with venison and beef. I bet it would work with other meats, too.
1 packet of chili seasoning. When pressed, I’ll bet chili powder alone would work well.


Combine all canned ingredients into large enough pot or slow cooker. Drain the kidney and black beans before adding.
Brown meat with chili seasoning. Drain, if needed. Add to the other ingredients.
Heat until fully warmed.

At this point, it’s ready to eat. I left mine in the Crock Pot on low for several hours to let it cook down a bit. (Also so that it’d fill the house with wonderful smells and be ready to eat when we got back in from shoveling snow and stacking wood.)

When I’ve had my fill, I store the rest, and bring it in single serving containers to work.

Ready to eat at my desk.
Ready to eat at my desk.

Makes for a delicious lunch!


  1. Penny I am also a chili-cooking non-cook. I also posted a chili recipe recently – ’tis the season! Ours look very similar. I don’t usually put mine in the crock pot (although I LOVE my crock pot – whole ‘nother story!) b/c the recipe is so simple and cooks so quickly. Yes to the pound of ground beef. I cook that with one chopped onion. Then I add a can of Rotel tomatoes, a small can of tomato sauce, a can of chili beans, a package of chili seasoning, and simmer until I feel like eating it. I am intrigued by your addition of enchilada sauce. Will have to try that some time.


    1. Penny says:

      I have only recently learned of Rotel tomatoes. I’m gonna have to find some and use them. The enchilada sauce raised eyebrows with my friends. I only added it because it was in the cupboard. I think of it now as my ‘secret ingredient’!


  2. Winnie says:

    That chili sounds delicious! I am a lover of my crockpot and use a large one so I can freeze portions to zap when I get home and that way I can have a bunch of meals ready and not have to deal. I do love to cook, but the crockpot and pressure cooker are my friends. I have never tried enchilada sauce, so I have to check it out. Thanks for the kind visit today! #Thankyou!! The new generation love this stuff. I am still learning the “lingo”.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s