Chili Con Carne 1970’s Midwest Style

Chili Con Carne


This is a recipe for chili very similar to what I ate at home and at my grandparents’ table while I was growing up in Ohio during the 1970s. There are probably a thousand different versions of this mildly spiced chili that were made in homes all across the Midwest during the decade of leisure suits – and chili like this is still being made today in small-town diners and kitchens across the nation’s breadbasket. It is a very basic bowl, with ground beef, kidney beans and tomatoes serving as the foundation with just enough chili powder sprinkled in to make it “chili” without making it spicy. This is a great chili con carne for kids or anyone with a low heat tolerance.

Chili Con Carne 1970's Midwest Style
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Chili
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4 to 6
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • One 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat and brown the beef, onion and pepper
  2. Drain excess fat and add the remaining ingredients, cover and simmer for 1 to 1½ hours, adding water if needed
  3. Remove bay leaf and serve with saltine crackers and any toppings you like


Looking for the perfect pot to cook up your next batch of soup? I recommend the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. It comes in 11 different colors and is an excellent value for the price.


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