Camp Chef: Make Ahead Camp Chili

Chili is quite possibly one of my all-time favorite meals. It’s one of those dishes that can be slowly made over hours (or even days) but also quickly put together in a matter of minutes. One has advantages over the other, but both are extremely filling and hearty. A good make ahead camp chili can be a fantastic meal at the end of a long day.

Cooking on the trail or at camp doesn’t have to be bland or always consist of easy to make meals. The Camp Chef cooking series aims to provide you with recipes that can be made quickly at camp and still taste great.

Over this past year, I have been attempting to perfect my chili recipe at home. I’ve gone from a quick and easy dump the cans into a pot recipe to a slow-cooked throughout the day recipe. I don’t know why I didn’t go to this earlier. It comes out much heartier than the can dump.

This chili recipe can be made a few days in advance. And honestly, I think it’s better the day after it’s made anyway. It gives some of the meat time to sit, tenderize, and soak in the chili flavor.

The Ingredients

I’ve made this both with and without the chorizo, and it turns out great either way. Good chorizo just adds another layer of flavor to this chili. The ingredient list is basically what you would expect from chili. You could swap out the green pepper for a poblano and a jalapeno to give it some more kick.


  • 2lbs Stew meat
  • Chorizo (optional)
  • One can Tomato paste
  • Two cans Chili beans
  • Two cans Chili tomatoes
  • Large Onion
  • Green Pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper


How To Cook It

There isn’t much prep work involved other than chopping the vegetables and cooking the chorizo if you are going to use it.


  1. Chop the green peppers and onions.
  2. If using it, cook the chorizo in a pan.
  3. Drain and rinse the kidney beans.
  4. In a large crock pot add the following: stew meat, onions, peppers, kidney beans, tomatoes, two tablespoons chili powder, two teaspoons cumin, one teaspoon garlic powder, one teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  5. Give everything a good mix.
  6. Cook on low 7-8 hours.


Once the chili is done, it’s time to enjoy. Grab a bowl and a spoon. I like to drop some Frito’s in the bottom of my bowl before piling the chili on with a little bit of cheese sprinkled in. That’s just a personal preference though, and you feel free to eat it however you want. Either way, this makes a good hearty chili.


Make this the day before your next trip and package some up in a container for later that night. You won’t regret having it.


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