This sausage chili is loaded with chunks of Italian sausage, ground beef, and sauteed mushrooms. It’s a hearty and meaty chili recipe that is sure to please. We usually make this a beanless chili, but you can put some in if your family loves them. It’s great both ways.
- 3 tablespoons oil, divided
- 2 lbs. crimini mushrooms, quartered
- 2 lbs. Italian sausage, removed from casings
- 1 large onion, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 2 red bell peppers, minced
- 4 celery stalks, minced
- 1 5.5-ounce can of tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons honey (optional)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 28-ounce cans whole, crushed, or diced tomatoes (see notes)
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add half of the mushrooms and cook until they brown. Remove the mushrooms from the pan then repeat with one more tablespoon of oil and the remaining mushrooms. Remove them from the pan once cooked.
- Break the sausage meat into chunks, rolling into balls if it is falling apart. Heat a tablespoon of oil in the pan and add the sausage pieces. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until they start to brown and are cooked enough that they hold together like meatballs.
- While the mushrooms and sausage are cooking, add a tablespoon of oil to a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until it is golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ground beef to the pot and cook until the meat is no longer pink. Add the bell peppers and celery and cook for 5 minutes.
- Push the meat and veggies to the side of the pot and add the tomato paste to the middle. Let it cook for 3 minutes, or until it begins to smell sweet.
- Add the chili powder, honey if using, salt, cumin, tomatoes, and cooked mushrooms and sausage to the pot and stir. Bring the pot to a simmer then lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes.
I prefer to use whole tomatoes in chili recipes. Use your hands to squeeze the whole tomatoes to break them apart before adding them to the chili.
If you’d prefer not to have chunks of sausage, add the sausage meat to the pot with the ground beef. You’ll have all the flavor this way but without the chunks of meat.
To save on dishes, you can add the mushrooms and sausages to the chili pot as soon as they’re done cooking.
This chili recipe freezes very well!