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November 10, 2008

Chili Cheeseburgers

Chili Cheese Burger

The first time I had a chili cheeseburger was my first year in college at the University of Tennessee. I can't remember where I got it, but I remember being very impressed with the whole concept. Don't get me wrong, even then I realized how simple the concept was, but until that point I had never really thought of a chili cheeseburger...Chili dog yes, but not a burger. Years passed and I hadn't had another and then one day I started thinking about just how simple it would be to do. I don't make them that often, but occasionally I like a nice chili cheeseburger...Chili? Cheese? What's not to like?

What You'll Need for the Chili:
Extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
A pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 tablespoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (Note: More if you like it hot, less if you don't. You can omit it all together if you prefer mild chili.)
1 - 15 ounce can of red kidney beans
1 - 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
1- 14.5 can of diced tomatoes

In a medium sized pot sauté onion until tender with a little sea salt. Add the rest of the spices and stir to mix. Next stir in kidney beans, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Bring to a quick boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for at least 30 minutes. (Note: The longer chili cooks the more the spices meld. You could dump all of this minus the olive oil into your slow cooker and cook it on low for about 4 hours that way too. I usually don't add meat to my chili, especially if I'm using it on chili cheeseburgers, but if you want you can add that too.)

Next comes to fun part...What do you want to put in/on the burger?

If you want you can easily use a veggie burger. A regular hamburger would be great too, or how about a turkey or chicken burger? Another non-meat option would be a grilled portabella mushroom cap. I've never tried that, but now that I type that sentence I think next time I just might!

Cheese is also up to you. You can use cheddar, or American, or Swiss, or Monterrey Jack, or a mix! You can even leave the cheese off all together for a basic chili burger if that's more to your liking.

Condiments are also up to you. I have a friend who likes mayo and ketchup. But what ever you like will make the perfect burger for you. My burger usually consists or either a veggie or normal burger, cheddar or American cheese and lots of mustard on a whole grain bun. Serve with oven fries and a side salad and you've got the perfect meal!

Notes: Everything in this is gluten free except for the bun. If you wanted a gluten free option you could leave the bun off all together or use a gluten free bun in place of the regular bun. You could also use black beans if you preferred or even a mix of both black and red.

Posted by Dianne at November 10, 2008 8:37 AM

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That delicious looking burger would go perfect with your curly fry/bacon/cheese recipe!

Posted by: Noelle Markus at November 10, 2008 8:21 PM

Oh that would be a fabulous combo!

Posted by: Dianne at November 12, 2008 12:29 PM

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