Gram’s Chili- Throwback Monday?

My dad recently gave me a cookbook he made his mother (my Gram) back in 1969 in Cub Scouts. In it were recipes from all the moms in the pack. Of course, because it’s the 60’s there are Jello Salads aplenty. Since we are getting into fall here in Illinois, I thought I would give Gram’s Chili recipe a try! Please keep in mind my dad was from a large family of 8 kids, so my Gram’s recipe is to feed a small army of about 10 people.. You can very easily half the recipe as well. I wanted to stay completely true to the original recipe before going crazy and taking my own spin on this simple recipe. It’s very easy, and I did my “simmering” in the crock pot, because I had to run out the door to get to a cross country meet. And away we go!


  • 3 lbs ground beef
  • 1 large onion- chopped up
  • 4 cans of tomato soup
  • 2 cans of kidney beans
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 2 tbs water
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 2 tbs chili powder

Here we go:

-Brown beef and onions. (Ok, so my Gram was a very bland chef.. While browning my beef and onions I added salt and pepper to season. Even though it wasn’t part of the recipe. Sorry Gram…)


– In a pot go ahead and start warming your cans of soup and kidney beans (don’t drain the beans) on a low heat.


-Drain grease from ground beef and onion mix and add meat to the tomato soup mixture.


-After about 10 minutes, add a paste made from flour, chili powder, salt, and water. Stir that right on in. (not very pretty- but you get the idea)

IMG_8329.JPG IMG_8330.JPG

-Simmer for about 1 ½ hours. ( I did mine in the crock pot on high for 2 hours) Serve nice and hot with some crackers and cheese!


-Important note from Gram: This can be frozen and warmed up later, in case you aren’t feeding an army haha

While this recipe is very quick and simple, it allows for a lot of freedom with your flavors. This is a great base in which you can add whatever your heart desires. I like to finish off my chili with some pasta, cheddar cheese, and a large dollop of sour cream on top!

Here’s what the recipe card from the cub scout cookbook looked like for those that are interested!


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