College Mug Chili


When I was in college I didn’t have an abundance of cash, so I had to be frugal, especially when it came to food. My home in the grocery store was the canned soup isle, but early on I discovered a delicious canned chili. Chili became my go to easy meal, and with some shredded cheddar cheese I was set.

For the most part I used the universities food hall, but when I didn’t feel like eating mediocre drivel I would stay at home with a fun movie and a mug of chili. The mug made all the difference to me, it added an easy dining experience that didn’t require a table. I could walk around, chili in hand, with no fear of being burnt. Best of all, I could lay in bed and never make a mess. 

The reminiscing of my old college days made me crave my mug chili, but now that I have access to a good kitchen I decided to make my own mug chili recipe, from scratch. I decided to use what I had in the house, and not go shopping, but I had most of everything. Everything except tomatoes, canned or fresh, I had used all my tomatoes in my Creamy Tomato Soup Recipe. A light bulb went off, why not use my left over tomato soup to make my chili? The final product was absolutely delicious, so much so that I’m going to be using my tomato soup when making all future chili. 


2 pounds of ground beef (less if you don’t want it to meaty) 

1 onion

3 garlic cloves

1 red bell pepper

1 yellow bell pepper (you can use any type bell pepper)

Two 15-ounce cans of red kidney beans (you could use one can kidney beans and one can pinto beans)

1 cup of the Creamy Tomato Soup (you could use a can of tomato sauce)

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons paprika 

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper 

1 lime (more if you want to have a lime wedge for every bowl of chili)

2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce (this was the x-factor)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Shredded cheddar, for serving


Start by finely dicing the onion and garlic, then chop the bell peppers into chunks, the size of the chunks comes down to personal preference.

Place the ground beef in a bowl and add the cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, sea salt, black pepper, olive oil and half of the Tabasco sauce. Mix it all into the beef and then set it aside for 5 to 10 minutes.

Place a deep dish pan or a wide pot on a medium to high heat. Add the vegetable oil to the pan along with the diced onion. Sweat the diced onion for a few minutes then add the garlic, once the onion is semi-transparent add in the bell peppers. continue cooking for a further few minutes. Now add the minced beef to the pan. Bring up the heat and begin to brown the meat. Once the meat is browned and fully cooked add in the Creamy Tomato Soup the juice of one lime, and the rest of the Tabasco sauce. Bring it to a boil and then immediately bring it down to a simmer and cover. let it cook at a simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

Now get your favorite mugs and serve up the chili. Top it with shredded cheddar and lime wedges on the side and enjoy it with your friends.

Get tucked in.