Fall Foodie: Cayenne and Cheesy Chili

During a recent night in, I decided to curl up with my fleece blankets and enjoy a couple of horror movies to get into the impending Halloween spirit. When that didn’t quite feel cozy enough, however- I also opted to make one of my go-to Fall comfort foods to add some extra warmth to what was already a crisp evening.

One of my favorite things about whipping up a bowl/pot of soup or chili is that it’s so easy to customize depending on what kind of flavor you’re feeling. Mild? Spicy? Meatless? Cheesy? There’s really no way to mess it up or make it wrong.

This particular recipe I’m sharing is one of my favorites- it’s thick, filling, full of flavor, and has a kick of spicy cayenne pepper that isn’t overpowering (thanks to the cheese, which helps calm it down a little!)



  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup masa harina
  • One 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • One 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, for serving
  • Chopped onions, for serving


1. Place the ground beef in a large pot and throw in the garlic. Cook over medium heat until browned. Drain off the excess fat, and then pour in the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne. Stir together well, cover, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes overly dry, add ½ cup water at a time as needed..

2. After an hour, place the masa harina in a small bowl. Add ½ cup water and stir together with a fork. Dump the masa mixture into the chili. Stir together well, and then taste and adjust the seasonings. Add more masa paste and/or water to get the chili to your preferred consistency, or to add more corn flavor. Add the beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with shredded cheddar and chopped onions.


Although this recipe takes just over an hour to prepare and cook- it’s well worth the time for a great tasting meal that can be frozen and reheated for later lunch breaks or late night dinners. It also works as a pretty good dip with tortilla chips or crackers- so if you need a Sunday/Monday night football snack- it has you covered there, too.


Posted by

Hi! I'm Ashley. I'm a blogger and a radio personality with a makeup and shoe addiction based out of Boston and the Pioneer Valley. These are my (mis)adventures.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s