I love chili.  I love spicy chili.  I love making chili from scratch.  BeachBoy?  Well, he likes soup, but only when it’s cold.  And, tomatoes and spicy foods both give him heartburn.  So, chili is a rare treat.

However, earlier this year, I was given a chili kit by our school’s parents’ club.  With a rainy forecast looming, I thought this would be just the week to try it out. 


They had packaged it in a cute little bag with a note that it was “great for gift giving.”  With the holidays drawing near, I thought I would share their tasty idea with you.

Here is the ‘gift giving’ version of the recipe, as it was printed on the bag.

Taco Chili Mix

  • 1 cup of dried kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup of dried pinto beans
  • 1 (1.5 oz) package of taco seasoning mix
  • 1 (1 oz) package of buttermilk salad dressing mix
  • 3 Tablespoons of dried minced onion
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups tortilla chips

Directions for assembling gift bags:

In a 1 qt. jar (or bag), layer kidney and pinto beans.  In a small bowl, combine spices.  Place seasoning mix in a plastic bag or wrap in plastic wrap.  Add the enclosed mix to the jar (or bag).  Put chips on top.  Cover the lid of the jar with fabric and ribbon.  Don’t forget to include the recipe.


Directions for making taco chili:


  • Bean mix
  • Spice Packet
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 (14.5 ox) can diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained


Cover beans with water and soak for 8 hours or overnight.  Drain and add to a dutch oven or pan.  Add remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 hours or until beans are tender.  Serve with tortilla chips, grated cheese, and a dallop of sour cream. 

 Chili: It’s not pretty, but it’s good!