The Special Ingredient For A Game-Changing Chili Is Diced Apples

Cup of chili with bread
Cup of chili with bread - Rudisill/Getty Images

Chili is one of those dishes that can be made in a million different ways -- everyone has their recipe and ingredients they swear by. But there is a unique way to elevate your chili, whatever the recipe: Try adding diced apples. While apples and chili are both iconic fall foods, most people don't think to put them together. However, apples are a super tasty addition to your chili because they add a tangy and subtly sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with the chili spices. Then, to boost the tangy flavor in your chili recipe, add a combination of diced apples and red onion as a garnish.

Granny Smith apples are more tart than sweet, making them ideal for adding some sweetness that won't overpower the spicy savory chili. Granny Smiths are often the go-to for baking due to their tartness that blends well with savory dishes. Other sweet and tart apple varieties that work great in savory dishes like chili include Braeburn, Jonathan or Jonagold, and Cortland. However, don't be afraid to use a sweeter apple if you enjoy a more intense sweet and savory combination. For instance, Golden Delicious apples taste great in different varieties of chili.

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Tasty Chili And Apple Combinations To Try

Bowl of white bean chili
Bowl of white bean chili - Bhofack2/Getty Images

If you're a fan of the classic, tomato-based, red bean ground beef or turkey chili, Granny Smith apples are the best choice to add to the pot. To infuse the tart apple flavor into your chili, add some peeled and diced pieces along with the beans and allow them to simmer until soft (but not mushy to the point where you're making applesauce). Topping your finished bowl with a few more finely diced apple pieces will add some satisfying crunch to your spoonful.

White bean chili is equally as yummy and provides different flavors that work amazingly with sweeter apples. Try making an apple white chicken chili with chicken broth as a base and incorporating apples that are on the sweeter side such as Honeycrisp or Golden Delicious. Or, for a vegetarian chili with apple, simply take out the chicken and add in extra beans or vegetables, then substitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth. Whether you are making red or white chili, other ingredients that pair well with apple chili include corn, sweet potatoes, bacon, and dried fruit like cranberries, apricots, and golden raisins.

Give Apple Cider Chili A Try If You Love Apples

Pot of chili with cornbread
Pot of chili with cornbread - Rudisill/Getty Images

Can't get enough apples in your chili? If so, give apple cider chili a shot. This combination fully embraces fall flavors and is perfect for warming up on a crisp day. It's a sweet and savory chili that can be made with ingredients like ground beef or ground turkey, tomato sauce, apple cider, corn, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and lots of peeled and chopped apples. Or, you can make a white chili version with chicken or turkey, chicken broth, apple cider, celery, and apple pieces. You can also substitute the apple cider with apple juice for a sweeter flavor with less tang.

Another option that screams harvest flavors is pumpkin and apple cider chili. This tasty concoction incorporates pumpkin puree and apple cider in a ground beef chili with smoky chili and chipotle spices. For a vegetarian option that's heavy on veggies, take out the meat and add more ingredients like sweet potato, kidney beans, carrots, and zucchini. Whether you're using apples, apple cider, or both, adding this tart and sweet ingredient will take your chili to the next level of yummy goodness.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.