I tried 3 chili recipes from Ina Garten, Ree Drummond, and Giada De Laurentiis, and the worst didn't even have beef or beans in it

I tried 3 chili recipes from Ina Garten, Ree Drummond, and Giada De Laurentiis, and the worst didn't even have beef or beans in it
  • I made the chili recipes of celebrity chefs Ina Garten, Ree Drummond, and Giada De Laurentiis.

  • Garten's recipe, which didn't call for any beans, didn't really feel like traditional chili.

  • My favorite was the white-bean and chicken recipe, which is nothing like a traditional beef chili.

Cold weather is always better with heart meals, and that includes a pot of chili.

I made three chili recipes from celebrity chefs Ina Garten, Ree Drummond, and Giada De Laurentiis and found that not every dish was a typical beefy, tomato-based meal.

I started off with Garten's recipe, which didn't feel like a chili to me at all

Bell peppers, onion, spices on table
Bell peppers, onion, spices on table

Ina Garten's chili didn't call for beans.Chelsea Davis

Garten's chili recipe was straightforward.

I simmered the onions and garlic until translucent, added the spices and herbs, diced bell peppers, and whole tomatoes, and cooked for about half an hour.

Bell peppers and tomato sauce in pot
I combined the tomato sauce with the bell peppers.Chelsea Davis

This mixture was very similar to a chunky pasta sauce.

Instead of roasting the chicken breasts, I sautéed them in a pan

Chicken breasts in pan
Chicken breasts in pan

I think the sautéed-chicken method was faster and easier for Ina Garten's recipe.Chelsea Davis

Though the recipe said to split olive oil-covered chicken breasts and bake in the oven, I decided to sautée them in a pan since it seemed more efficient.

I sautéed them for about 12 minutes on each side, diced them, and combined them with the tomato and bell-pepper sauce.

I let the chili simmer for another 20 minutes.

Garten's recipe didn't satisfy my chili craving

Chicken and vegetable chili in pot
Ina Garten's dish didn't resemble or taste like chili to me.Chelsea Davis

This recipe wasn't as hearty as a typical chili and had a strong tomato flavor and a lot of bell pepper chunks.

The chicken was juicy but could have benefitted from a different seasoning blend.

Topped with cheese, it was filling, but not what I would want if I was in the mood for a traditional chili.

A few of my Filipino relatives tried it and loved it with no cheese on top of white rice, though.

The next recipe I tried was Drummond's, which was a traditional chili

Ground beef, corn grits, and spices on table
Ree Drummond's recipe called for more traditional ingredients.Chelsea Davis

For the Pioneer Woman's "simple, perfect chili" I browned ground beef in a large pot with minced garlic and drained the fat.

Drummond's recipe was super easy

Beans and ground beef in pot
Ree Drummond's one-pot chili called for minimal effort.Chelsea Davis

I added chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper to the meat and incorporated the tomato sauce.

After stirring, I let the chili simmer for an hour, adding a half cup of water when the mixture looked a bit dry.

The recipe required a masa harina paste, which I substituted with corn grits

Ground-beef chili cooking
I thought the corn grits worked well as a substitution for the masa harina.Chelsea Davis

I didn't have masa harina, a dried maize-based dough often used as a thickening agent, so I substituted it with corn grits.

To do so, I mixed the grits with 1/2 cup water and stirred it into the chili, added more seasoning and salt to taste, and simmered for about 10 minutes.

Drummond's recipe made an excellent traditional chili

Chili with beans in pot
Ree Drummond's dish was exactly what your traditional chili should taste like.Chelsea Davis

Drummond's easy-to-make recipe was meaty, hearty, and filling, so it checked off all the boxes for me when it comes to a tasty chili.

De Laurentiis uses ground chicken in her chili recipe

Onions, garlic, ground chicken, broth, and spices on table
I never had ground-chicken chili, but I loved Giada de Laurentiis' recipe.Chelsea Davis

For Laurentiis' recipe, I simmered chopped onions and minced garlic until translucent and added ground chicken, salt, cumin, fennel, oregano, and chili powder.

Ground chicken and spices in pot
The chicken soaked up all the spices and flavors.Chelsea Davis

After the meat cooked through, I added the roughly-chopped Swiss chard, beans, corn, and chicken stock.

As the recipe stated, I made sure to scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pot

Swiss chard and chili flakes combined with ground-chicken chili in pot
Giada De Laurentiis' chili came together quickly and smelled great.Chelsea Davis

I let the mixture simmer for about an hour, added chili flakes, and cooked for about 10 more minutes.

Cooked chicken chili
Giada De Laurentiis' chili was a hearty medley of flavors.Chelsea Davis

I enjoyed the savory flavor of the crunchy corn, white beans, vegetal Swiss chard, and rich chicken taste and thought it was the perfect, comforting bowl of chili.

Overall, the recipes from Drummond and De Laurentiis tie for first place

Three pots of chili with arrows
I wouldn't make Ina Garten's chili again.Chelsea Davis

I loved both Drummond's traditional chili and De Laurentiis' chicken version for their hearty, savory, and complex flavors.

They were different types of chili, but equally delicious for game day.

Though Garten's recipe wasn't bad, it just didn't do it for me in terms of what I look for in a chili.

Click to check out the other celebrity-chef recipes we've put head-to-head so far.

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