Pam's Five-Can Chili

Margaret G


This is my mom's super-simple, no-fuss chili recipe. You only have to open up 4 cans, and it all uses one pot! This recipe follows the K.I.S.S. rule: "Keep It Simple, Stupid!" It won her 2nd place (beating me!) in a chili cook-off. Sometimes, you just have to go with a classic, no-brainer recipe! *Note- use lean ground beef so you don't need to drain.


★★★★★ 1 vote

15 Min
45 Min
Stove Top


  • 1 1/4 lb
    90% lean ground beef
  • 1 medium
    onion, chopped
  • 1 can(s)
    tomato sauce (15 ounce can)
  • 1 can(s)
    diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 1 can(s)
    kidney beans (drained, rinsed)
  • 1 can(s)
    pork & beans (do not drain, remove fat piece)
  • 1 can(s)
    water (use tomato sauce can)
  • 1 Tbsp
    chili powder
  • 2 tsp
    ground cumin
  • 1 to 2 tsp
    sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp
    black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp
    red pepper flakes (or to taste)

How to Make Pam's Five-Can Chili


  1. In a small bowl, combine all seasonings and shake or mix.
  2. In a soup pot, saute onion in a small amount of oil over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef and sprinkle about a teaspoon of the seasoning mix. Cook until meat is browned. Do not drain.
  3. Open up your cans and add them in- don't forget the 5th can: one can full of water! Add remaining seasonings. Stir, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low and simmer, COVERED, about 45 minutes.

Printable Recipe Card

About Pam's Five-Can Chili

Course/Dish: Chili
Main Ingredient: Beans/Legumes
Regional Style: American
Dietary Needs: Low Fat, Dairy Free, Soy Free
Other Tag: Quick & Easy

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