Is it cold where you live? I’m so out of touch with the rest of the universe. This is my third winter in Hawaii where “cold” means you might need a light jacket when you go out and you have to close the windows at night and maybe keep a blanket next to the bed, just in case. I haven’t been properly cold in years. Maybe I’m lucky. Every once in a while, I’m nostalgic for a proper winter.
I think chili is perfect winter food. It’s hearty and cozy. It’s something you can leave bubbling on the stove for a long time. The bowl warms your hands while you’re eating. It’s also spicy, which is supposed to be good for hot weather, but I don’t buy it. Chili is definitely winter food. I mean, I’ll still eat it any time of year, but you see what I’m getting at.
My husband had the brilliant idea of adding some gnocchi to our chili which makes it extra awesome. It adds even more comfort to the pot. Gnocchi is basically like eating a potato pillow. The gnocchi absorbs the spicy flavors of the chili. I don’t know why these soft little dumplings work so perfectly, but they just do. It’s also a great way to make a pot of chili stretch a little further and feed more people without spending a bunch of extra money. Meat is expensive, so you want to make a pound of ground beef go as far as it can.
You’ve probably had chili with rice or macaroni, but if you’ve never tried it with gnocchi, I suggest you give it a shot. Just use the premade stuff from the pasta aisle. Don’t be a hero. Relax and take the help from the experts.
If you need to warm up, or even if you just want to daydream about a snowpocalypse, this dish will get you there. Make a big pot, call your friends, and get cozy.
- 1 package gnocchi
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 packet chili seasoning
- 1 can diced tomatoes and green chiles
- 1 can kidney beans
- Sour cream
- Cheddar Cheese
- Green Onion
- Fill a medium sauce pan two thirds full of water and put on the stove over high heat to boil. Once the water is boiling, add the gnocchi and allow to cook until they float to the top.
- Meanwhile, in a medium pot over medium high heat, brown the ground beef. Add the salt, pepper, and chili powder as it cooks and break the meat apart with a wooden spoon. Drain the fat and return to the hot pot.
- Add the chili seasoning, then add the can of tomatoes and the can of beans without draining them. The liquid will help give the gnocchi something to soak in and get tasty. You may also want to add about a quarter cup of water depending on how thick you like your chili. I just filled my tomato can about halfway with water, swilled it about, then added it in. Allow the chili to come to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about ten minutes.
- As your gnocchi start to float to the surface, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and add them to your chili pot. Give everything a stir and let it hang out and do its thing.
- When the chili is ready to serve, add it to your bowl and top it with cheddar cheese, green onions, and sour cream.
- This recipe is obviously highly adaptable. Swap out the ground beef for turkey, or add the gnocchi to your favorite vegetarian chili. Go crazy!