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Spicy Tabasco Chili

During an invitation to Avery Island, I got the chance to meet the people behind Tabasco and spent 3 full days experiencing all there is to offer on that amazing island and surrounding areas. I had the chance to visit the good ole’ country store located right on the island. While I will share more stories from my amazing trip soon, there was something I wanted to share today. Something taaasty.

While at the country store, we got to taste samples of Jalape o Ice Cream, Chipotle Raspberry Ice Cream (oh, yum) and various other goodies with a kick to them. One of my favorites was the Chili made with the Tabasco 7 Spice Chili Starter.

I knew I had to recreate this recipe and I left Louisiana actually craving this chili.

So, I did.

Now, you can find this starter at your local Target store from what I’m told but it might just be easier to buy it directly from their store! It’s only $3.25. Made from 100% natural, fresh ingredients including herbs and spices this rich blend has just the right amount of TABASCO Pepper Sauce. Just add 1 lb of ground beef and your favorite beans for a quick and delicious chili that will leave you and your family calling for more.

I did a few experiments with this chili. I made a vegetarian version using veggie meat crumbles, a bean version and then, most recently I made a meat-only version.

The first two times I made the chili, I actually used my own seasonings and added Original TABASCO brand Pepper Sauce to the recipe. Who would have thought? All the times I have made chili, I have never once thought to add TABASCO brand Pepper Sauce to the recipe and now I know what I’ve been missing. It really gives it that extra kick. If you like to live life on the wild side, you can add a bit of TABASCO brand Habanero Sauce into the mix.

The recipe below is one of the first few versions where I used seasonings and Original TABASCO brand Pepper Sauce.

Spicy Tabasco Chili

Serves: 4-5 | Level: Beginner


1 lb. ground beef (or turkey)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
8 oz. tomato sauce
1-2 cups water
1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoons cumin, ground
1 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoons sugar (to balance out the vinegar/salt)
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa (trust me on this one)
1-2 (or 4, I was not shy with the stuff) teaspoons Original TABASCO brand Pepper Sauce (habanero if you’re feeling daring)


1. In a med/large saucepan brown the beef and then drain the fat.

2. Add the garlic and onion, cook. Stir until tender.

3. Add the tomato sauce, water, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, sugar, cocoa and hot sauce. Sir and mix well.

4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered (to prevent splatter) for 1 hour.

5. Stir chili and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Serve with cornbread or tortillas. We had avocado, cheese, lettuce, tortillas. It was delish. Enjoy!

I was compensated for recipe development from Tabasco.

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  • Karen

    How did the vegetarian versions turn out? I’m always looking for meat free options.

    • Modern Day Moms

      Karen – It was really good! I used Boca Crumbles and I sautee them in a little bit of olive oil before adding the onions & sauce. I notice when I do this, they maintain the crisp texture.

      • Karen

        Great! I’ll give it a try – sounds yum!

  • Jeff

    I would like to make a very Large !! batch that could serve 25 to 30 people, what are the “rules” or “variations” in the recipe that I should use to make such a large batch. Thank you. Jeff

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