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How to Cook Chili Using Tomato Paste

author image Meg Campbell
Based just outside Chicago, Meg Campbell has worked in the fitness industry since 1997. She’s been writing health-related articles since 2010, focusing primarily on diet and nutrition. Campbell divides her time between her hometown and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
How to Cook Chili Using Tomato Paste
This beef, bean and tomato chili cooks up in less than 30 minutes. Photo Credit: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images

Like soup and stew, chili is a one-pot meal of endless variations. Ground beef, steak, pork, corn, kidney beans, bell peppers, hot peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic, cumin, oregano, brown sugar and chili powder are common ingredients in many chili recipes, while chicken, mushrooms and zucchini are a little more out of the ordinary. Tomato paste — a thick, potent tomato concentrate — infuses a pot of chili with a bright, zesty flavor that complements beans and beef equally well. It’s one of the main flavor ingredients in this quick recipe, which cooks up in less than 30 minutes and serves four.

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Step 1

Peel and chop the onion. Place the saucepan with the onion and the ground beef over medium heat, stirring frequently until the beef is browned and the onion is translucent. Drain off the excess fat.

Step 2

Transfer the beef and onion to a stock pot or Dutch oven placed over medium heat. Stir in a full 6-oz. can of tomato paste. Fill the can with water three times, and pour it into the pot. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper and brown sugar.

Step 3

Pour the kidney beans into a colander to drain and rinse well. Add them to the pot. Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, stirring once or twice as it cooks.

Step 4

Taste before serving. To increase the chili’s spiciness, add more chili powder and cumin. Top each bowl with a sprinkling of shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

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  • “The Ultimate Soup Cookbook”; Neil Wertheimer, Editor in Chief; 2006
  • “The Wooden Spoon”; Marilyn M. Moore; 1992
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