Beef & Pinto Bean Chili with Crispy Tortilla Strips, Avocado & Cotija Cheese

Beef & Pinto Bean Chili

with Crispy Tortilla Strips, Avocado & Cotija Cheese

2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

In this recipe, you’ll be creating the perfect winter chili using classic ingredients. Simmered with aromatics and spices, then topped with creamy avocado and crumbly Cotija cheese, this simple, delicious chili is some of the best we’ve ever tasted. To top it all off, you’ll be serving it with homemade tortilla strips, adding a satisfying, toasty crunch.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    700 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
Beef & Pinto Bean Chili with Crispy Tortilla Strips, Avocado & Cotija Cheese
Title
  • 8 oz Ground Beef
  • 2 Corn Tortillas
  • 1 15-Ounce Can Pinto Beans
  • 1 15-Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 2 Scallions
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 oz Cotija Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp Beef Chili Spice Blend (Ground Ancho Chile, Ground Chipotle, Ground Cumin, Ground Sweet Paprika, Cocoa Powder, Espresso Powder, Dried Thyme & Dried Oregano)
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Stack the tortillas; cut them in half, then into thin strips. Drain and rinse the beans. Peel and mince the garlic. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice on an angle, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Using a peeler, remove the green rind of the lime, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter the lime. Peel, pit and large dice the avocado. Squeeze the juice of 2 lime wedges over the avocado to prevent browning. Crumble the cheese.

Toast the tortilla strips:
2 Toast the tortilla strips:

Place the tortilla strips on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange in a single, even layer and bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

Brown the meat:
3 Brown the meat:

While the tortilla strips bake, in a medium pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the ground beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned.

Add the aromatics:
4 Add the aromatics:

While the tortilla strips continue to bake, add the garlic, white bottoms of the scallions and spice blend to the pan of browned beef. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant.

Add the pinto beans, tomatoes & lime zest:
5 Add the pinto beans, tomatoes & lime zest:

To the beef-aromatics mixture, add the beans, diced tomatoes, lime zest and 2 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 11 to 13 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Add the juice of the remaining lime wedges; stir to thoroughly combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Plate your dish:
6 Plate your dish:

Divide the chili between 2 bowls. Top with the avocado, cheese and toasted tortilla strips. Garnish with the green tops of the scallions. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Stack the tortillas; cut them in half, then into thin strips. Drain and rinse the beans. Peel and mince the garlic. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice on an angle, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Using a peeler, remove the green rind of the lime, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter the lime. Peel, pit and large dice the avocado. Squeeze the juice of 2 lime wedges over the avocado to prevent browning. Crumble the cheese.

2 Toast the tortilla strips:

Place the tortilla strips on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange in a single, even layer and bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

Toast the tortilla strips:
Brown the meat:
3 Brown the meat:

While the tortilla strips bake, in a medium pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the ground beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned.

4 Add the aromatics:

While the tortilla strips continue to bake, add the garlic, white bottoms of the scallions and spice blend to the pan of browned beef. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant.

Add the aromatics:
Add the pinto beans, tomatoes & lime zest:
5 Add the pinto beans, tomatoes & lime zest:

To the beef-aromatics mixture, add the beans, diced tomatoes, lime zest and 2 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 11 to 13 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Add the juice of the remaining lime wedges; stir to thoroughly combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Plate your dish:

Divide the chili between 2 bowls. Top with the avocado, cheese and toasted tortilla strips. Garnish with the green tops of the scallions. Enjoy!

Plate your dish:
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