President Obama’s Chicago Chili

October 3, 2017

This chili is said to be President Barack Obama’s ultimate favorite. Though, fair warning, it isn’t your standard chili recipe. This Chicago-style chili has a few added twists that deviate from the norm–but that doesn’t stop it from being delightful!

“I borrowed this recipe from my husband—it’s now the President’s Chili Recipe. When we lived in Chicago, we loved to invite our family and friends over to our house, make a batch of chili, and enjoy the evening together.”
Michelle Obama


Chili Recipe Obama

This Chicago-style chili isn’t as soupy as standard chili recipes. It has a few twists that set it apart from the norm.  First, it calls for fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones, turmeric (definitely not a standard chili spice), and a big splash of red-wine vinegar that takes the flavor to a new level. In fact, the Obama’s recommend you serve this chili over rice. So, that’s just what I did . . . and it didn’t disappoint! Top it with shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream–and whip up a batch of Abe Lincoln’s corn muffins to go with it–and this is about as hearty and tasty as chili comes.

Serves 6


1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
Several cloves of garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground turkey or beef
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground oregano
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground basil
1 Tbsp chili powder
3 Tbsp red-wine vinegar
5-6 tomatoes, chopped
1 can red kidney beans



  1. Saute onions, green pepper and garlic in olive oil until soft.
  2. Add ground meat and brown.
  3. Combine spices together into a mixture, then add to ground meat.
  4. Add red wine vinegar.
  5. Add tomatoes and let simmer, until tomatoes cook down.
  6. Add kidney beans and cook for a few more minutes.
  7. Serve over white or brown rice. Garnish with grated cheddar cheese, onions and sour cream.

Author: Andrea

Former news reporter and Capitol Hill press guru, wife, mom, and pastry addict.

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