By Karin Calloway

Karin Calloway is a working mom living in Augusta, Ga., with multiple freelance jobs and a ton of dirty dishes.

Black Bean and Kielbasa Chili

Chili is a winter standard, but I tire of the traditional kidney bean laden version. In my experimentation, I devised this Black Bean and Kielbasa Chili as a tasty alternative.

Most chili recipes call for ground beef. I’ve replaced the beef with kielbasa. Instead of dicing the sausage, I grind it in the food processor until it is the consistency of ground beef. It adds a distinctive smokiness that is a mystery flavor in the chili. Feel free to substitute turkey kielbasa when counting fat grams.

Serve chili piping hot with corn muffins and a tossed salad. Top it with a dollop of sour cream, grated cheddar cheese and sliced jalapenos, if desired.
  • 1 pound kielbasa, or other smoked sausage, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
Place cubed kielbasa in a food processor and pulse until ground. Heat a Dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add kielbasa, onions and peppers and sauté until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in garlic, chili powder, cumin and oregano and simmer a few minutes to bring out their flavor. Add red wine and bring to a boil, until reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, covered for 20 minutes.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.