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Smack-a-licious Chili

This homemade chili contains fresh beans instead of canned. Well seasoned and hearty. Smack-a-licious is a fun name for delicious. Recipe and photography by Beverly Davis for CornbreadMillionaire.com.
Prep Time8 hours
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time8 hours 45 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beans, chili, cornbread bundt cake, soup
Servings: 12 servings


  • 1 package (20 ounces) 15 Bean Ham Soup Hurst's Ham Beens Brand
  • water for soaking and boiling
  • 2 pieces chopped ham
  • 1 pound ground beef or ground chili cooked and drained
  • 1 large small white onion chopped and sauteed
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes Use 2 cans if more soup is preferred.
  • 1 package chili powder, divided
  • 1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
  • 1 packet cajun seasoning Packaged with dry beans.
  • ground black pepper to taste optional
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup ketchup optional
  • 4 hotdogs, boiled and chopped optional
  • cheddar cheese, shredded For garnish (optional).


  • Spread beans out on a large plate or other surface. Remove/discard debris.
  • Pour beans into a colander. Rinse well.
  • Pour rinsed beans into a large lidded container. Cover with water. Top with lid. Place in fridge. Soak 4-8 hours for tender/firm beans. Soak overnight for very soft beans. Soaking required to remove gas.
  • Drain soak water. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Place beans in large saucepan or dutch oven. Add chopped ham pieces. Cover with water.
  • Simmer over low-medium heat WITHOUT LID. Watch closely. Foam will form minutes after simmering. Skim off. If it is not removed, it will "disappear" in the beans. See cooking notes for more info.
  • Cover with lid. Simmer over low-medium heat until desired tenderness. Lightly stir to prevent breakage. Add more water if necessary to reach desired tenderness.
  • After reaching desired tenderness, turn off heat.
  • Cook ground beef (or ground turkey) and onions together. Drain after meat is thoroughly cooked. Add to cooked beans.
  • Add one can of diced tomatoes to cooked beans. If more soup is preferred, add second can (14.5 ounces) of diced tomatoes.
  • Chili powder can be very strong. Start with 1 teaspoon.
  • Add Liquid Smoke, 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning, salt to taste, and ground black pepper to taste.
  • After lightly stirring together, taste a "cooled" sample of chili. If desired, add 1/4 cup of ketchup, 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning or whatever is preferred until satisfied with taste.
  • Serve hot. Garnish with chopped/cooked hotdogs and shredded cheddar cheese if desired (optional).


Shortly after beans start boiling, white foam will form on top.  This is phytic acid, a toxin that irritates the stomach in most people.  I always skim off
How to Cook Dried Beans  is an informative article from Bon Appetit.