Two-Stepping Chili

Two-Stepping Chili

It’s not even a month into winter, and I’m already feeling the chill. My two biggest challenges during winter are coping with the decreased daylight and keeping warm. For some, Tennessee winters may seem like child’s play, but after decades of living in Florida, I just can’t get used to them. Chilis, soups and hot beverages top the list of foods to help me stay warm. Adding a punch of spicy heat helps, so I often add more hot sauces and spices to winter recipes. Two-Stepping Chili is the latest weapon in my winter warming quiver.

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Shall We Dance, or Eat?

I don’t recall why I named this two-stepping chili. Maybe because most ingredients are cooked twice. Perhaps the day I came up with it, something reminded me of a time that two-stepping (and line-dancing) was all the rage. This was during my “dancing days” … when I was in an amateur dance company doing a variety of ballet, tap and jazz performances, and I was ready to try pretty much any kind of dancing. I can almost hear the voice of the friend who taught me “Slow, slow, quick quick”…. That was it—two steps in the cooking, except this recipe works in reverse order, quick to slow. 

Two-Stepping Chili, Slow or Quick

You don’t have to like dancing to try Two-Stepping Chili, but it’s quick and slow enough to have you dancing, and the punch of heat will make you jump. How high you jump depends upon how hot your green sauce is. You can make this chili vegan by substituting meat-based ingredients for plant-based. I don’t add a lot of sodium, but for those watching their sodium intake, you can reduce the amount or use a salt substitute. 

You can cook the ingredients ahead of time and pull them together or do it all at once. This doesn’t last long in our home, because we both love the flavor of this filling chili, and I love the ease of cooking it.

“When it’s winter, there will be no place more delightful than the fireplace. It becomes my favorite place in the house during negative degrees. I love sitting near to it, staring at the flames amazed by their dance performance and enjoying its warmth. It makes me feel close to the sun. It makes me feel like dancing to its blazing beats and rhythm! I’m looking forward to summer. I’m looking forward to play and work in the garden again.”

—Janice Jay Relos Eriksen 

Two-Steppin’ Chili

This easy-to-make, slow-cooked chili feels a little like a two-step and puts some warmth in your belly.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword beans, chili, green sauce, ground beef, low sodium, vegan option
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12 half cups
Calories 211kcal


  • Slow Cooker


  • 1 ½ lb ground beef
  • dash salt
  • dash pepper
  • ¼ onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 sweet peppers
  • 15 oz cannelloni beans
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 14.5 oz diced tomatoes
  • 1 C green sauce see recipe link in notes
  • ½ to 1 tsp cumin to taste


  • Place meat, salt and pepper together into skillet. Cook, drain, and place in slow cooker.
  • Finely chop onion garlic, and sweet pepper. Sauté and place in slow cooker.
  • Drain and rinse beans and place in slow cooker.
  • Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, green sauce and cumin to slow cooker.
  • Stir ingredients well and cook on low setting until done, about 4 to 6 hours. Best cooked on low setting but will tolerate faster cooking on high. Can also be cooked on stovetop on medium to heat then on low setting to simmer, stirring occasionally.


Serving Suggestions
Serve warm with desired toppings. Shredded monterrey jack, sour cream, and onion work well. Combines well with a salad and bread.
For vegan version, substitute ground beef with a plant-based protein similar in texture. Use or make a vegetable-stock based green sauce and dairy-free toppings. For lower sodium, reduce salt or use salt substitute.
Recipe Links
Mexican Green Sauce


Serving: 1half cup | Sodium: 584mg | Calcium: 58mg | Vitamin C: 44mg | Vitamin A: 715IU | Sugar: 2g | Fiber: 3g | Potassium: 507mg | Cholesterol: 40mg | Calories: 211kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Fat: 12g | Protein: 14g | Carbohydrates: 12g | Iron: 3mg