VisitingNewEngland Header Travel Site
  Find a Hotel in New England      Discover the Best Diners in New England      Explore Massachusetts Town Greens   

This is your place for travel planning...    Check out these feature stories on special small businesses in New England -- great reads for locals and travelers!

Get the Recipe: Award-Winning Chili from the Vanilla Bean Cafe in Pomfret, Conn.

Vanilla Bean Cafe award-winning chili recipe
Chili from the Vanilla Bean Cafe, Pomfret, Connecticut. Updated 12/28/16.

Share this New England travel article with your friends

The Vanilla Bean Cafe in Pomfret, Conn., has been in business since 1989 with its delicious chili being on the menu since the first day. The coziness of this restored 1840s farmhouse and the freshly-made, mouthwatering chili seem to go hand-in-hand -- the perfect place to enjoy a cup or bowl.

People love the chili from the Vanilla Bean Cafe. stated of the chili, "It’s such a bestseller that in the past that they’ve even sold over 10,000 pounds of chili in one year alone!" We concur about the quality of the chili. This is the best restaurant chili we've tasted, to date, in New England -- full-bodied, flavorful and plentiful. Further good news: here is how you can make Vanilla Bean Cafe chili in your own kitchen...


2 Lbs ground beef (we use 80/20)
2 tsp chili powder     
½ tsp cumin  
2 tsp black pepper  
½ tsp cayenne (adjust for spice) 
2 Drops Tabasco  
2 Chorizo links   
1 Tbls diced jalapeno (adjust for spice) 
3 Cloves chopped garlic 
3 Tbls beef fat  
1 ½ Tbls chili powder 
½ Tbls cumin
1 medium onion - chopped
4 stalks celery - chopped
½ red pepper - chopped
½ green pepper - chopped
1 16 oz can tomato sauce
1 28 oz can tomato puree
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 16 oz can kidney beans 
• In a large pan cook the ground beef with chili, cumin, pepper, cayenne
and Tabasco.  Reserve 3 Tbls of spicy beef fat for later use. Drain and set
cooked beef aside for later use.
• Slice chorizo in half and cut into bite size pieces. In a 6-quart stock pot
cook chorizo for 4 or 5 minutes on medium high heat. Add Onions, celery,
pepper, jalapeno, garlic, chili, cumin and beef fat. Cook until vegetables
are tender.
• Add all tomato products and cook on medium for 15 -20 minutes, stirring
• Stir in cooked beef and kidney beans and simmer for 2 hours.
Serve in a crock with corn chips, grated cheddar cheese, and scallions.
Makes about 1 gallon    10 - 12 servings - Freezes well

© COPYRIGHT 1999 by Barry Jessurun, All rights reserved
The Vanilla Bean Café
Pomfret Connecticut 06258

Related articles:

Vanilla Bean Cafe dining review
How to make Durgin Park Restaurant Boston baked beans at home

If you enjoyed this article, please share through any of the social media buttons below -- thanks!

Be sure to take these helpful New England travel books on the road with you...

Best Diners In New England Kindle bookMassachusetts Town Greens Book

Stay connected with VisitingNewEngland at  Facebook Social Media Button Facebook  Twitter Social Media Button Twitter Social Media Pinterest Button Pinterest  Social Media Google+ Button Google+


Featuring our latest New England travel insider's news updates and stories, discounts and coupons!

Relax and stay for a while: Start with our navigation links and also our articles on the best New England towns and cities, hidden travel destinations, scenic drives, seafood restaurants and lobster shacks, lobster rolls, ice cream stands, and country stores, as well as our New England summer, fall, winter and spring sections. Then take a fun online journey on VisitingNewEngland to read the rest of our articles for your trip planning needs!

VisitingNewEngland's small business commitment to excellence: is a proud, small business based in New England. We love it when one of our articles helps you with your New England vacation and travel trip planning! That's what we are here for: to serve you in the most genuine, helpful way possible.

Old-fashioned New England work ethic: All articles, photos by Eric Hurwitz unless otherwise noted. Eric also manages the site's layout and design, social media, and public affairs.

All this, and blogs too! Also, please check out our authentic, informative and entertaining New England travel blogs with original content: The Thrifty New England Traveler (New England travel ideas on a budget), The New England Travel and Vacation Gazette (more original New England travel articles), and Old School Boston (warm memories of Boston and New England from back in the day).

Home | Connecticut | Maine | Massachusetts | New Hampshire | Rhode Island | Vermont | Attractions | Dining Out | About Us | Press Room | Privacy | Contact Us