I realized something the other day when thinking of chili recipes for the playoffs…my go to chili recipe was missing from my signature recipe page!  I have asked others to send in their chili recipes, yet mine was missing.

My chili???  It is a Full House Chili…The Full House, Hot Tamales covered with chili, are famous in Knoxville, Tennessee.  During my college days at Tennessee, I used to drop by the local corner market to get mine to go.

Over the years I have perfected my chili recipe and you don’t have to serve it over hot tamales…but give me a good hot tamale and I am in heaven.



Kathy's Full House Chili photo by Kathy Miller


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons double-concentrated  tomato paste
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 (28 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (10 ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 8-12 freshly made hot tamales if available.  If fresh are not available use  1 can Hormel Tamales, Beef in Chili Sauce


  1. Brown ground beef, onions and garlic in a large Dutch oven.  Drain well. 
  2. Add chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, paprika. Cook 1 minute. 
  3. Add tomato paste.  Cook 1 minute. 
  4. Add remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to simmer. 
  5. Simmer for 2 hours.
  6. Heat hot tamales.  Take out of husks and place a hot tamale in each bowl.  Spoon chili over top. 


The Full House, Hot Tamales covered with chili, is famous in Knoxville, Tennessee.  During my college days at Tennessee, I used to drop by the local corner market to get mine to go. As always when serving chili, you may want to let guests top the chili with sour cream, cheese, jalapenos, black olives and or sliced green onions.

By KathyMillerTime


Recipe Printed from

Can also top with any or all…sour cream, cheddar cheese, avocado and scallions, lime, olives…wow so many choices.  Make it a chili bar!

Kathy's Chili Full House photo by Kathy Miller

Back to the comfort food theme for the playoffs…

With cooler winter weather,  football playoffs and the Super Bowl in the near future, I think any of these would be great for dinner while watching football!

This is our family’s all time favorite comfort food…



  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce
  • 2 cans (12 ounces each) tomato paste
  • 1 can (7 1/2 ounces) pitted ripe olives, drained and sliced
  • 2 envelopes (1 1/2 ounces each) Italian-style spaghetti sauce mix with mushrooms
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (a little sugar helps reduce the acidity of tomato sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled
  • 16 ounces Italian-style spaghetti
  • grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook and stir meat, onion until meat is brown and onion is tender.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients except spaghetti and Parmesan cheese.
  3. Cover; simmer 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Cook spaghetti as directed on package; drain.
  5. Serve meat sauce over hot spaghetti; pass Parmesan cheese.


Meat sauce can be prepared ahead.  Cover and refrigerate or freeze.  When ready to serve; cook spaghetti; heat meat sauce and serve over hot spaghetti.

By KathyMillerTime


Recipe Printed from

Watch for more recipes to enjoy while watching football playoffs.

Come celebrate with me.  I’ll save you a seat at the table.

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  • Lucy Hawkins says:

    A blast from the past sister! Remember and love those! 🙂

  • Kay Fillingim says:

    Aunt Kathy’s spaghetti!!!! These recipe cards are so nostalgic. I had some in a yellow plastic box.

  • susan nunn says:

    Recently used Ground Pork, rather than beef, for my spaghetti sauce and it was a very nice change of taste. I also often use ground turkey .

    Fun to have those long-time family favorites, isn’t it?


  • KathyMillerTime says:

    Love the idea of ground pork! Will have to try it. I have often used ground turkey as a replacement. Family favorites are special. Thanks for your comment.

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