Recipe: Copycat Zippy’s Chili

If you’re from Hawaii, you love Zippy’s Chili. There’s no if’s, and’s or but’s about it. And if you don’t like Zippy’s Chili, what is wrong with you? Just kidding, sort of. Well, while I love the chili…I certainly don’t love the price tag. It’s pricey at the restaurant and pricey in frozen form at the grocery store.

I found a copycat recipe the other day and decided to try it out during this whole Covid-19 hysteria. I went to Target to shop for some ingredients…and eureka! They had all the ingredients. Well all but one…pinto beans. No pinto beans. I guess in an emergency, people stock up on beans. So what did I find? Garbanzo beans. Uh oh, how will this go? Well let me tell you, it went quite well! Can I say it tastes exactly like Zippy’s, I don’t think so but I can’t pinpoint what is different (maybe because I didn’t have pinto beans). The kids loved the chili and it tastes even better after sitting a day. Mmm…I really enjoyed it and will totally make this again. No need Zippy’s when you can make it at home!

I hope you can make it and let me know how it goes for you! I included pictures of the actual products I used in the recipe, click the linked ingredients for pictures of what I used. I doubled the original recipe which is reflected in the recipe I shared below, feel free to cut it in half to still have a good portion!

Fry up that ground beef! No need oil, it’s plenty greasy.
Remove the ground beef and fry up the onions in the leftover grease
(plenty grease, what did I tell you?)
Tomato sauce and pureed garbanzo beans in the pot!
Beef base, garlic salt, chili powder, the kitchen sink, etc.
Looks like Zippy’s Chili yeah??
That’s a lot of mayo…
I asked IG to guess if this was mayo and sour cream, the winner was sour cream but the winning answer was the losing one! It’s mayo!!!
Gotta have chili with rice!

Copycat Zippy’s Chili Recipe

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons vegetable oil (optional)
2 pounds ground beef (I just buy the one from Costco)
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 (29-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 (15-ounce) cans of low sodium garbanzo beans, pureed, with liquid
2 (16-ounce) cans of light red kidney beans, with liquid
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 tablespoons premium roasted beef base (Better Than Bouillon)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 cup mayonnaise

Directions:
In a large pot, break up and fry up ground beef. Remove ground beef, set aside. Fry up onions in leftover oil on medium heat until limp and golden, add the two teaspoons of vegetable oil if there is not enough grease (honestly, there will be).

Transfer beef back to pot along with tomato sauce, pureed garbanzo beans, light red kidney beans, chili powder, beef base, brown sugar and garlic salt. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to medium or medium-low and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in mayonnaise and heat through. Taste and correct seasonings.

Recipe inspired by: Wanda’s Copycat Chili

7 comments

    • Jenny says:

      You know what? I actually really dislike kidney beans too! Usually order no beans when I go Zippy’s. I don’t know too much about kidney beans but these cans I got, light red kidney beans were good! A lot softer shells on the beans so I actually don’t mind them in this recipe!

  1. Honolulu Aunty says:

    Too much work for me since I use my senior discount card over there and only get the chili for my daughter who loves it.

    I heard but never confirmed that they also put peanut butter in the chili. However, if they did, they would have to disclose to the peanut allergy people, right?

  2. Alan says:

    Hi: I was never a fan of Zippy’s chili. I don’t know why, but I don’t think the taste is deep enough and a little too sweet for me. Someone told me once that Zippy’s chili had peanut butter in it too. Have you ever heard of that? Even the Cal in Vegas brings Zippy’s chili in for the Hawaiian clientele, but for me, I just make my own at home. I too like beans in my chili, so I use both kidney beans and pinto beans.

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