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How to doctor up wolf brand chili?

Wolf Brand Chili is a canned chili product that has been around since the 1890s. While some people enjoy it straight from the can, others find it a bit bland or lacking in flavor. Thankfully, there are many easy ways to spice up and “doctor” canned Wolf Brand Chili to make it tastier.

In the opening paragraphs, we’ll answer some common questions about doctoring up canned chili:

What are some ways to make canned chili taste better?

There are many easy ways to increase the flavor of canned chili: adding extra spices like chili powder, cumin, or oregano; stirring in sauteed vegetables like onion, garlic, bell pepper; incorporating flavorful substitutions like a splash of beer or coffee; topping with garnishes like crushed tortilla chips or cheese.

What ingredients can I add to plain chili to give it more flavor?

Some easy additions to spice up canned chili include diced tomatoes, hot sauce, smoked paprika, chopped cilantro, lime juice, sauteed mushrooms, ground beef or turkey, beans, corn, and avocado.

What kind of spices can I use to make canned chili taste homemade?

To make canned chili taste more flavorful, try adding extra spices like chili powder, cumin, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and even a pinch of cinnamon or cocoa powder for depth.

Should I avoid any ingredients when doctoring up canned chili?

It’s best to avoid adding too much extra liquid like water or stock which can dilute the chili flavor. Be careful not to over-salt canned chili. Sugary ingredients like ketchup or bbq sauce can make the chili taste too sweet.

Sauteing Vegetables

One of the easiest ways to increase flavor in canned chili is to saute aromatic vegetables before adding the chili. Onions, garlic, peppers, and mushrooms all add great flavor.

You can saute the vegetables in a skillet with a bit of olive oil or butter. Cook over medium heat 3-5 minutes until softened. For extra flavor, add spices like cumin, chili powder or smoked paprika to the vegetables while cooking.

Once sauteed, stir the cooked vegetables into the canned chili in the pot. The extra texture and flavor takes canned chili to the next level.

Recommended sauteed vegetables:

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Bell pepper
  • Jalapeno
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes

Adding Spices and Herbs

Spices and dried herbs are a great way to add lots of extra flavor to canned chili with little effort.

Start with chili basics like chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Add more depth with paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper.

You can also try bolder spices like cinnamon, cloves, or cocoa powder. Fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, and parsley brighten up the flavors.

Experiment with spice blends like ranch seasoning, taco seasoning, or a dash of curry powder. The possibilities are endless!

Recommended spices and herbs:

  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Cocoa powder
  • Cilantro
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Curry powder

Flavorful Liquids

For an extra flavor punch, try stirring in or deglazing the pot with flavor-packed liquids.

Alcoholic options like beer, wine, and whiskey add great depth. Coffee, low-sodium broth, and juice like lime or tomato also work nicely.

Start by cooking any sauteed vegetables or spices in the pot first. Once cooked, pour in a small amount of liquid (1/4 cup or less) and scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pot.

Simmer for 2-3 minutes to allow flavors to meld before adding the canned chili. The liquid infuses the chili with tons of extra flavor.

Recommended flavorful liquids:

  • Beer or stout
  • Red or white wine
  • Coffee
  • Low-sodium broth
  • Lime juice
  • Tomato juice
  • Worcestershire sauce

Hearty Add-Ins

Bulk up canned chili and make it more satisfying by mixing in hearty add-ins.

Cooked ground meat like beef, turkey, chicken or pork adds protein. Beans or lentils provide fiber and texture. Corn, tomatoes and avocado offer brightness.

For extra flavor, brown the ground meat first with spices and garlic. Cook any beans or lentils until tender before adding to the chili.

Recommended hearty add-ins:

  • Ground beef, turkey, chicken
  • Beans – kidney, black, pinto, chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Corn
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Avocado

Garnishes and Toppings

No bowl of chili is complete without tasty garnishes and toppings.

Crunchy toppings like tortilla strips, corn chips or fritos add great texture contrast. Shredded cheese and sour cream cool down spicy heat.

Fresh garnishes like avocado, cilantro and lime brighten the flavors. Chives, green onion and tomatoes add a pop of color.

Recommended garnishes and toppings:

  • Shredded cheddar, jack or pepperjack
  • Sour cream
  • Tortilla strips
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Fritos
  • Avocado
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Chopped chives or green onions
  • Diced tomatoes

Customizing Your Chili

When doctoring up canned chili, adjust any added ingredients to your taste preferences.

– For more heat, add an extra pinch of cayenne pepper or dashes of hot sauce.

– If you prefer milder chili, use less added spices.

– To make it thicker, stir in an extra spoonful of masa harina or corn starch.

– For thinner chili, splash in a bit of low-sodium broth.

– For meatless chili, skip the ground meat and use extra beans or lentils.

– To bulk it up, double the amount of veggies, beans or corn.

– To lighten it up, use reduced fat sour cream and low-sodium broth.

Flavor your customized chili to perfection!

Putting It All Together

With all these doctoring up ideas, here is an easy step-by-step method to make canned Wolf Brand Chili taste sensational:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in pot over medium heat. Saute 1/2 cup each diced onion, bell pepper and garlic for 3-5 minutes until softened.
  2. Add 2 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin and 1/4 tsp cayenne. Cook 1 minute until fragrant.
  3. Pour in 1/4 cup beer or coffee. Scrape any browned bits off the pot bottom. Simmer 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour in 1 can (15 oz) Wolf Brand Chili. Add any other desired vegetables, beans or lentils.
  5. Simmer 10-15 minutes, allowing flavors to meld. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  6. Serve topped with crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese, avocado and extra spices and herbs.

Follow this basic method, swapping in your favorite spices, veggies and mix-ins to customize Wolf Brand Chili to your tastes. In no time, you can have an easy, budget-friendly chili that tastes like it simmered all day.

Chili Doctoring Ideas

Food Category Ingredient Ideas
Sautéed Vegetables Onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeno, mushrooms, tomatoes
Spices and Herbs Chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, cilantro, parsley
Flavorful Liquids Beer, wine, coffee, broth, lime juice
Hearty Add-Ins Ground meat, beans, lentils, corn, avocado
Toppings and Garnishes Cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips, avocado, cilantro, chives


With a few easy doctoring up tricks, canned chili can be transformed into a flavorful and satisfying meal the whole family will love.

Sauteeing vegetables, boosting spices, and incorporating flavorful extras takes Wolf Brand from bland and boring to bodacious and delicious.

Next time chili night comes around, ditch the plain old can and try customizing with flavors and textures to make Wolf Brand Chili truly shine. In just 30 minutes, you can have an overloaded bowl of chili heaven.