Balsamic Vinegar Is My Secret Ingredient for Great Chili

published Jan 27, 2015
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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

It’s fairly obvious that tomatoes and balsamic vinegar are in a serious relationship. (Rumors have it that they eloped last year, but it has yet to be confirmed.) When used together, you get that signature tangy, sweet, salty thing that somehow totally transforms your dish. What a pair!

You’re probably aware that these lovebirds are perfect together in a summer caprese salad, but have you tried adding a few healthy dashes of the vinegar to your bowl of tomato-based chili?

(Image credit: Daniel Taeger/Shutterstock)

Adding balsamic vinegar to your chili isn’t a radical idea. In fact, many recipes for chili call for adding vinegar. In Jamie Oliver’s Chili Con Carne, for example, the recipe says to add balsamic vinegar before bringing to a boil and letting flavors meld. This vegetarian pumpkin chili, on the other hand, recommends adding it at the end as an optional step.

My personal preference for adding balsamic vinegar is at the very end of a recipe so the vinegar really shines through with a balancing note of sweet and tangy flavor. This method is especially great when you need to perk up a chili that you might find rather bland or had to take off the stove too soon. I’m team tangy all the way.

Try adding balsamic vinegar to any of these tomato-based chilis (and stews!) from this roundup.

→ 12 Chili & Stew Recipes to Keep You Company

Have you ever tried adding balsamic vinegar to your favorite chili recipe?