Beef and Bean Chili in Seasoned Tortilla Bowls

Hearty beef and bean chili, spooned into seasoned flour tortilla cups. Each bite delivers savory beef, tender beans, chewy/crunchy tortillas, and gooey cheese. What's not to love?

How to eat the bowls? Well, we love to eat with our hands in my house - so we chose that method. The tortillas are soft enough to hold together (without cracking), yet the edges have sublime crispness that partners perfectly with the chili. Eat them with your hands. Use a spoon. It doesn't matter; it's a winning dish any way you look at it.

Want to prep ahead? Great, so did I so I can tell you exactly how to do it. The chili can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Store the chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat the chili in a saucepan over medium-low heat. You can also prep the tortilla bowls. Prepare and bake them as directed and then store them at room temperature (still in the muffin pan) for up to 24 hours.

Want to keep the finished bowls warm? No problem. I also had to do this - my boys' schedules required that they eat at different times, so I kept half of the chili bowls in the oven for 30 minutes. You can do the same with the whole batch if you want. While the tortilla bowls are still in the muffin pan, fill them with the chili and top with the cheese. Keep them warm in a 225 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes before serving.

Beef and Bean Chili in Seasoned Tortilla Bowls

1 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup beef broth
Hot sauce, optional
15-ounce can seasoned black beans, undrained
8 small (fajita-size) flour tortillas
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon taco or fajita seasoning
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Brown the beef in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat as it cooks. If necessary, drain away any fat and return the beef to the pan over medium heat. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and stir to coat. Cook for 1 minute, until the spices are fragrant. Add the tomato sauce, beef broth and hot sauce (if using) and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the seasoned beans (with the liquid from the can) and simmer for 10 more minutes (at this point you can let the chili simmer for an hour... just make sure you get that first 20 minutes in to let the flavors meld and develop). 
Meanwhile, press the tortillas in 8 cups of a regular-size muffin pan, making small bowls.
Spray the bowls with cooking spray and season with the taco seasoning.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown.
Spoon the chili into the tortilla bowls and top with the cheddar cheese.
Serves 4