Grandma's Heirloom Quick-and-Easy Northern Chili Noodle Recipe

Updated on March 10, 2020
agilitymach profile image

Kristin Kaldahl is an award-winning author, blogger and former journalist.


Quick and Easy Egg Noodle Chili

When I was a little girl, it was our family's Christmas tradition to eat oyster stew before heading out to church for the Christmas Eve candlelight service.

One Christmas Eve, when I was about 10 years old, my mom watched as the entire family picked unhappily at our stew. Realizing that perhaps her family didn't like canned oysters, she asked, "Would you rather start a new Christmas Eve meal tradition or stick with oyster stew?" The results were unanimous, and the next Christmas, a new tradition was born as mom served our well-loved Grandma's chili.

This Northern chili recipe with egg noodles was handed down from my grandma to my mom to me. It's not your traditional meat and bean chili. This chili is a bit of a cross between regular chili and a tomato-based noodle soup. Thick with flavor, vitamins and love, Grandma's Chili quickly became the Christmas Eve meal tradition in my childhood and continues to be served before Christmas Eve candlelight services in my own home.

However, this delicious chili take-off isn't just for Christmas and is a quick, healthy meal any time of the year. The basic recipe can be easily updated, and your favorites from peppers to chilies to corn can be added to put your own twist into this healthy family favorite.

Paired with hot, crusty garlic cheese bread and fresh greens topped with feta cheese and honey-mustard chipotle dressing, this steaming bowl of Grandma's Northern Egg Noodle Chili is irresistible.
Paired with hot, crusty garlic cheese bread and fresh greens topped with feta cheese and honey-mustard chipotle dressing, this steaming bowl of Grandma's Northern Egg Noodle Chili is irresistible. | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: Serves six to eight people

Rate the Recipe!!!

4 stars from 8 ratings of Grandma's Northern Egg Noodle Chili


  • 1 pound lean hamburger
  • 8-ounce package wide egg noodles
  • 2 cans (11 1/2 oz.) tomato juice
  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • chili powder, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • water, to thin to taste


  1. Brown the hamburger. To brown hamburger, put one pound of unfrozen hamburger into a frying pan that has already been sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray and place on medium high heat. Using a firm spatula, break hamburger into desired chunks and cook till hamburger is brown and cooked to 160 F.
  2. Sprinkle chili powder on the cooking hamburger.
  3. Cook the egg noodles. To cook noodles, get a large pot and fill 2/3rds with water. Place on high heat and add some salt. Tip: Use a larger pot than you might expect. Noodles need lots of space in the water to cook properly. When the noodles are al dente - or cooked to be firm to bite, but not too hard or too soft - remove the noodles. Never rinse pasta; this removes the outer layer of starch that helps sauce cling to the pasta. When cooked al dente, drain the noodles and add them to the other ingredients in the large kettle.
  4. While the noodles and hamburger are cooking, add the cans of kidney beans, tomato juice, tomato soup, stewed tomatoes, and salt to large kettle. Put heat on medium high. Stir.
  5. After they are done cooking, add noodles and hamburger to large kettle. Mix and taste. Add salt and more chili powder to taste. You can add water to thin to your taste, but only if needed. Be careful not to add too much water, as that will ruin the recipe. I usually add very little water. Bring to soft boil and let simmer for 10 minutes to let flavors mix before serving. Reheats well.

Browning the Meat and Cooking the Noodles

Steam rising off of browned hamburger
Steam rising off of browned hamburger | Source
Cooking egg noodles
Cooking egg noodles | Source

Putting It All Together

A kettle filled with delicious, hot egg noodle chili.
A kettle filled with delicious, hot egg noodle chili. | Source

Modify It and Make It Your Own

One of the best things about this dish is its versatility. I believe in adding and changing recipes. You can do so many things with this recipe. Consider adding corn or other vegetables, like okra or broccoli. If you like things spicy, add in green chilies, onions or peppers, hot sauce, or red chili flakes. How about placing a dollop of sour cream on the top after ladling the chili into a bowl or topping it with extra sharp cheddar cheese? If you don't like kidney beans, how about substituting navy beans or black beans? Or instead of using tomato juice, try using V8 tomato juice for a completely different taste.

The variations to this dish are almost endless. By tweaking this basic recipe to your own tastes, you can come up with a tradition that is all your own.

If the sodium content is a concern for you, try using no salt added tomatoes. You can also look for low salt tomato juice or tomato soup. Most of the salt content in this recipe comes from the canned tomatoes. The salt grams can be drastically lowered by using low or no salt alternatives. You can also cook this with fresh tomatoes or home-made tomato juice and soup for a fresh taste.


Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 8 servings
Calories 409
Calories from Fat117
% Daily Value *
Fat 13 g20%
Saturated fat 5 g25%
Unsaturated fat 7 g
Carbohydrates 50 g17%
Sugar 13 g
Fiber 9 g36%
Protein 22 g44%
Cholesterol 70 mg23%
Sodium 784 mg33%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Heirloom Recipes

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Submit a Comment
  • profile image


    5 years ago

    Definitely a favorite from "back home"in NoDak! This is definitely not my typical Chili recipe now, but it will always be one I'll return to my childhood with! Always served the chili on top of a bed of egg noodles though and I don't eat them now for the most part, this always had a bologna sandwich on the side! It all about what you grow up with!

  • agilitymach profile imageAUTHOR

    Kristin Kaldahl 

    7 years ago

    Thanks for dropping BWD!! Congrats on your successful two years here at Hubpages. :D

  • BWD316 profile image

    Brian Dooling 

    7 years ago from Connecticut

    I love this recipe! it looks delicious! I've recently just started making my own vegetarian chili and loved it. This hub definitely gives me some ideas and what a cool tradition you have! #happy2years

  • agilitymach profile imageAUTHOR

    Kristin Kaldahl 

    7 years ago

    LOL!! Apparently you are with the name "thenoodleguy" :) This might be your type of chili!! Thanks for dropping by.

  • thenoodleguy415 profile image

    The Noodle Guy 

    7 years ago from San Francisco

    awesome recipe :) might have to try it sometime! I am a huge fan of noodle dishes!

  • agilitymach profile imageAUTHOR

    Kristin Kaldahl 

    7 years ago

    Thanks for dropping by, wetnosedogs!! If you ever get the chance to try the recipe, stop back by and let me know what you thought of it. :)

  • wetnosedogs profile image


    7 years ago from Alabama

    Makes me hungry now at almost six a.m. and I'm not even a breakfast person.

    Believe I will be thinking of this tasty dish a lot today.

    Thanks for the recipe.

  • agilitymach profile imageAUTHOR

    Kristin Kaldahl 

    7 years ago

    Thank you AM. My mother always said noodles in chili version was a northern thing. I'm not sure of that, but this is a very distinct chili recipe. I hope you enjoy it!!

  • AMFredenburg profile image

    Aldene Fredenburg 

    7 years ago from Southwestern New Hampshire

    I've never seen a chili recipe with noodles before; I'm definitely going to try it. Thanks for sharing your grandmother's recipe!

  • agilitymach profile imageAUTHOR

    Kristin Kaldahl 

    7 years ago

    Thanks Mhatter!! This is definitely a different type of chili. I appreciate you stopping by!!

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 

    7 years ago from San Francisco

    Chili lover here. Looks great, thank you


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