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Making Walt's Chili and Beans at Home
By Tinker Belle Diva

This summer, the Disney Parks Blog posted another great recipe for us fans to make at home. To celebrate the 65th Anniversary of Disneyland back on July 17, 2020, they posted Walt’s Chili Recipe from Carnation Café. If you have never been to Disneyland, the Carnation Café is located right in the middle of Main Street, and a major fan favorite. You can read Disney Magic Diva’s review of dining at the cafe here. Walt’s Chili can be ordered as a starter at the cafe, but we made the chili as our main course at home. The Disney Park Blog tell us that the first recipe dates back to around 1958, and that over the years, Disney chefs have refined the recipe for park guests. This recipe is the one served at Carnation Café at Disneyland park and has a little more seasoning than the original recipe from Walt. Here is a version you can print out or read on your mobile device to make the recipe.

Walt’s Chili Recipe from Carnation Café

Gather those ingredients

Step 1 – Gather or buy the ingredients. We had most of what was needed in the recipe at home, but we did need to buy the fresh ingredients at our local grocery store. Here is the full list:

Walt’s Chili Recipe from Carnation Café

Veggie Prep


1/4 cup olive oil, divided
3/4 pounds beef stew meat
1 small onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons beef base
1 1/2 cups water
1 (14.5 ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
Coarse salt, to taste

Walt’s Chili Recipe from Carnation Café

Browning the stew meat


1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 small tomatoes, diced

Step 2: Prep the vegetables. You will need to dice the onion, tomatoes, and green pepper, and then mince the garlic. We decided to have one of us do the veggie prep while the other person jumped to step 3 and worked on the meat.

Walt’s Chili Recipe from Carnation Café

Browning the ground beef

Step 3: Brown the stew meat and set aside. The directions call for a Dutch oven, and I do not have an official Dutch oven. The good news is that a Dutch oven can be any pot that holds between three and six quarts, and since this recipe does not go into an oven, any deep pot will do.

Step 4: Sauté onions and green pepper, add garlic, and then brown the ground beef. These are pretty easy steps to complete and we found the time given in the recipe was about right.

Walt’s Chili Recipe from Carnation Café

Just about done!

Step 5: Return the stew meat, add the spices, tomatoes, beef base and water. After this step, you get a 3 hour break. It took us about 45 minutes from gathering ingredients to get to this step. So find a good Disney movie or two and enjoy how your home will smell while the chili simmers.

Step 6:  Add the beans, simmer. Add salt to taste. The only change we have made to this recipe is to add a second can of beans. Hey, we like beans and felt this was a little short.

Step 7: Garnish and eat!! We topped our with shredded Mexican cheese and sour cream. The recipe also calls for topping with the diced plum tomatoes, so if you don’t want to garnish with more tomatoes (as we didn’t) you can skip that from the recipe.

Some final tips: The recipe states it is for 6-8. I think as a main course, that is about right. If you were using this as a starter/appetizer and serving a cup as they do at Carnation Café, it will go a lot further than 6-8. I put leftovers into the refrigerator and we ate another round for dinner a few nights later. This recipe does have some kick, but I did not find it hot. However, I am from Arizona so my version of ‘kick’ may be different from yours. If you think some of the seasonings might be a bit much for your family, make that adjustment knowing you are bringing it back to its roots as well.
Walt’s Chili Recipe from Carnation Café

Looking for more Disney recipes! Here are quite a few we have written about for you so far this year:

If you want to create a trip to Disney, be sure to contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel.  She provides expert advice, and her service is FREE!

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