Game Day Chili

Don’t be fooled by the dainty appearance of this game day chili. It’s actually a robust beef- and bean-laden chili that is not for the delicate or the faint of heart.

A pretty saucer and teacup filled with game day chili, and topped with scallions, Cheddar, and sour cream.

Who doesn’t love a homemade bowl of warming, stick-to-your ribs chili? I like to make this recipe on a Saturday or Sunday during football season when the air turns crisp. A big pot of chili makes for a great tailgating menu item. When serving it at home, I like to set out little bowls of toppings so my guests can make their own creations.–Whitney Miller

LC Girling It Up With Game Day Chili Note

No one needs to tell you that chili is hardly just guy food. But it can seem even girlier, er, more ladylike than you’d ever imagined when you serve in diminutive, floral tea cups, just as in the photo above. We like to do this when serving it to guys, just to see if they’ll raise their pinkies as they tuck into it. Hee hee hee.

Game Day Chili

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 35 M
  • 1 H, 50 M
  • Serves 6
5/5 - 2 reviews
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  • For the chili
  • For the toppings


Make the chili

In a large soup pot, heat the canola oil over medium-low heat. Dredge the meat in 2 tablespoons of the flour. Add to the pot and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and simmer until the beef is almost tender but not falling apart, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the bell pepper and onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, garlic, and salt, if desired, and cook 1 minute longer. (Here’s the deal with the salt: The chili arguably doesn’t need any, given all the chile and spice, though if you’re sort of a salt whore, you’ll miss its presence if you do without.)

Add the ground beef to the pan and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Spoon the fat from the pan and discard.

When the stew meat has cooked for 30 minutes, add the ground beef and vegetables. Add both kinds of beans, the diced tomatoes and their juices, and the chipotle peppers. Gently simmer on low heat for 45 minutes to meld the flavors. Stir occasionally to make sure the chili doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

Assemble the toppings

Place all of the toppings in individual bowls to pass at the table. Ladle the chili into bowls or mugs and let everyone help themselves to the toppings.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

Texas-style chili con carne (chunks of beef, no beans, and no tomatoes, according to a Texan I know) met mainstream chili (ground beef, beans and tomatoes) in the middle and shook hands peacefully. Game Day Chili doesn’t take sides—maybe the name is appropriate—every player matters!

I enjoyed the beefy smoky flavor without too much tomato. Be sure to use beef stock, not broth, as the former gives you a much deeper flavor.

It is the time of year for football…and chili. Like many people, I have a chili recipe that I always run to during the colder months, but I was very interested in testing this recipe for one main reason: I loved the idea of using both stew meat and ground beef in this chili recipe. What a nice texture to have both in one pot.

I was surprised to be told not to add any additional salt or pepper to this chili, but you really didn’t need it. Between the canned tomatoes and the fabulous, spicy flavor from the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, the overall flavor was deep and smoky, which we enjoyed.

We used all of the toppings recommended, which were a nice cool and crisp addition to the warm bowls of chili. Overall, we loved this chili recipe and the way it looked—very colorful!


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  1. I have a giant collection of that Kath Kidston porcelain. Looks like instead of tea or coffee, chili needs to be served! Happy new year 🙂

  2. Okay, we will assume that we are talking about rugby…and now I have to ask my husband to make me chili. Girly or he-man, we love it! Happy New Year!

    1. And a happy new year to you, Jamie. Yup, few things are both girly or he-man, this chili definitely ranks toward the top of the short list. (Methinks loaded nachos and potato skins and a proper rib eye are up there, too…)

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