I love chili.
It’s not just because it’s delicious, spicy, hearty and warm, but also because it’s so versatile and can be made ahead of time. It’s virtually impossible to make a small pot of chili, so it’s perfect for feeding a big crowd at your next tailgating party.
Below is my favorite spicy chili recipe and a few tasty ways to serve it. Make it the day before game day, heat it up before heading out and pack in an insulated container, or heat in a cast iron pot right on the grill.
1-lb. ground beef browned and drained*
*For a lower fat chili use cooked turkey or chicken. For a vegetarian chili just leave the beef out and add another can of beans, or add your favorite meatless soy substitute when chili is almost done simmering.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion diced
1 green bell pepper diced
2-4 jalapenos sliced (add less for mild, more for spicy)
1 28-oz. can of diced tomatoes or 8 to 10 fresh tomatoes diced
15-oz. can of black beans drained
15-oz can kidney beans, drained
15-oz can cannellini beans, drained
(you can also use dried beans after soaking them if you prefer them to canned)
1/2 cup chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil over medium heat and saute onion and pepper until softened. Add jalapenos, tomatoes, beans, spices and meat. Mix until combined. Turn the temperature up to get the chili bubbling. Then, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring often.
Spoon chili into bowls and serve. I like to top mine with shredded sharp cheddar cheese, chopped raw onions and sliced jalapenos. Pair it with your favorite beer.
Chili Cheese Burger and Chili Dogs
If you’re grilling burgers and hotdogs at your tailgating party, spice them up with slow-cooked flavor by using this chili as a topping. Add some cheese, onions and jalapenos—yum!
Chili Sloppy Joes
This is so easy. Toast some hamburger buns on the grill. Fill them with chili and eat.
Chili Nachos on the Grill
For another tasty chili treat, spread tortilla chips evenly on a baking sheet or pizza pan. Spoon chili onto chips and top with shredded cheddar and/or Monterey Jack cheese. For added spice, top with sliced jalapenos. Place pan on the grill and cover. Cook about five minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and sour cream.
Grilled Chili Quesadilla
Top a flour tortilla with shredded cheese (cheddar and/or Monterey Jack). Spoon a few spoonfuls of chili on top. Top with more cheese and another tortilla. Brush tortillas with olive oil. Grill for 5 minutes (or until tortilla begins to brown) and flip. Grill another few minutes until browned and cheese is melted. Serve with salsa and sour cream.