Ultimate Game-Day Chili

Ultimate Game-Day Chili
Ultimate Game-Day Chili
This image courtesy of Ben Fink Photography, Inc.

Get ten people in a room and when you ask them about their favorite chili, you’ll get ten different answers. Chili lovers can discuss for hours whether chili should or shouldn’t contain beans. Should the meat be ground up or in chunks? What’s the difference between Texas and Cincinnati chili? All this talk takes place because chili is one of America’s most beloved comfort foods. So, let me jump in to the discussion. I worked and reworked my chili recipe, so it tastes like what I had in mind. When it comes to making this satisfying dish, there are a couple of things to remember. Give the chili time and cook it low and slow throughout the day, allowing the aromas to fill your house. Even better, make it the day before and reheat it. Make plenty of chili and freeze it. Use a variety of meats, such as ground turkey or some pork cubes, all in the same batch for layers of flavor and different textures. Serve this on a cold winter’s day, after skiing or playing touch football. It’s great after watching the Super Bowl or the Final Four, or for no reason at all, other than that you just love it.

Makes12 to 14 servings


Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFamily Get-together, Game Day

Recipe CourseMain Course

Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Lactose-free, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free

MealDinner, Lunch


  • 1 to 1½ pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian sausage (mild or hot), casings removed and sausage crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 7-ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped mild green chiles
  • 1 14.5- ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 12-ounce bottle beer
  • ½ cup chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons cayenne
  • 1 15.5-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 8- ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 8- ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Shredded Cheddar
  • Sour cream or plain yogurt
  • Chopped scallions


  1. Combine the beef cubes, ground beef, and crumbled sausage in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook the meats, stirring regularly, until they are evenly browned. Drain the meat, set aside, and discard the drippings from the pan. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

  2. Add the red onion, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, and garlic to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 5 to 7 minutes.

  3. Stir in the cooked meats, the chipotles and sauce, the green chiles, tomatoes, 1 cup of the beef stock, the tomato paste, beer, chili sauce, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and the 2 teaspoons salt. Simmer the chili, stirring occasionally for 1 to 1½ hours. If the chili seems too thick, add the remaining cup beef stock. Add the kidney beans, cannellini beans, and black beans during the last 20 minutes of cooking.

  4. Serve the chili in big bowls and let each person add Cheddar, sour cream, and scallions as desired.

Dishin' with David: Chilly Outside, Chili Inside

  1. No matter what kind of meats—beef, turkey, chicken, sausage, of a combination—you're using, always brown them first to lock in their flavors before adding liquids or any other ingredients to the pot.

  2. Cook the chili the day before you plant to serve it. Let it cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight to give all the flavors time to blend. Or, prepare the chili in the morning, and let it simmer all day until serving time.

  3. I like my chili with a good dose of heat, but if you don't, use mild sausage instead of hot and omit the chipotle peppers in adobo and the cayenne.


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