Game Day Chili

While there are so many great recipes out there for serving on game day my favorite by far is my Chili recipe. Why? Because it feeds a lot of guests. It can easily be transported to your family or friends home if you are not the host, either in a crock pot or a large saucepan that you can heat up when you get to your destination.

Game Day Chili

Game Day ChiliYou can get creative with it by offering different toppings for your guests to add, aka A Chili Bar. And, it’s great left-over or better yet freeze for another night you are too busy are tired to cook.

I make my chili with lean ground beef but have used ground turkey, chicken and beef tips in the past. I usually use a mix of peppers and beans including chick peas but you can adapt it to your taste.  One tip I have learned over the years is to saute the vegetables with the spices before adding the other ingredients. This sort of roasts the spices giving the dish a depth of flavor.

sauted vegetables

Make it a Chili Bar and set out different toppings for your guests. We love sharp cheddar cheese but you can include a smorgasbord of others including; chopped onions, chives, scallions, cilantro, sour cream and jalapeno peppers.

What to make your chili go even further? Serve it over pasta or rice. If I’m making this for a normal family dinner I will often cooked macaroni noodles and ladle the chili on top. I’ve heard this started in Cincinnati but we’ve been doing it for years. If you don’t want to serve it with pasta or rice a great side component is cornbread. Like most of the things I make it’s pretty easy, and flexible, if you have a little time and don’t mind a little chopping. Enjoy.


Here’s the recipe:


Game Day Chili


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion - chopped
  • 1 green pepper - chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper - chopped
  • 1 red pepper - chopped
  • 1-2 large cloves garlic minced
  • 3 T chili powder
  • 2 t cumin
  • 1 t cayenne
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1 15 oz can chick peas
  • 1 15 oz can chili beans in sauce
  • 1 15 oz can northern beans
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes


  1. Heat a large saucepan and add 2-3 T olive oil.
  2. Add onions and peppers and saute for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add all the spices and stir well.
  4. Let the spices and vegetables cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add the garlic.
  6. Add the beef and brown until there is no more pink showing.
  7. Add the beans. Include the sauce from the chili beans but drain the other two first
  8. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir well.
  9. At this point you can add a little water approx. 1 cup.
  10. Bring to a boil and turn down to low and simmer for at least 30 minutes or longer.
  11. After about 20 minutes you can taste the chili and add more seasoning if you like.
  12. Serve over macaroni or rice or serve alone.
  13. Add toppings of your choice including: shredded cheddar cheese, diced onion or scallions, jalapeno peppers, sour cream, fresh cilantro, hot sauce
  14. Recipe Notes
  15. Experiment with different meats, peppers, spices and beans. Some variations I have used are: ground turkey, fresh jalapenos, black beans and hot smoked paprika.

Recipe Notes

Experiment with different meats, peppers, spices and beans. Some variations I have used are: ground turkey, fresh jalapenos, black beans and hot smoked paprika.


Game Day Chili


About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Hearth and Vine, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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  1. Your chili recipe looks awesome! I’m definitely going to try sautéing my veggies when I make chili. Never thought of that, but, it makes perfect sense!

    In my family, we sometimes have chili over baked potatoes. Kind of a hearty winter way to eat chili.

    Thanks for sharing your family recipe!

  2. Love the sauté veggies idea too! Trader Joes recently sampled chili in a glass pan that they topped with cornbread mix. You can cut it in squares after the bread bakes. It was really good and I know that your chili will make it even better! I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for the recipe Patti!

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