5 Recipes for Game-Day Chili

Chili and football go together like peanut butter and jelly. Whether you prefer this slow-cooked dish heavy on the meat and spices or favor a lighter version, perhaps with turkey and white beans, there’s a chili recipe out there that’s guaranteed to be the perfect accompaniment to your game-day festivities. We’ve rounded up five stand-out takes on this classic dish for you to bring to your next tailgate.

1. Chorizo Bacon Chili


Dicing chorizo | Source: iStock

Nick Mangold of the New York Jets shared his recipe for “C.B.C.” (chorizo bacon chili) with the Good Morning America. With more than three pounds of meat in a single pot, this dish is guaranteed to satisfy even the hungriest of carnivores.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 strips of thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 pound Mexican chorizo sausage, removed from casings
  • 2 pounds ground sirloin
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 6 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 serrano peppers, finely chopped
  • 4 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • Your favorite chili toppings

Directions: Drizzle oil into cast-iron pot over medium to medium-high heat. Add the bacon to the pot, and brown. Remove, and set it aside for later, leaving drippings in the pot.

Add the onion to the pot, and cook slightly. Add chorizo into the pot, and crumble it with a spatula as it cooks. When the chorizo is almost done, add in the ground beef, salt, ground black pepper, and garlic.

Once everything is cooked, add in the peppers, celery, and corn. Let the veggies sweat for a couple of minutes, and then add all the spices in and stir to combine. Add the beef stock, scraping up any bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce, taste, and adjust seasonings accordingly. Add the reserved bacon, and stir to combine. Bring up to a bubble, then reduce to a simmer. Let the pot simmer, and serve when ready (the longer you let the chili cook, the better).

Garnish with your favorite toppings, like parsley, shredded cheddar cheese, and a good helping of hot sauce.

2. Roger Staubach’s Family Chili

chili, corn, cheese

Bowl of chili | Source: iStock

Football legend Roger Staubach shared his family’s recipe for game-day chili with Parade. Unlike some more complicated versions, this dish keeps the ingredients to a minimum, which means you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time cheering on your favorite team.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ½ green pepper, chopped
  • 1¼ cups ketchup
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 (15-ounce) can Ranch Style Beans or kidney beans
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions: In a large oiled saucepan over medium heat, brown ground beef.

Add onion and pepper; cook until onion is translucent and pepper is softened. Drain off fat.

Add ketchup, water, chili powder, beans, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to combine; simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.

Spoon into bowls; top with grated cheddar if desired.

3. Boilermaker Tailgate Chili

chili, beef, peppers

Skillet full of chili | Source: iStock

Named for the Purdue University football team – the Boilermakers – this take on chili includes Italian sausage as well as ground beef. With plenty of additional spices for extra flavor, a bowl of this stuff is sure to keep you warm when camped out in the parking lot. Recipe from Allrecipes.com.


  • 2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans of drained chili beans
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chili beans in spicy sauce
  • 1 (6-ounce) can of tomato paste
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans of diced tomatoes in juice
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped and seeded
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped and seeded
  • 2 green chilies, chopped and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon bacon bits
  • 4 cubes of beef bouillon
  • ½ cup of beer
  • ¼ cup of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • Tortilla or corn chips
  • Sour cream, cheddar cheese, or chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

Directions: Place a large stock pot on the stove, and turn heat to medium-high. Add the sausage and ground beef, and cook until no longer pink, breaking up the chunks of meat with a wooden spoon as they brown. Drain the fat from the pan.

Add the beans, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste to the pan. Then add the onion, celery, bell peppers, chili peppers, bacon bits, bouillon, and beer. Season the mixture with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and sugar. Stir until everything is well mixed, then bring to a simmer, and cook over low heat for at least 2 hours.

Ladle chili into bowls, and garnish with crumbled tortilla chips, shredded cheddar cheese, or other toppings of your choice.

4. Pedernales River Chili

Texas chili

Hearty bowl of chili | Source: iStock

Former First Lady of the U.S. Lady Bird Johnson frequently made this Texas-style chili and shared the recipe with her guests. “It has been almost as popular as the government pamphlet on the care and feeding of children,” she reportedly said. Recipe from the LBJ Presidential Library.


  • 4 pounds coarsely ground round steak or well-trimmed chuck
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1½ cups whole canned tomatoes
  • 2 to 6 generous dashes of hot sauce
  • 2 cups hot water
  • Salt to taste

Directions: Place meat, onion, and garlic in a large heavy pan or Dutch oven. Cook until light in color. Add oregano, cumin, chili powder, tomatoes, hot sauce, salt, and hot water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, and simmer for about 1 hour, skimming off fat as the chili cooks. Ladle into bowls to serve.

5. Crock-Pot Hawaiian Chicken Chili


Pineapples are the secret ingredient in this dish | GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images

Like pineapple on pizza, we expect that the presence of this sweet and juicy fruit in chili is likely to engender some strong opinions. But if you’re looking for a chili that’s a bit lighter or for some island-flavor to fight the winter blues, this recipe from Heather Likes Food might be just the ticket.


  • 2 to 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup green pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained with juice reserved
  • 1 (10-ounce) can Ro-Tel Tomatoes, or diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 (14½-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14½-ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (14½-ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 1 cup prepared barbecue sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

Directions: Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper to season. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat, and cook chicken breasts until they are starting to brown but are not cooked through.

Add the chicken to your slow cooker along with the onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, beans, barbecue sauce, and ¾ cup of reserved pineapple juice. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and ginger. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours.

Remove the chicken from the slow cooker, and shred with two forks. Return meat to the slow cooker, and stir in the chunks of pineapple. Add salt and pepper to taste, then ladle into bowls to serve.

Follow Megan on Twitter @MeganE_CS