Game-Day Chili

Game-Day ChiliNo matter who you’re rooting for, chili is a classic go-to for the big game. I know that’s what we’re having at our house! You can make a big pot to feed a crowd, and it’s totally low maintenance. Once you make it, just leave it on the stove or even in a crock pot while you kick back or get pumped up. However you like to enjoy the game (or maybe just the commercials), you are going to love this chili.

I’ve posted this before, and it continues to be my favorite recipe for chili. I just love the unique, warm, blend of spices. This recipe started from a Cincinnati chili recipe, which is characterized by spices like allspice, cloves, and even some chocolate. (Yes, chocolate! Don’t worry, it doesn’t really stand out as tasting like chocolate. Even I might have to decline chili that actually tasted like chocolate.) It may or may not have beans, but in my house it always has beans! True Cincinnati chili is commonly served over spaghetti and normally has a thin consistency. Then you order it the “way” you like it, which ranges from just chili in a bowl to five way, which includes chili, spaghetti, cheese, onions, and beans.

Anywho, my chili recipe is hearty and chunky, not saucy like traditional Cincinnati chili. You can make different variations, depending on what kind of meat you want to use (or what you have on hand), what kind of peppers you like, how spicy you want it, you can make a bigger batch if you need to… It’s not only delicious, it’s really versatile! It’s your chili, do what you want with it! Since we’re having a few people over for the game, I’m thinking I may keep the Cincinnati tradition and make a little toppings bar with pasta (gluten free this time for one of our friends!), cheese, and onions, along with whatever I can come up with. I bet our crowd would like some jalapeños!

Game on!

Game-Day Chili

Game-Day Chili Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 package (1.25 lbs) 97% fat free ground turkey
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3-4 tablespoons ancho chile powder or chili powder blend (to your taste)
  • 2-3 tablespoons cumin (to your taste)
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, lightly crushed in palm
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped (whatever color you like)
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef stock, plus extra for reheat
  • 1 beer (I like to use a wheat beer) (can substitute with 1 1/2 cups beef stock)
  • One 32-ounce can fire roasted crushed or diced tomatoes
  • One 14-ounce can light kidney beans, drained
  • One 14-ounce can dark kidney beans, drained
  • One 14-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until almost crisp, about 5-6 minutes. Add the ground turkey and brown well. Add the Worcestershire, chile powder, cocoa powder, paprika, oregano, allspice, cinnamon, garlic, jalapeño, onions, and cloves. Cook until the onions are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir a minute, and then add the stock, beer, tomatoes, beans, tomato sauce, and sugar. Bring to a bubble, and then reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper. The longer it sets, the better it gets!

Game-Day Chili


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