This Halftime Chili is perfect for Game Day or any day!
When we first moved into our San Diego house way back in 2003, the community was new and we had a brand new fire station. Since we had a 2 year old (at the time) who was completely obsessed with fire trucks, we quickly made friends with our local firefighters. We visited the station often to deliver treats, and they let our son investigate the fire trucks. They brought their rig to our culdesac and popped in for a bowl of chili on Super Bowl Sunday. So I can state with great confidence that this is officially a “Firefighter Approved” chili recipe. And if I had been food blogging back then, I would have taken photos of those cute firefighters eating my halftime chili!!
The recipe was adapted barely from an old recipe by Bon Appetit (they don’t even have it on their website anymore).
Really good chili has spices- lots of them (not a chili packet).
What kinds of spices do you need to make chili?
- chili powder
- ground cumin
- dried basil
- dried oregano
- dried thyme
- bay leaves
What makes a chili recipe so good?
I love to add beer to my chili- it adds a great malty flavor into the sauce. In fact, one of my other favorite chili recipe is my Beef and Dark Beer Chili. Jalapeños are a must-add ingredient too. They mellow out after cooking, so they don’t add as much heat as you think. I also really love to add a good scoop of barbecue sauce to my chili.
How to make Halftime Chili:
The complete, printable recipe is at the end of this post. You will need a Dutch oven or a stock pot to make this chili.
Heat olive oil in your pan, and sauté the onions and garlic.
Add the ground beef and cook until it is all nice and browned.
Dump in the spices.
Then you’ll add in a bunch of the really good stuff: beer, jalapeños, tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, and barbecue sauce.
Then just let it simmer away on your stove for an hour or so.
And it will be ready for Game Day, Super Bowl Sunday or any day! We like to keep things pretty simple with a sprinkle of cilantro and cheese and sour cream (maybe even some Fritos!). But you can display whatever fixings you’d like. Enjoy!
It’s okay to substitute ground turkey for the ground beef, if you prefer not to use red meat. If you don’t want to chop fresh jalapeño peppers, use a can of mild chopped green chiles instead. Use your favorite beer for this recipe. The type of barbecue sauce you use will affect the flavor of this halftime chili. Use a BBQ sauce that you love! We like Sweet Baby Ray’s Original.
Of course I had to share a photo of my little boy (now much, much older!) at the fire station in all of his gear. He sure loved that place! My little guy shared a fun Super Bowl recipe on his RecipeBoy blog too: How to Make Walking Tacos.
If you happen to be following the Weight Watchers WW plan, you’ll find a link to the WW Points on the recipe card below.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1½ cups chopped sweet onion
- 6 large garlic cloves, minced
- 3 pounds ground beef
- 5 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 3 whole bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed and chopped finely
- One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with puree
- One 14.5-ounce can low-sodium chicken or beef broth
- One 12-ounce bottle beer
- One 6-ounce can tomato paste
- ½ cup bottled barbecue sauce
- One 15-ounce can chili beans in sauce
- Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic. Sauté until the onions are soft and lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
- Add the beef and sauté until browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add the chili powder, cumin, basil, bay leaves, oregano and thyme. Stir for 2 minutes. Mix in the jalapeños, tomatoes, broth, beer, tomato paste, and barbecue sauce. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer until thickened to desired consistency, stirring occasionally to reincorporate the ingredients, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Mix in the beans and heat an additional 5 minutes.
- This can be prepared up to 3 days ahead. Refrigerate until cold, then cover. Rewarm over low heat before serving.
- Try adding a variety of things to your chili: a bunch of fresh cilantro, different kinds of beans, cheese, sour cream, ground veal or turkey.
- If you're counting WW Points be sure to use at least 95% lean ground beef in the chili.