Hearty Game Time Chili Recipe: Perfect for Game Nights!

The air is crisp, the leaves are changing, and the sound of football can be heard every Sunday. Yes, it’s that time of year again – game day season! What better way to enjoy the big game than with a hot bowl of hearty chili? My Game Time Chili Recipe will have you cheering for more and will make your taste buds dance with glory.

This recipe embodies what game day is all about – comfort food that is easy to make and perfect for sharing. It’s a chili that is not only delicious but also has a kick to keep you on your toes during intense moments in the game. Perfect for tailgating or serving in the comfort of your own home, this recipe will impress even the toughest of critics.

There’s nothing quite like a warm bowl of chili on a cool fall afternoon – it’s like a cozy hug from the inside out. My Game Time Chili Recipe is sure to become a crowd favorite, making any big game party an event to remember. So, grab your apron and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Game Time Chili
Game Time Chili

Looking for the perfect, hearty recipe for game day? Look no further than this game time chili recipe that is sure to satisfy your cravings and impress your friends.

What makes this chili recipe so great? First and foremost, it’s made with high-quality ingredients like garlic, onions, bell peppers, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and an array of spices such as thyme, oregano, and basil that combine to create the ultimate flavor profile that will knock your socks off.

More than that though, this chili recipe is incredibly easy to make. All you need is a pot or slow-cooker, and the ability to chop up some vegetables and brown your meat. Plus, chili is always better the next day so you can make a big batch ahead of time and have enough left over for leftovers or future game days.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, this recipe also allows for substitutions and variations so you can customize your bowl of chili to your liking. Whether you’re in the mood for ground beef or turkey chili, or even a vegetarian option with extra beans – this recipe has got you covered.

So what are you waiting for? Whip up a batch of this delicious chili on game day and watch as all of your friends beg for the recipe. Trust me – once you try it, there’s no going back to plain old chicken wings.

Ingredient List

 Get ready for a touchdown feast with this hearty Game Time Chili!
Get ready for a touchdown feast with this hearty Game Time Chili!

Let’s start with the basics

  • 2 pounds ground beef: I prefer using ground chuck for this recipe, but you can use any kind of ground beef. Just make sure it has a good amount of fat content, around 80/20.

  • 1 medium onion, chopped: This will add a sweet and savory flavor to our chili. You can also use a red onion or shallots instead.

  • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped: To add a little crunch and flavor to our dish.

  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced: Let’s be generous with garlic here. The more the better!

The seasonings

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder: A perfect mix of sweet paprika, garlic, cumin, and cayenne pepper mixed.

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano: For some earthy flavor.

  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme: A combination of pungent and deeply flavorful notes in one herb.

  • 2 teaspoons dried basil

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

The liquids

  • Two 15 ounce cans tomato sauce: To give that rich tomato signature to the recipe.

  • One 28 ounce can diced tomatoes: I love using canned tomatoes because they are ripe and canned on-site – and canned tomatoes happen to perfect in chili recipes such as ours!

The optional ingredients

  • 1 can of your favorite beans (optional): Choose from pinto beans, red kidney beans or even black beans – Beans are optional here but are perfect for adding a bit more texture to our chili recipe.

And there we have it – all the essential ingredients we need to make Game Time chili!

The Recipe How-To


Now that we have all our ingredients, let’s start cooking up the Best Game Day Chili!

Step 1: Prepping the Vegetables

First, we need to prep our vegetables. Chop up 1 large onion, 1 medium green bell pepper (seeded and chopped), and finely chop 4 garlic cloves.

Step 2: Cooking the Beef

Heat your olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the 2 pounds of ground beef and cook while stirring occasionally for about 8-10 minutes or until it’s browned and crumbly.

Once finished, remove any excess grease and transfer it to a bowl. Do not clean the pot, as we’ll be using it again later.

Step 3: Cooking the Vegetables

In the same pot, add another tablespoon of olive oil or vegetable oil over medium heat. Sauté onions, garlic, and green bell peppers for around 5 minutes or until they are soft.

Step 4: Combining the Ingredients

Add two tablespoons of chili powder to vegetables then stir everything together properly. Add ground beef, a large can of tomato sauce (28 ounces) and one small can of tomato paste (7 ounces). Mix well to combine then add black pepper to taste.

Step 5: Bean Mixture

Next is adding two cans of beans drained kidney beans (15 ounces) with a medium size onion that’s diced. Afterward, include two cans of diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces each), ½ teaspoon dried thyme, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, and two tablespoons fresh basil that will help create layers of flavors in our chili recipe! Stir everything together.

Step 6: Simmering Time

Allow this mixture boil then bring down the heat to low and allow to simmer for an hour or more. Don’t forget to check it regularly for consistency as you might need to adjust if necessary.

After converting your ingredients into this hearty mixtures of beans tomatoes and beef chili made just right for your game day menu; you’ll never again settle for anything else when it comes to homemade chili!

Substitutions and Variations

 This savory chili is sure to become an instant crowd favorite.
This savory chili is sure to become an instant crowd favorite.

As a culinary explorer, I love experimenting with different ingredients and flavors. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try for this Game Time Chili Recipe:

– Ground Turkey or Chicken Chili: If you want to make a healthier version of this chili, you can substitute the ground beef for ground turkey or chicken. Not only will it reduce the fat content of the recipe, but it will also be a great option for those who don’t eat beef.

– Vegetarian Chili: You can also make this chili vegetarian by simply omitting the meat and adding more beans and veggies. You can use a combination of kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans for added texture and flavor.

– Different Beans: While this recipe calls for red kidney beans, you can experiment with other types of beans as well. Try using black beans, navy beans, or cannellini beans instead.

– Heat Level: If you prefer a milder chili, you can reduce the amount of chili powder or eliminate the jalapeño pepper altogether. On the other hand, if you like your chili spicy, you can add more jalapeño peppers or even habanero peppers.

– Different Beer: The type of beer you choose can also affect the flavor of the chili. While this recipe calls for a light beer, you can try using a dark beer for a richer flavor. Just remember to choose a beer that you enjoy drinking on its own.

– Different Meat: Although ground beef is the traditional meat used in chili recipes, you can try using other meats such as ground pork or lamb for different flavor profiles.

By trying out these substitutions and variations, you can create your own unique spin on this easy game day chili. Let your taste buds be your guide and have fun exploring different flavors!

Serving and Pairing

 Take your taste buds on a wild ride with the bold and spicy flavors of this chili.
Take your taste buds on a wild ride with the bold and spicy flavors of this chili.

Now that you have made this hearty game day chili, it’s time to serve it up and pair it with some great sides to make the perfect meal.

A classic way to serve chili is in a bowl topped with shredded cheese, chopped onions, and a dollop of sour cream. You can also add a squeeze of lime juice or a sprinkle of fresh cilantro to brighten up the flavors.

For those who like their chili on the spicier side, consider serving it with some hot sauce or jalapeño peppers. If you prefer something sweeter, cornbread is an excellent choice to balance out the heat.

You could also pair your chili with some steamed rice, roasted vegetables, or a simple green salad for a complete meal. Another great idea is to serve it over a baked potato for a fun twist on a loaded potato.

As for drinks, beer is always a great choice when it comes to chili, especially if you’re looking for that classic game day feel. A cold lager, IPA, or amber ale would be perfect to pair with your hearty chili. If you prefer something non-alcoholic, try serving homemade lemonade or iced tea to balance out the flavors.

With these pairing ideas in mind, you can now enjoy your chili dish with family and friends during game day or any occasion that calls for a warm and filling meal.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Don't settle for just any old chili recipe, try this game time favorite instead.
Don’t settle for just any old chili recipe, try this game time favorite instead.

There’s nothing like a warm bowl of chili to spice up your game day, and luckily this recipe can be made in advance. In fact, I highly recommend making it a day ahead so that the flavors have time to fully develop.

When storing any leftover chili, make sure it’s cooled completely before you put it in the refrigerator or freezer. You can store it in an airtight container for up to three days in the fridge, or up to three months in the freezer.

Reheating your chili is easy and can be done in one of three ways. The first option is to heat it up over the stove using a medium-low heat setting. This method ensures that your chili heats evenly and maintains its rich flavor. Simply stir occasionally and add water if necessary to thin out the consistency.

The second method is to heat it in the microwave, where you would heat it on high for about two minutes or until heated thoroughly. Be sure to stop every 30 seconds to stir and check the temperature. Finally, you can reheat your chili in a slow cooker with a low setting for 2-4 hours or until hot.

In case you’re wondering if this chili recipe freezes well, I assure you that it does! This makes it perfect for hearty meals on those busy weekday nights when you don’t have time to cook from scratch. Just be sure to thaw out the chili completely before reheating using any of our recommended methods.

So now that you know how long it will last in the fridge, how long it takes to reheat, and how to freeze and thaw it correctly – you can make your favorite game time chili recipe beforehand without worrying about losing any quality or flavor!

Tips for Perfect Results

 This chili is so good, you'll want to call a timeout just to go get seconds.
This chili is so good, you’ll want to call a timeout just to go get seconds.

Cooking chili is easy, but making it perfectly takes some effort. Here are a few tips that I have gathered over my years of experimenting and making Game Time Chili Recipe:

1. Don’t be afraid to taste and adjust.

Chili is all about balance. If it’s too spicy, add more tomato sauce or chopped bell peppers. If it’s not flavorful enough, add more chili powder or garlic. Taste your chili frequently and make adjustments as needed.

2. Season your meat before cooking.

Whether you’re using ground beef, turkey, or chicken, don’t just plop it in the pot without seasoning it first. Mix in some chili powder and cumin for extra flavor.

3. Use two kinds of beans and tomatoes.

Don’t limit yourself to just one type of bean or tomato product! Mixing kidney beans with black beans, and diced tomatoes with tomato sauce, gives your chili a more complex flavor.

4. Cook low and slow.

The key to tender meat and perfectly cooked vegetables is to cook your chili on low heat for a longer period of time. A slow cooker is perfect for this recipe.

5. Let it rest.

As with all stews and chilis, let the Game Time Chili Recipe rest for at least 10 minutes after cooking to allow the flavors to meld together.

Follow these tips, and you’ll have an incredibly tasty bowl of chili that’s perfect for your game day gatherings!


As we approach the end of this recipe article, I want to take some time to address frequently asked questions about this game time chili recipe. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or new to the kitchen, it’s understandable that you may have some concerns or curiosities regarding this recipe. In this section, I will touch on questions related to ingredient swaps, dietary restrictions, and make-ahead tips. Let’s dive in!

What is the secret to award winning chili?

When preparing a dish, it is best to add spices during the initial stages of cooking rather than at the end. This will ensure that the spices fully infuse the dish with their distinct flavor. To achieve maximum flavor release, allow the spices to “bloom” by adding them when browning meat or softening onions. Blooming spices in this way allows their essential oils to be released, resulting in a more intense and satisfying taste.

What secret ingredient will deepen the flavor of your chili?

Looking to add a unique twist to your chili recipe? Consider adding some puréed pumpkin to the mix! After sautéing your onions and garlic, stir in the pumpkin before adding any liquid. Not only does this add depth and sweetness to the flavor profile, but it’s also a perfect complement to the heat and spice of the chili peppers. With this simple addition, your dish can become a standout hit!

What kind of beer is best in chili?

When it comes to the perfect beer for chili, my go-to options are lager, porter, and stout. These beer varieties boast a lower level of hops, resulting in a richer, creamier texture that adds depth to your chili. So, if you want to achieve a heartier and more fulfilling bowl of chili, consider using any of these three beer types in your recipe.

Is it true the longer you cook chili the better it is?

There’s something magical that happens when you let chili simmer for a long time. As the hours pass, the flavors start to blend together in perfect harmony, creating a rich and delicious meal. In fact, chili is one of those dishes that gets even better with time – I usually recommend making it a day ahead so that it can soak up more of those amazing flavors. Trust me, it’s worth the wait!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Game Time Chili Recipe is a must-try for any football enthusiast. The hearty and flavorful combination of ground beef, beans, and spices is unbeatable. With simple ingredients like tomato paste, tomato sauce, thyme, oregano, basil, garlic cloves, onions, and olive oil, you can make this easy game day chili in no time.

Whether you are hosting a big game party or just want a satisfying bowl of chili for dinner, this recipe is perfect. With the option to add your favorite beer to the mix and plenty of variations and substitutions available, you can customize this chili recipe to suit your taste buds.

Moreover, you can serve it with cheese, sour cream, diced avocado, or fresh cilantro for extra flavor. It is also easily customizable to become vegetarian by swapping out the ground beef for plain chicken or turkey chili.

Overall, there is nothing quite like homemade chili to warm your belly on a cold day. So give it a try and impress your friends and family with the best game day beef chili they’ve ever tasted!

Game Time Chili

Game Time Chili Recipe

A quick and easy chili recipe that goes great on game day!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 1 pot
Calories 502.5 kcal


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups onions (chopped)
  • 8 garlic cloves (Chopped)
  • 1 bell pepper (chopped)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers (chopped)
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/4 cup taco seasoning (I like Kittenkals Taco Seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 3 cups chicken stock (or beef)
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste


  • In a large pot heat olive oil and sautee onion,. garlic, and peppers till soft.
  • Add ground beef and fry till brown.
  • Add remaining seasonings and stir in well.
  • Add tomato sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste.
  • Bring to a boil then simmer for 1 hour.
  • Tastes better the next day but can be served right away.
  • If you want to add beans go ahead.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 448gCalories: 502.5kcalCarbohydrates: 21.5gProtein: 34.2gFat: 31.3gSaturated Fat: 10.3gCholesterol: 106.4mgSodium: 874.1mgFiber: 3.5gSugar: 10.8g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Meat, One-Dish Meal, Weeknight
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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