Game Day Chili for a Winning Touchdown

Chili Bowl


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September is one of my favorite months. Football season begins, and the temperature starts to drop. Sundays are more a ‘Funday’, and we’re spending it with our friends, family, and fellow football fans. What isn’t to love?! Cooking all day in the kitchen is definitely not how I plan to enjoy my Sunday Funday during football season.


I am a huge fan of meals that serve more than one purpose. Like a good, thick bowl of comforting chili! It’s flavorful, hearty, and filling. And it takes minimal time to prepare – we’ll call that a touchdown! Make a quick batch of chili that your crowd will love. While most everyone thinks their chili is THE best chili, know yours truly will be, with a secret ingredient, cocoa.


This chili freezes extremely well, so save those leftovers, and have a warm bowl throughout the entire Fall season.


Yields: 8-10 servings



  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 4 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with puree
  • 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 3-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 15-ounce can of red kidney beans
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans
  • cooking spray



  1. To a non stick skillet, spray cooking spray. Add onion, garlic cloves, and bell pepper. Saute until soft and lightly browned.
  2. Add beef and saute until browned. Add all spices, excluding bay leaves, to meat/veggie combo and mix well.
  3. To a large pot add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, both cans of beans, and bay leaves.
  4. Allow to come to a boil. Add meat/veggie mixture and tomato paste. Simmer on low, about two hours.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa powder. Allow slight cool. Garnish with your favorite chili toppings and enjoy!

What are your favorite chili toppings?

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