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Spice up your game day with some hearty chili!

  • You know what is always good? Chili. It's good every time
  • Get sloppy come game-time with some bread bowls, potatoes or a make-your-own chili bar
Spice up your tailgate with a bowl of chili.

"Recipes from the Heart" is all about that special dish that you want to make time and time again. Check back every week for a little something from food writers, culinary professionals, and Epicureans at heart.

Becky Reinig is a contributor for the female sports site She grew up in Arizona during a time when there was no pro football team, so her heart has always belonged to the Denver Broncos. Now that she lives in Colorado, she can attend games and of course, the all-important tailgate festivities! She is on Twitter.

On those cool football Sundays, you can keep warm at your tailgate with some hearty spicy chili. Everyone has a little different take on how to make it, but it's a good conversation starter and you’re bound to end up with a few tips or additions you might not have considered.

The list of ingredients may seem a little daunting but when you’re talking about a main course for a pack of hungry guests, the bit of work you put in on the front end will allow much more time for hanging out and enjoying your company and the game. The following recipe will feed up to six adults. Double as necessary. Prep time: 20 minutes. Cook time: 4 to 8 hours.


  • 2 cans chili/pinto beans
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 10 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 10-15 nacho (less spicy) jalapenos
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 can red enchilada sauce
  • 1 lb browned ground pork or turkey
  • 1 lb browned burger (or optionally left over steak, cubed)
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • 1 Tbs white (or black) pepper
  • pinch cayenne
  • 1/2 can of beer or beef broth


Place all ingredients in a large slow cooker, stirring occasionally --- cook 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.


I served this in a bread bowl, which is a loaf of shepherd's bread with the top cut off and the insides dug out. If you’re planning for more than 4-6 people, you may want to call the bakery the day before you intend to buy them and make sure they will have enough on hand. You can also serve the chili on baked potatoes.

There are many fun additions that could comprise a chili bar; soft flour tortillas, crunchy tortilla strips, crackers, crispy jalapenos (look in the produce section or near the croutons), sour cream, shredded cheese and even the old standby – Fritos.

Start your party off with a couple of light appetizers of fruits and veggies and go for the end zone with this belly-busting chili.

Vegetarian note: Skip the meat and add 3 cups of 1-inch diced zucchini and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth.

Spicy note: If only some of your party likes it hot -- mix all the ingredients except for the jalapeno and cayenne -- separate into two crocks and add the last two ingredients into just one of the pots.

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