Feeding a crowd doesn’t need to be a prim and proper affair involving napkin rings and fancy flatware. In fact, easy entertaining is the name of the game, and Ree’s easy chili night menu doles out casual cold-weather comfort for a crowd. Complete with easy sides, a meaty queso and a skillet cookie sundae, this is the chili-night spread you should be tucking into with your crew.
When you crowd around the television during Sunday’s big game, score a touchdown with hearty chili bowls that are bound to win over hungry party guests. Dig into each simmering blend by the bowl, or use them to elevate your next plate of nachos or to bulk up a burrito. The best part? After the big game, leftover chili is even better than the first batch, and it’s ultra-freezable, so you can relive the big game down the road.
Set out a serve-yourself chili bar at your viewing party, starring Pat’s Famous Beef and Pork Chili (pictured above). Starting with a foundation of smoky bacon and aromatic spices, this two-meat, two-bean chili deserves a spritz of lime, sliced scallions, a dollop of sour cream and a heap of cheddar.
The Southeastern Conference is home to some of the best college football in the country, and with it, some of the most-fervent fans and most-passionate tailgating. Football in the South is a bit like religion. People get really worked up; I mean really worked up. And, to that end, tailgating in the South is extreme as well. At the University of Alabama, fans are allowed to start tailgate setup at 6 p.m. the Thursday before the Saturday game — and dismantled as late as noon the day after! At my alma mater, the University of Georgia, there is Bulldog Park; a luxury RV tailgating facility offers the owners access to a wide range of amenities plus game-day shuttles to the stadium! Foodwise, there’s everything from LSU, where folks have big pots of meaty gumbo bubbling on a propane cooker, to The Grove at Ole Miss, where folks are super-fancy and serve dishes of hors d’oeuvres that you might be more accustomed to seeing at a ladies’ luncheon. (The real reason the food is so ladylike is that there’s a limited amount of electricity, and open flames and propane are prohibited — something that might not be a bad idea, considering the amount of alcohol consumed while tailgating!)
Personally, I prefer less work when I get to the stadium, and I suggest slow-cooked dishes prepared ahead of time. The best dishes are those you can cook at home and then add the finishing touches to at the stadium. I think the perfect tailgate food just might be chili. It works well in the fall, because it’s hearty and warms you up in the cool weather. Read more
When the weather turns chilly, few things are more welcome than the chance to cozy up to a warm bowl of comfort food, and with football season in high gear, let your dish do double duty by making a tailgate-ready chili. From hearty beef-based bowls to recipes packed with chicken, turkey and beans, there’s no shortage of chili varieties, and when it comes to vegetable additions, nearly anything you have on hand in the refrigerator would likely be a fine addition to the pot. Check out Food Network’s top-five chili recipes below to find warming recipes from The Pioneer Woman, Bobby Flay, Ina Garten and more Food Network chefs.
5. Simple, Perfect Chili — “It’s a total cinch to make,” The Pioneer Woman says of her big-batch chili. It’s made with a duo of beans and features a pinch of cayenne pepper for subtle heat.
4. 30-Minute Turkey Chili — Swap in turkey for classic beef when making this fuss-free recipe, and set out a toppings bar of fresh cilantro, cool sour cream and grated cheese so everyone can top their own bowls.
One of the things I’ve learned in my years as a home cook is that you can never have too many reliable chili recipes. When I’m cooking for my sister, I go with a recipe for white turkey chili. Whenever my husband does a low-carb stint, my go-to is a batch made with ground beef and lots of vegetables. And when the weather turns frigid (like it has this week), I need a meaty, rich version that will keep us warm and comforted.
One such hearty recipe is Nancy Fuller’s Two-Meat Chili. Served with her Scallion Cornbread, it’s a good meal for days when the mercury drops. You start by crisping a few strips of minced bacon. Once it’s brown and rendered, you pull out the bacon to use in the cornbread. Then you brown your onions and peppers in all that good bacon fat. After that, the spices, tomatoes, beef, pork, beans and broth join the party.
It simmers for nearly an hour, until it has thickened and filled your house with the heady scent of meat, peppers and spices. Topped with shredded cheese and sour cream, it is the perfect thing for parties, tailgates and your next Weekender.
While some dishes — like meatballs and burgers — struggle to keep their identities when you take away the meat, chilis, soups and stews hold up well without it. Chili is naturally beefy and rich. Most chilis, meatless or not, are traditionally made with beans, and in the case of vegetarian cooking, it’s that hefty protein that adds hearty substance to the meat-free dish.
Food Network Kitchens relies on kidney and black beans to be the base of this recipe for Weeknight Two-Bean Chili (pictured above), a fuss-free dinner that’s ready to eat in 30 quick minutes. Laced with jalapeno, onions and crushed tomatoes, this one-pan chili is given an added boost of flavor from bold chili powder and a pinch of Chinese five-spice, which Food Network Kitchens say “is a nice spice surprise.” If you don’t like kidney or black beans, just substitute two of your favorite varieties. Serve the chili atop rice to round out the meal, and sprinkle with cheddar cheese for a decadent finish.
Chili is a comfort food favorite (especially during football season), and this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week says has it all: Ree’s recipe is a simple, perfect meal in a hurry.
Ree combines ground beef with two different kinds of beans, lots of herbs and spices, along with tortilla chips and lime wedges on the side. Sure you can eat the chili in a bowl with a spoon — but it’s a lot of fun scooping the chili onto chips too.
For more everyday recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Main Dishes board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: The Pioneer Woman’s Simple, Perfect Chili
I must have made chili 10 times, all different ways — chicken chili, chili con carne, chili with corn, chili without corn — and the kids wouldn’t go near it. Until I took a tip from “Fancy Nancy” and made it, well, fancy (and until I also eased up on the cumin, which I suspect was an element that led to previous failures).
It’s the presentation for knee-high critics that often counts the most. You won’t ever find me sculpting scooters out of hot dogs or sharks from watermelons. There are three kids under 5 at my house and I’d need a lot more free time in my life to pull that off. But doing this wasn’t difficult. To make your chili “fancy,” simply spoon and layer it with cheddar cheese into small glasses. Repeat, serve and bask in the success of the moment.
Chili is one of my fall and winter weeknight staples. It’s one of those things that cooks up easily, is fairly forgiving and can expand endlessly. Whenever I pull out my chili pot, I make it a point to cook up a batch big enough to last for at least two nights and a couple lunches.
My standard approach involves lots of vegetables, a pound of ground turkey, plenty of spices and two or three cans of beans (I tend to use black and pinto beans, but anything I have in the pantry is fair game).
After years of eating bowl after bowl of my improvisational chili, however, my husband sweetly requested that I try to vary my chili game a little. And so, I started auditioning new recipes.
As I’ve searched, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not really looking for authenticity (my regular recipe includes Swiss chard). Instead, I want a one-pot dish that has a lot of flavor, features vegetables and beans, and if it includes meat, uses a relatively small amount.
Once the game is clicked on this Sunday, your chances of stirring a pot come to a screeching halt. You need one-pot dishes that come together — and stay together — throughout your Super Bowl party. That’s why, this week, we’re lining up our favorite chili recipes, ranging from traditional to chicken to white bean. Simmer a pot for the fam or fix it cook-off style. Either way, this Sunday is all about chili.
In the spirit of keeping things easy, consider your slow cooker your most valuable asset. Slow-Cooker Texas Chili and Slow-Cooker Chicken Chili by Food Network Magazine both come to fruition in just about seven no-hassle hours. Simply pile in the ingredients and kick off.
Food Network Magazine’s Chili con Carne (pictured above) is prepared the classic way, while Tyler Florence’s Beef Chili swaps ground beef for tender morsels of cubed beef. For a chili recipe that goes heavy on the beans, Ellie Krieger’s Three Bean and Beef Chili is brimming with black, kidney and pinto.