There are some days that just call for a hot and hearty meal that can warm you from the inside out, and those are the days when chili is just the answer. Most people have their favorite go-to chili, and it’s probably the same one you’ve been enjoying since you can home from school, chilled to the bone, to find your parents, grandparents, neighbors, or friends’ parents had whipped up a steaming pot of chili that was sitting on the stove. It’s the chili that you can smell without it even simmering away, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Old favorites are great, but new favorites happen when you decide to mix things up a bit. Fortunately, we have some delicious options for those nights when you want to mix it up with a new chili. Whether you’re looking for something vegan or filled with meat, traditional or a little more outside the box, you might find your new go-to among our best chili recipes.
Texas red chili
Any fans of Taco Tuesday need to check out this take on a Tex-Mex inspired Texas red chili. The key ingredients here are masa flour for thickening and ancho chili powder for that south-of-the-border flavor. Here’s the brilliant thing: This is perfect for everyone, no matter how much heat they like each spoonful to bring. Ancho chili powder is more flavorful than spicy, and that means that even someone who cringes at the idea of a jalapeno will be able to enjoy this chili without reaching for the antacid afterward.
Beef chili with pancetta, ancho, and chocolate
Wait, what? Chocolate? Surely, that must be a typo?
Not at all! It turns out that chocolate works perfectly in chili, especially when you’re using our beef chili with pancetta, ancho, and chocolate recipe. That’s not all that’s unique about it, either. In addition to the unsweetened chocolate, this recipe also brings together the dark beer of your choice, the aforementioned pancetta and ancho chilies, and some brown sugar for a little background sweetness. Don’t worry, it’s plenty savory, too: with ground beef, tomatoes, peppers, and all your favorite chili classics, this is one dressed-up recipe that’s sure to be a win.
Slow cooker white chicken chili
Beef and tomatoes are pretty much the standard profile when it comes to your usual chili, but we have something completely different in our slow cooker white chicken chili.
Chicken replaces the beef, and it uses cannellini beans, chicken stock instead of tomatoes, and green chilies. This is a great option for anyone who’s trying to cut red meat out of their diet but still wants something hearty and delicious, and here’s the thing — it’s so good that even if you swear by tomato chilis, this will get on your regular cold-weather menu rotation.
Vegan 3-bean chili
Vegan meals used to have a bit of a reputation as being kind of boring, but that’s not the case anymore. You don’t even have to be vegan to love our vegan 3-bean chili, and honestly, it’s so good that even the most dedicated carnivore isn’t going to miss the meat. Three different kinds of beans — red kidney, cannellini, and garbanzo — along with butternut squash and tomatoes give this the heartiness you’ll need to make sure you walk away from dinner feeling full, and when it comes to flavor, loads of seasonings means it’s heavy on that, too!