When the weather is cold, the first thing we want to grab — other than a sweater — is a bowl of hot chili.
There's really nothing more hearty and comforting than a big bowl of steaming chili topped liberally with cheese, sour cream and more fixings. Whether you're vehemently vegan or crazily carnivorous, these chili recipes will always be there to warm your hands and your heart from this week until spring brings more tepid temperatures.
And luckily for those who go bananas for beans, Thursday happens to be National Chili Day. And we've got just the thing to celebrate: 23 super-satisfying chili recipes.
Beef chili recipes
It's hard to go wrong with this classic. A recipe that doesn't involve any unusual ingredients, it's easy and not overwhelmingly spicy. This dish is all we really need when it comes to a truly comforting meal.
There is chili, and then there is chili from the grill. Cooking the ingredients in an open, searing hot Dutch oven in a covered grill allows the ingredients to get both a flavorful browning without losing any natural juices to the flames and plenty of smoky flavor. The result is a complex, delicious chili. It is formidable on its own in a bowl with your preferred garnishes, or as the key component on a hot dog or brat.
This recipe that's chock-full of beef and beans is a classic for Cincinnati natives. It's basically just a regular spicy chili, only it's served on top of spaghetti! Definitely don't knock it 'til you try it. Rice may just become a thing of the past.
Sometimes in life, it's necessary to combine two of your favorite dishes into one. In the case of Sarah Grueneberg's Chili Mac, it's a very happy union. The combo of creamy, cheesy pasta topped with hearty Texas-style chili, scallions and cilantro is so good, you may never go back to chili on its own.
Who doesn't love a good fast-food copycat recipe? Take control of dinnertime with this easy, make-ahead chili recipe that's loaded with beef, beans and veggies — just like its Wendy's counterpart.
This recipe includes a secret ingredient: chocolate chips! Serve this delicious chili in Old Fashioned glasses and provide your guests with a plethora of toppings to choose from.
A very tasty, versatile chili is always great to make because it can be enjoyed on its own or as part of other recipes. Ree Drummond likes to serve it on burgers, over cheesy nachos or with freshly baked cornbread when she's whipping up dinner on the ranch.
This chili brings together all of the earthy, spicy and meaty flavors people crave when the weather is less than ideal. Creamy avocado adds a cooling element to this heat-forward dish as well.
"My local bar in Brooklyn, New York hosts a chili cook-off every Super Bowl," Adam Richman says. "One year, a guy brought in chili with chunks of steak in it instead of the traditional ground beef.
"Even though his chili didn't win, the texture alone, even the novelty of having huge chunks of steak in it, made his stand out. Plus, with the sweetness and richness of the flavors created by the combination of cocoa, oyster sauce, coffee and the umami bomb that is Maggi seasoning, this chili will be one that people will remember for a long time."
Chicken and turkey chili recipes
While a traditional tomato-based variety always hits the spot, sometimes a mean, green salsa is the way to win over any chili lovers. Salsa verde is made with tomatillos, which are typically firmer than tomatoes, and a bright, vibrant shade of green when ripe. With shredded chicken, plump beans and sweet squash, this dish is irresistible.
This chicken chili is a healthier meal with no shortage of flavor. It's great to whip up on a lazy Sunday or a fun tailgate party. For a fun twist, we recommend topping with crunchy tortilla chips.
This hearty chicken chili verde is a one-pot wonder. Serve it in bowls or turn it into an over-the-top platter of nachos.
For a crowd-pleasing party dish, cook up Matt Abdoo's coffee-rubbed brisket, then add it to a spicy black bean chili base. Try the brisket on its own, too. The delicious, tender meat is also great in sandwiches.
Katherine Heigl's three-bean chili might as well be called three-meat chili. It boasts a savory array off flavors, and you'll get plenty of protein from the beans, beef, bacon and spicy sausage.
Slow-cooker and Crock-Pot chili recipes
Anchos and chipotles give this dish a double dose of smoke and heat. One is mild and fruity (ancho), and the other is hot and smoky (chipotle). Fresh corn tortillas are pureed with the tomatoes, broth and chipotles, which thickens the base into a silky, luscious sauce.
This hearty and delicious chicken and white bean chili is a cinch to prepare. Just toss all of the ingredients into a slow cooker and let it simmer away.
Chopped chipotle pepper adds a subtle, smoky heat that's mellowed by the lager beer simmering along with the rest of the ingredients. Soy sauce may seem like a surprising addition to chili, but it imparts a pleasing saltiness, as well as plenty of umami, to the finished dish.
Whether you need a game-day meal for a big hungry crowd or just want something warm and cozy on a cold day, this slow cooker turkey chili is sure to please a variety of taste buds.
For someone who loves chili but doesn't like super-heavy dishes, this recipe is a great one to try. It's full of hearty protein, but it's actually meatless. Instead, it has kale, sweet potato and fresh chunks of avocado. It's the chili of all chilis for the light at heart.
Vegetarian and vegan chili recipes
This is one of the simplest and most nourishing chili recipes around. It takes only 10 minutes to put together, and it's wonderfully filling — and satisfying, even if you typically love meat. It's a great dish to make if you're feeding lots of people, too, since it's gluten free.
Chloe Coscarelli's Vegan Firehouse Chili is easy, healthy and — as its name suggests — free of dairy and completely meatless. It's perfect for a winter weeknight meal when you’re craving something nourishing and high in protein. Oh, and it takes only about 15 minutes to cook.
With smoky lentils and protein-packed kidney beans, this chili is wholesome and yet totally decadent because of the delicious cheese sauce. This dish also makes a great appetizer since it's served on top of tortilla chips.
This recipe is a great way to eat your fries with some added nutrition on top. (French fries that are a complete meal? Yes, please!) The cheese is made from cashews and the chili is made from lentils and mushrooms. Great for a Super Bowl party or for an average weeknight!