When I was a girl chili was synonymous with fall time and cool weather. Fall was also synonymous with bonfires, Friday night high school football games, hayrides and weekend dinners after chores were done. This delicious chili comes together so easily and is truly the best memories in one bowl.
I fondly remember coming home from school and smelling a smoky pot of chili on the stove. My mother would simmer chili all day long after she made it in the morning which gave it the best flavor. My sister and I would always come home to eat a bowl of chili then we would all pile in and drive to the high school football game. Home games were fun, but the away games were even more interesting. Since I grew up in the country, all the schools we would play were always far away and in remote areas. It never failed that we would get to an away football to realize it was raining in that area or get lost completely because all the country roads looked the same or weren’t well marked.
Every year our church would organize a family hayride. That always translated to a big bonfire, smores and huge pots of chili. Everyone in the congregation would make a different kind and it sort of became a pot luck. I remember the hayrides always being fun even though it was always so cool. We would all huddle around the bonfire with blankets on our laps and wait for our turn on the hay wagon.
Since it’s Halloween and all I thought this was the best time to share my perfect chili. It is everything wonderful from my childhood, but has been tweaked a bit. Instead of the ground beef and chili seasoning packet that my mother would have used I opt for ground turkey and spices. The flavor gets richer the longer this chili simmers and is even better the next day. This recipe feeds a crowd so it’s perfect for a crowd. Whether you are hosting a group of folks over for a football game viewing or handing out candy to children who are trick or treating, it’s the perfect chili. You could also do the first couple steps of the recipe and then transfer everything to a slow cooker once the meat has been cooked. This is tailgate ready, bonfire sitting kinda chili.
If you are hosting a football party or just throwing together a quick dinner party consider having a chili bar with a variety of toppings for different tastes. Its a fun way to fancy up a rustic and cozy meal. You could also serve grilled cheese sandwiches and grilled cheese quesadillas for everyone to dip into their chili. I love tortilla chips, cheddar and red onion, but the options are endless. I’ve listed some items that would be fun to offer your guests.
Honey Jalapeno Cornbread
Corn Tortilla Chips
Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Pepper Jack Cheese
Finely Diced Red Onion
Cooked Macaroni Noodles
Whether you are hosting a party, bonfire for two or just cozying up with a pet this chili hits the spot on a cold day or chilly night. A mug of something hot makes everything a little better.
- 2 lbs. ground turkey
- 15 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
- 15 oz pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 15 oz dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 15 oz tomato sauce
- 2 ups water
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 tablespoons chili powder
- 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- In a large pot heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat.
- Add onion, red pepper and turkey to oil and cook.
- Crumble the turkey meat and brown.
- Once the turkey is cooked through and the onions and peppers are soft add spices.
- Stir so the spices are evenly combined.
- Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Simmer for 25-30 minutes so the flavors marry.
Have you ever had a chili bar at a party?
Do you hand out candy on Halloween or do something else?
What’s your favorite chili topping?