18 delicious recipes for meaty and veggie chilis

It doesn't matter whether you're tailgating on the fly or preparing meals days in advance, because when the temperature drops outside, a hot bowl of chili is one of the most comforting dishes you can eat. Serve this with warm bread, a crisp salad, and something cool to drink. Before you begin, familiarize yourself with some popular peppers by checking out our visual guide to peppers.

Recipe Tips:

Soak It Up

If you plan to use dried beans for your chili, there are two ways to rehydrate them. The easiest is to soak the beans in room-temperature water overnight or for approximately eight hours. Be sure that the beans are completely covered by at least three to four inches of water. For the quick-soak method, boil the dried beans in a pot of water (again, three to four inches of water on top of the beans) for a few minutes and then let them soak for about two hours off the flame.

Smoke It Up

To add a smoky flavor to vegetarian chili, char the outside of the vegetables before adding them to the recipe.

Sweeten It Up

If your chili tastes bitter, add a little dark brown sugar to the mix.

Top It Off

When serving, set out bowls of toppings such as sour cream, shredded Cheddar or Jack cheese, diced avocado, lime wedges, chopped red or green onion, chopped cilantro, and oyster crackers.

Cool Off

If the chili's heat is too much to take, counter the chile pepper's capsaicin with casein, a protein found in dairy products like milk and yogurt. Another option is to eat bread or rice to help quell the fiery sensation.


Stick-to-Your-Ribs Winners

Ding Dong Eight-Alarm Chili

Beef and Dark Beer Chili

Halftime Chili

Lamb Chili with Masa Harina Dumplings

Pork Chili with Tomatoes

Venison Chili with Snowcap Beans

Flavorful and Hearty

Turkey and Pinto Bean Chili

Chicken Chili

Chicken and White Bean Chili

Taxpayers' Chicken Chili

Turkey Green Chili

Turkey Chipotle Chili

Meat-less Wonders

Black Bean and Espresso Chili

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard

Pinto Bean Sweet Potato Chili

Spicy Vegetarian Chili

Vegetable Chili

On the Side

Cornbread Muffins with Maple Butter

Buttery Cornbread

Olive and Parmesan Skillet Cornbread

Sage and Honey Skillet Cornbread

Buttermilk Cornbread with Monterey Jack Cheese

Corn Bread

Esther Sung first joined Epicurious.com in 2006. Prior to this, she spent several years in book publishing, including at Harper Entertainment, where the proverbial three-martini lunch was sadly nowhere to be found. When not in the office, she moonlights at the Bottle Shoppe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and through this she has developed a fondness for Syrah and Malbec. A quasi-vegetarian, she admits to having relished eating yuk hwe, a Korean raw beef dish.


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