Aggie's Kitchen

Game Day Chili

Game Day Chili

It’s the most wonderful time … of the year…

It was the start of football season in our house yesterday. It was the first Gator game and my husband woke up almost giddy. We love this time of year…it just screams fall, even though it’s still in the 90s with 80% humidity, just gross, I know. I tried to forget what was going on outside, opened up a Sam Adams Octoberfest and lit a few fall candles around the house. And started a pot of chili.


Game Day Chili


I get excited about planning our Game Day meals…for me, food is a big part of watching the game. I don’t always pay attention to every minute and detail of every play…and sometimes I fall asleep in the middle of 3rd quarter…but it’s all good, as long as the food was good and everyone was fed then I am happy. And of course if the Gators win too.

I love making chili…it’s one of those things that can be tweaked and changed every time it’s made. It’s really hard to follow a chili recipe in my opinion. I wanted to try something new this time so after perusing a bunch of recipes online I came up with a good idea of what I wanted to include in my pot of chili. I had picked up some nice looking dried New Mexico chilies at the grocery store the other day…that was a first for me. I have such a love for fresh chilies but admit I’m a bit intimidated by the dried ones…they just look hot to me! I love hot spicy food, but didn’t want to ruin a big pot of chili by making it too hot if you know what I mean. I added in one of the NM chilies whole and let it simmer in the chili…it softened naturally and kinda just fell apart. I picked out any big pieces of it that I found before serving. The chili had just the right amount of heat for us…it is on the spicy side, but could always be toned down with some sour cream or Greek yogurt if it’s too hot to handle.


Game Day Chili


This was honestly the best chili I have ever made. It had so many layers of flavor. I used a combination of chili powders that I had on hand to make it a little more interesting. And the two key ingredients in my opinion…beer and chocolate. Yes, beer and chocolate. You’ve got to try it! The chocolate gave it such a warm, almost creamy, balanced heat. It was absolutely wonderful.

PS…Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients!

Print Recipe

Game Day Chili


  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped
  • 1 lb mild turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, chopped
  • 1 cup of grilled corn kernels, about 2-3 ears of corn
  • 1 can chili beans, drained but not rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained but not rinsed
  • 3 TB chili powder (I did a combination of regular chili powder, chipotle chili powder and New Mexico chili powder)
  • 1 TB smoked paprika
  • 1 TB cumin
  • 1 TB garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 good pinches of salt
  • 1 dried New Mexico chili, whole
  • 1/2 bottle Sam Adams Octoberfest (if you prefer not to use beer, sub 1 cup red wine, chicken broth or water)
  • 1 28 can of diced tomatoes
  • 4 squares dark chocolate (about 1 oz), rough chopped


  1. Heat Dutch oven with 1 TB olive oil. Add onions and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened, season with salt and pepper. Add turkey sausage and crumble. Cook through, then add chopped peppers. Cook for about 10 minutes until peppers begin to soften. Add chili powder, spices, salt and dried chili and stir. Once all the spices have combined with veggies and meat, pour in half a bottle of Sam Adams Octoberfest (or any other beer you are drinking) and deglaze bottom of pot. Cook for 1-2 minutes then add in tomatoes and stir. Bring chili up to a boil then simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Add chocolate to chili and stir. Continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes on low heat. Taste for salt.
  2. Serve with your favorite toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt, grilled corn kernels, chopped cilantro, green onions

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Game Day Chili

For more Game Day food ideas…check out last year’s Food and Football Roundup that was featured here on my blog…do you guys want to do another one? Let me know!


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42 comments on “Game Day Chili”

  1. This looks SO delicious Aggie! I'm going to have to make some myself SOON. Yeah, it's that time of year!

  2. This looks just awesome! I am bookmarking. Can't wait for fall football….Rutgers plays tomorrow.

  3. Your chili looks awesome Aggie.Go Gators!!!

  4. Nice Aggie, really nice.
    I love a good chili in the wintertime.

  5. Aggie,if this tastes as good as it looks you have another winner on your hands. I love a really good chili.

  6. The dark rich color of this chili really drew me in. If it's the best you have ever made. I definitely need to give it a try!

  7. Chocolate in chili? I'm so for it! This looks AWESOME. I am thrilled for football season. Nothing like relaxing and watching a game

  8. This looks delish. I love your quote on the header – "So many recipes, not enough time" I couldn't agree more! 🙂 I love your blog!

  9. This looks great! Lots of interesting ingredients. I love the first chili of the season – really ushers in fall.

  10. Oh wow!! This chili sounds amazing. The chocolate ingredients is very intriguing. I need to make this for a big football saturday this fall. I am with you…I LOVE planning the food for the big games too! I have five boys so the games are a big deal around here. Your blog is great! I love it

  11. this sounds wonderful, chili always marks the kickoff to fall for me, i love it!

  12. Aggie,
    Chocolate in chili? Now I like my chocolate but in chili? But if you say it's the best chili you've had, I believe you. I may have to step out of my comfort zone and give it a try.

    PS…..Go Gators!!!!

  13. I would love to dip some chips on that chili…

  14. I just woke up from a nap and when I wake up from naps, I am a hungry hippo. These pictures are food porn. I am hungry and this stuff would hit the spot right now. I like a chunky chili and this is exactly that.

    And yes Erica! Chocolate in the chili is excellent. Just give it a try. You will be pleasantly surprised.

  15. That chili is looking really tasty!

  16. Great looking recipe.

    I stay away from long ingredient lists except when it comes to chili!

    I love that there is chocolate in here- can not wait to try this.

  17. LOOKS DELICIOUS. love the corn topping. though i mmust sayt there is no team like the buckeyes.

  18. This looks super delicious with all those spices and layers of flavor – yum!

  19. Wow- this looks great! Spicy and delicious.
    Thanks for your kind words about my team. Congrats on your win! looks like it is going to be a great season.
    I might have to make this for our next game day celebration.

  20. I love how thick and hearty this chili looks. You definitely have me craving this right now! I can't wait for cooler weather and comforting recipes.

  21. I've heard of using chocolate but have never tried it. I do always use beer though. And you know me Aggie, with the different powders and the jalapenos and the addition of the dried chile… love this. You did a fantastic job.

    Maybe I'll make this for a BASKETBALL game. Crazy football fans… pffft… 😉

  22. Mmmmmm Chili is definitely a sign of cooler months ahead! This looks like a great way to kickoff football season!

  23. I've seen chili with cocoa powder, but never just squares of chocolate. No wonder it was good!

  24. I love cooking chili with beer! But I never thought of chocolate, even though I often use a mole seasoning, that does have chocolate. This is pure genius, Aggie! I am so trying this soon!

  25. That looks like some seriously hearty soup! The chocolate is a nice addition!

  26. Wow this is some chili! Love the turkey sausage you make it with too. It does look so thick, creamy and flavorful. Yum! Would eat a bowl even if I wasn't a Gator, though most of my high school graduation class was!

  27. I am beyond excited for football season and football foods:) Great chili!

  28. I am chili challenged, so I am going to try your version. Since I LOVE heat, I tend to underspice for everyone else!

    I am with you on the food and football – I am a football widow on Sunday's but I love it – I spend the day in the kitchen which I love, and my husband watches football, which he loves!

    Thanks for sharing this!!

  29. Wow. I can tell this is amazing just looking at the pictures and the ingredient list. Perfect for a chilly night!

  30. Awesome. Delicious. For me a new discovery.

  31. Ohhh that's right up my alley. Although I just moved to Texas and I'm told if anyone finds beans in your chili, you'll be exiled. Ha. I'll keep this out of sight from whoever the meat-loving/bean-hating chili gestapo are!



  32. I love the hearty tummy-warming foods of fall – this chili looks like it fits the bill perfectly!

  33. Football's here! Bring out the slow cookers!

  34. I love this recipe! I happen to be a big fan of chili and this one looks dyn o mite! I am going make this as soon as the rains set in. Always good to visit.

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