Party Basics: Big Batch Game Day Serve Yourself Chili Bar

So, how many football fans do I have out there in the cyber-universe?

I have a secret to share with all of you…I love football.

I know…that’s just so weird, right?

I mean, I love American football.

It’s not that I don’t like the CFL (Canadian Football League for those of you that don’t know), it’s just that I spent my early married life watching NFL and never learned the rules of the CFL (and for those that don’t know, yes, they’re different).

I was even given a skill testing question on my wedding day (who was special teams # 11 on the Miami Dolphins? I said Jim Jensen…of course I was right!).  I had my own jersey that I wore.




Ahhh but that was pre-kiddies…then life changed a wee bit and it became more about the snacks.

I learned quickly that if we ever had people over for football Sunday (or bigger games like the the Superbowl), I had to have an easy recipe up my sleeve that would serve itself when a big group was around.

Hence, my gameday, big batch chili was born.

Everyone needs a good chili recipe up their sleeve.  Use this as a template and make it your own.

Want it lighter? Use ground chicken.

Want it less spicy?  Turn down the spicy heat and add in some sweetness in the form of diced carrots.

Want it vegetarian? In the place of meat, cook up a mixture of diced mushrooms, diced eggplant and minced walnuts and then throw in lentils at the end (nobody will know the difference!!).

And then, however you make your chili, it’s all about the self-serve bar! Put the chili in a crock pot to keep warm and make a chili “bar”…You can put up your feet and ACTUALLY watch the game (or just the commercials, if you roll like that!)

Big Batch Game Day Serve Yourself Chili Bar

You’ll need to cook up some onion…

Bacon fat is my secret ingredient…learn why you should save bacon fat here!

Roasted garlic also gives a lovely flavour with a more mellow taste than fresh garlic. If you want to make your own roasted garlic but hate the thought of peeling your garlic, learn how to peel it fast here!

Add tomato paste (oh, and do you want to know a cool hack for dealing with leftover tomato paste? Look here for a mind blowing hack!)

If you hate chunky tomato bits in your salsa, use passata…if you don’t mind the bits, use whole tomatoes and crush them as they cook!

You can use only stock here but I suggest using some beer …it adds a layer of flavour that you won’t get with the stock alone (and the alcohol will burn off)….just measure it in the jar or can that your tomatoes came out of!!

Another way to add chunkiness is to add a bit of salsa…

I like lots of chili…

And for more, heat (and a bit of tang!), add some pickled jalapenos…

And, obvs, beans!

Season to taste…

If you want to make this serve-yourself chili, make some “wee” cups by cutting circles with a cookie cutter…

Press them into mini muffin tins…

Spray with cooking spray…

And bake until golden!

Isn’t this just too pretty???

The best superbowl chili bar party

Party Basics: Big Batch Game Day Serve Yourself Chili Bar
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 cups
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1.3 kg (3 lbs) ground beef *
  • 1 tbsp bacon fat (optional)
  • 3 roasted garlic cloves (or 2 small fresh cloves, minced)
  • 796 ml (28 oz) can tomato passata or whole tomatoes, crushed
  • 2 small (156 ml) cans tomato paste
  • 4 cups (28 oz) chicken stock or beer (or combo of both)
  • 1 c salsa
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp chopped pickled jalapenos (optional if you want a tanginess and more heat)
  • 1-2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 large (796 ml/28 oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • To serve: large tortillas, guacamole, salsa, grated cheddar cheese, sour cream
  • *meat mixture can be all ground beef, ground chuck or a combo of both and/or ground pork
  1. In a very large pot or pan, heat olive oil and cook onion for a few minutes until soften; add bacon fat, if using, and stir until melted.
  2. Place ground beef into pan with onions and cook, breaking up, until all signs of pink are gone.
  3. Add garlic and tomato passata/whole tomatoes and stir again.
  4. Add tomato paste, stock/beer, and salsa and stir again to combine.
  5. Add all spices (chili powder, oregano, cumin and salt) and stir to mix well.
  6. Add beans and stir well; simmer for about 10-15 minutes on low.
  7. If serving with tortilla cups, cut smaller round circles and press circles into a mini-muffin tin, spray with cooking spray and bake at 375 until golden (about 5-7 minutes).
  8. Serve warm chili with cups on the side and offer guests sides to add to their chili cups (alternatively, serve tortillas soft to use as a wrap for all of the fixings - just remember to keep soft tortillas wrapped so they stay soft).

  • Lora DeMeneghi
    February 2, 2018

    Can’t wait to make this for super bowl. Thanks

    • Suzie Durigon
      February 3, 2018

      Oh Thanks so much Lora! I hope it’s a big hit…let me know how it goes!!

  • Patricia
    January 31, 2019

    how about frozen filo cups instead? Not quite the same flavor but easier (no work!) and that counts when you’re a mom…

    • Suzie Durigon
      January 31, 2019

      Frozen filo cups would be awesome!!! I’ve used them before and they are amazing!!

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