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Chili Buffet Party: 3 Chili Recipes and Tips

Margie's been an online writer for several years. Her articles focus on great Southern-style recipes for any occasion.

I am in a party mood! How about we have a chili buffet party? Sounds exciting to me! This would be good for a Mexican fiesta or a Cinco de Mayo party too!

You can just make your favorite chili recipe or use some of my recipes.

There is no right or wrong way to have a chili buffet party, but I would definitely use disposable paper goods and utensils. Chili is very messy, but oh so good. Decorations are always nice: bright colors, sombreros, flowers, chili peppers, clay dishes, etc.

This article includes recipes for the following:

  • Easy chili
  • Southwestern chicken chili
  • Tex-Mex chili

1. Easy Chili Recipe

My favorite recipe is the easy chili, I am all for making life easier especially as I get older! I have made this chili for a large party or just for a meal at home. When I am cooking for a crowd, I usually make it in my Instant Pot or crockpot, I can just put it on and forget about it until it is done. I have used it for topping nachos, hot dogs, enchiladas, and just eating in a bowl with crackers, Frito,s or cornbread!


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/3 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder, or 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Brown the ground beef in a large pot.
  2. Add to the ground beef mixture; onions, garlic, cumin, paprika, garlic, chili powder, salt, pepper, and the tomato paste.
  3. Add enough water to make the gravy; I use about 5 cans full using the tomato paste can.
  4. Mix well; do not add any thickening, the tomato paste, and paprika works together to thicken.
  5. Simmer until the meat is tender.
  6. Ladle into the bowls and enjoy!

Toppings for your chili!

pinto or black beans

onions, chopped


avocado slices


scallions, sliced

salsa, mild and hot

flour tortillas

tortilla chips

sour cream

pico de gallo



cheese, shredded

jalapeno pepper, sliced



  • You can make ahead and freeze.
  • Do not use the tomato sauce in place of tomato paste.
  • May top with cheese, green onions, and jalapeño if desired.
  • The recipe may be doubled or tripled to make the number of servings you need.
  • A cast-iron Dutch oven is definitely the best pot to cook your chili low and slow! My mom made so many delicious pots of chili in one and taught me the secret!
  • Gerhardt Chili Powder is the best! My mom said so, and she knows; she has used it for many years, and I have too!

There were many chili buffet parties at mom's house; everyone loved her chili!

2. Southwestern Chicken Chili Recipe

Chicken chili is a little different from the traditional chili it is filled with chunks of chicken breast, corn, black beans, and other ingredients. Great sides to add are a salad and flour tortillas, corn chips, or cornbread for a satisfying meal.

My hubby and I change our ingredients sometimes—whatever we are in the mood to eat! We both love lots of shredded cheese and I love chunks of avocados!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1-14 1/2-ounces can chicken broth
  • 1-15 1/4-ounces corn, undrained
  • 1-15 1/2-ounces can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-14 1/2-ounces can Mexican style tomatoes with green chilies


  1. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the chicken, onion, and garlic; saute until chicken is opaque, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the cumin, salt, chili powder, and the cayenne pepper.
  4. Cook two minutes until the spices are blended and it smells good.
  5. Pour in the chicken, broth, corn (with liquid), black beans, and the tomatoes.
  6. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes.
  7. This recipe makes 8 one-cup servings.

3. Tex-Mex Chili Recipe

It is getting close to the time to pull out the chili recipes. Here is a great chili recipe using pinto beans, which I love, you may use any kind of beans you like. You can top it with cheddar cheese, onions, or even guacamole. I also like a big slice of cornbread. You could also make this in the slow cooker. I hope you enjoy this delicious Tex-Mex Chili.


  • 1/2 pound dried pinto beans
  • 1 tablespoon bacon drippings (I know fattening, but that is what makes them taste so good)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 (16 ounces) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 dried hot red pepper (leave out if you do not like spicy)


  1. Sort and wash the pinto beans; place in a large pot.
  2. Cover with water, about 2 inches above the beans; cover and let soak overnight.
  3. Drain the water off the beans, add fresh water to cover the beans.
  4. Add the bacon drippings and 3 tablespoons of the chili powder.
  5. Cover and simmer 1 hour or until tender, add more water if necessary, only add hot water.
  6. Combine the ground beef, onion, and the garlic in a large pot.
  7. Cover over medium heat until the ground beef is brown; drain.
  8. Stir in 1/3 cup chili powder, salt, sugar, cumin and the diced tomatoes; cover, reduce the heat and simmer for1 hour and 15 minutes.
  9. Add the beans and the hot red pepper; continue cooking for 15 minutes.
  10. Remove the hot red pepper before serving.
  11. Yields 2 ½ quarts

© 2018 Margie's Southern Kitchen