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The Real MVP: The Only Superbowl Chili Recipe You Need

My brothers taught me two important things: love cooking and love football. I love a good football party—with this chili as the real MVP.

Super Bowl chili is the real MVP!

Super Bowl chili is the real MVP!

Favorite Super Bowl Chili

Depressing winter weather and a lull in holiday activities makes January and February the two worst months of the year for me. In the South, we typically get icy weather rather than snow and a chill-to-the-bone rain that would make anyone want to stay inside all the time.

Another thing about January and February? Football season starts to wrap up. And while my beloved Carolina Panthers don’t seem to have a consistent winning streak, I still do love a good football game. And that’s why the Super Bowl is always the highlight of my February—something I look forward to each year.

Why do I like the Super Bowl so much? I love football (I grew up with three brothers, so a love for sports is part of a sister’s job description). I love to cook and get friends together, so hosting a Super Bowl party tackles (no pun intended) it all—even if I don’t have a favorite team playing.

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Why This Chili Recipe Rocks!

Not all chili recipes are created equal. But the best chili recipes do multiple things:

  • Feed a crowd
  • Don’t leave you or your guests feeling hungry
  • Provide a hefty supply of protein and veggies
  • Have a breadth of flavors that keep your guests wanting seconds or thirds
  • Can be made in a Crock-Pot for quick and easy preparation, serving and cleanup

And at a Super Bowl party specifically, everyone’s focused on two things: the game and the food. So, it’s important to create a food spread that’s filling (it is a 3+ hour game), can sit out for a few hours and is easy to clean up.

Yield: 8 servings (double the recipe for extra hungry sports fans!)


  • 2 pounds ground beef (preferably 80% lean)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) tomato sauce
  • 5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (16-ounce) can kidney beans, drained


  1. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef until brown and crumbly.
  2. Add in the chopped onions and garlic, cooking until the onions are transparent.
  3. With a slotted spoon, scoop the mix mixture into a 5-6-quart Crock-Pot.
  4. Add in remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Cook on LOW for 8 hours. Switch the setting to WARM during your party and serve with cornbread.

Cooking, Serving, and Storing Tips

  • Don’t skip using a slotted spoon to scoop the meat mixture into the Crock-Pot. This helps drain the fat.
  • Feel free to mix up the meats and use a leaner beef, ground lamb or ground pork.
  • Use minced garlic from the jar—I usually scoop two spoons full of minced garlic rather than actually measuring and mincing two garlic cloves. And this makes life easier!
  • If 5 tablespoons chili power is too spicy, you can cut it down to 3 tablespoons.
  • If you’re crunched for time, this chili can be served within 4-5 hours. The longer it cooks, the more the flavors blend.
  • Chili freezes well, so you may want to consider doubling this recipe then storing the leftovers in plastic Tupperware.
  • Chili is great served with cornbread, such as Krustaez Honey cornbread, or rice.

Super Bowl Party Tips

  • This chili is spicy, so consider serving additional appetizers like chopped veggies and ranch or tortilla chips and queso to help cool down taste buds.
  • Invite your guests to arrive about a half-hour before kickoff. This way they can get settled, grab a drink and a bowl of chili and start mingling with other guests before the game starts.
  • During the game, have your food spread and beverages set up in a place that’s near the TV but doesn’t cause guests to walk in front of the game too often.
  • Invest in extra-large, heavy-duty plates, bowls, napkins and utensils. This will minimize the number of times guests get up for food when there’s more food already on their plate—and it’ll save you time washing dishes.
  • Consider putting cold beverages in a Yeti or heavy-duty cooler to minimize guests getting up to grab drinks from your refrigerator.
  • Make it a potluck! Ask your friends to bring a dish or their favorite chili recipe and create a chili cookoff. While they all may bring their favorites, I guarantee you’ll be the winner with this Super Bowl chili recipe.

Mary Rebecca Says

Chili is one of the easiest things to make. And with the help of a Crock-Pot, I typically make chili a few times per month and freeze them into individual Tupperware containers for easy weeknight meals. Just pull the container out from the freezer, microwave on HIGH for two minutes, and then dump the frozen chili into a saucepan and cook (covered with the lid) for 15 minutes. This recipe is one of my favorites because it contains the perfect blend of spices. I hope you try this recipe for your next Super Bowl party.

  • Do you have a favorite chili recipe?
  • What’s your favorite NFL team?