With the 2022 Super Bowl on Sunday, it’s time to hunker down and watch some football with a big bowl of chili in your hand. Even if you aren’t a big fan of football, you’ll be a big fan of this chili.

This recipe uses simple and typically inexpensive ingredients with a few tweaks to spice it up (literally and figuratively) and bring it to the next level. Some of my personal additions include a little sweetness and extra spice: adding chocolate to your chili is a little trick I learned to bring out the flavor of the other spices. It adds a touch of sweetness and thickens your stew.

I also use chili powder that has only ground chili peppers, unlike a typical chili powder that uses a mix of spices. This makes the chili a little spicier than the average but definitely a good switch for those who like it hot. You can also cook in half a can of beer to enhance the flavor and really make your chili Super Bowl-ready.

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The recipe can be prepped in advance or made the day of, and the serving size for two people can be easily adjusted to a larger party. 

Super Bowl Sunday Chili

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 45 minutes | Total time: 1 hour | Feeds 2

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 1 16 ounce can of tomato sauce (or crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 15.5 ounce can kidney beans 
  • ½ chopped white onion
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 square dark chocolate
  • ½ can beer (optional)
  • Optional toppings:
  • Cheese
  • Avocado
  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro
  • Tortilla chips

To prep your ingredients, chop up half of a white onion and measure all seasonings in a small bowl, for easier access when cooking. You can also slice up some avocado, cilantro or any other toppings you might want at this point.

Start by cooking your ground beef in a medium-to-large size pot, depending on how many people you are cooking for. Once the ground beef has browned, about five to seven minutes, skim most of the fat but leave about a dime’s worth in the pot. 

Now, add your chopped onion and cook until soft, another five to seven minutes. Once your onion starts to look translucent and soft, you can add in all your seasonings: garlic powder, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, salt and pepper. 

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After mixing in your seasonings, add in the tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, dark chocolate and optionally, beer. Let this cook on low heat for 30 minutes.

When your chili is ready, serve immediately or you can freeze for a later date. For serving, you can top your chili with sour cream, cheese, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, tortilla chips and anything else you can think of.