Need Trick-or-Treating Fuel? These 9 Easy Chili Recipes Were Made for You

Halloween is right around the corner, I've found myself completely engulfed in preparations.  There are costumes to design, decorations to lay around the house, and all that candy (oh, the candy!). In my complete focus, I totally forgot that it's National Chili Month! Now that I remembered, I'm giving my Halloween plans a second thought: should I go out trick-or-treating, or stay in, watch scary movies, and eat chili?

The cold of winter is always a good time to celebrate soup season, and I'm not the only one thinking about ditching the trick-or-treating for comfort food. According to a survey conducted by BUSH'S Beans, 34 percent of chili-eaters make and serve chili on Halloween. In fact, 75 percent of respondents say they'd rather sit home, eat chili, and watch scary movies than go trick-or-treating!

To celebrate chili on this creepy holiday, we put together nine easy chili recipes that showcase the greatness of the one bowl wonder. From incorporating espresso powder to orange zest, these innovative recipes give your chili a little kick.

1. Spicy Dark Chocolate Chili Bowls

easy-chili-recipes
BetterThanDieting.com

Have you ever thought about putting chocolate into chile? As it turns out, it doesn't just work for chicken mole. This recipe combines chocolate, spicy pepper flakes, and deep spices like turmeric and cumin to make an exceptionally warming bowl of chili. Using turkey and BUSH'S Kidney Beans in Spicy Chili Sauce makes it healthy to boot!

Servings: 6 to 8
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans (16 ounces) BUSH'S® Kidney Beans in Spicy Chili Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels, cooked
  • 1/2 each red, yellow and orange bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crushed multigrain tortilla chips
  • To taste salt and pepper

Directions:

In a large frying pan, cook the onion and garlic in oil for approximately 5 minutes. Add the ground turkey, cumin, turmeric, chili powder, cinnamon and pepper flakes and cook until turkey is browned and no longer pink. Drain excess liquids, if any. Add the tomatoes, beans, chocolate chips and stir well. Simmer for approximately 15 minutes.

Place chili in a bowl and sprinkle one row each of cheese, corn kernels, peppers, avocado, and tortilla chips on top of chili. You can also serve over brown and wild rice before adding the toppings.

Recipe courtesy of BetterThanDieting.com, on behalf of BUSH'S Beans

2. Charred Kale White Chicken Chili

easy-chili-recipes

BUSH'S White Chili Beans pair perfectly with charred kale and chicken to make an excellent version of white bean chili. The charred kale and poblano peppers add a deep earthiness, while the tomatillos and lime juice bring a nice burst of acidity. This is the perfect light and flavorful pairing for your favorite scary movie! How's that for easy chili?

Servings: 6 to 8
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minute

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. chicken breast
  • 2 large poblano peppers
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cans (16 ounces) BUSH'S® White Chili Beans
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 tomatillos
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, packed
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher or regular salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 cups packed kale leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (red pepper)
  • Juice of 1 lime

Directions:

In a large wide pot over medium-high heat, add the oil. Add the chicken once hot and saute? until cooked through. Remove chicken and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, place the poblano peppers over an open flame or under the broiler until black. Remove the stems and chop (keep the seeds in unless you don't want it spicy).

In a blender, add one can of beans, undrained, chicken stock, tomatillos, salt, and cilantro. Puree until smooth.

In the pot, add the onion, garlic, and poblanos. Cook until fragrant. Add the kale, chili flakes and cumin to the pot and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the puree, the additional 2 cans of beans, undrained, and the lime juice to the pot. Stir and bring to a boil. Then, turn down to low and cook for 15 minutes.

Cube the chicken and stir in to warm. Serve.

Recipe courtesy of BetterThanDieting.com, on behalf of BUSH'S Beans

3. 3-Chile Seared Steak Chili

easy-chili-recipes

Why settle with one chile when you can have three chiles? Combining Poblano, Anaheim, and jalapeño peppers gives this chile the perfect combination of earthiness and spice. Grab the cornbread, this is the perfect pairing.

If you're used to lean ground beef in chili, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how much flavor the seared skirt steak adds.  BUSH's Kidney Beans in Spicy Chili Sauce also amp up the spice level, so have some sour cream on hand to cool this one down.

Servings: 6 to 8
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

For the chili:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 10 ounces skirt steak
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced thin or chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 Anaheim pepper
  • 2 jalapeno pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 cans (16 ounces) BUSH'S® Kidney Beans in a Spicy Chili Sauce
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 2 cup tomato puree
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 teaspoon Kosher or regular salt

For the salsa:

  • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher or regular salt
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime

Directions:

In a large wide pot over medium-high heat add the oil. Once hot, add the skirt steak and cook on each side for 3 minutes. Remove steak and set aside.

Add the onions to the pan, stir, and press flat into the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir the onions every 10 minutes until golden brown and sweet.

Place the Poblano, Anaheim and Jalapeno chiles over an open flame or under the broiler until black. Remove the stems and chop the flesh (keep seeds in unless you don't want it spicy).

In a blender, puree 1 can of beans, undrained, with the cilantro, tomato puree, beef broth, and salt.

Add the chopped chilies, garlic, cumin, and paprika to the pan. Stir until well combined. Add the pureed beans and the remaining two cans of beans, undrained, and stir. Bring to a boil, turn down to low and cook 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, start preparing the salsa. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Ladle the chili into a large serving dish or individual wide bowls. Slice or chop the steak and lay across the top. Char flour tortillas and place in a bowl. Top with the onion salsa. Serve.

Recipe courtesy of BetterThanDieting.com, on behalf of BUSH'S Beans

4. Cajun Chili Gumbo

easy-chili-recipes

This recipe for gumbo-meets-chili really puts me in the mood to eat chili! Why not combine the power of Cajun spices and andouille sausage with the power of BUSH's Kidney Beans in Spicy Chili Sauce? Serve this chili over rice to really accentuate its gumbo-ness. I might pair this spicy gumbo with a scary movie that takes place in the South (Deliverance, anyone?).

Servings: 6 to 8
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup white onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 lb. andouille chicken sausage
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1/8 cup Cajun spice blend
  • 1/8 cup chili powder
  • 1/8 cup ground cumin
  • 1 (28 ounces) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup okra, sliced ½" thick
  • 2 cans (16 ounces) BUSH'S® Kidney Beans in a Spicy Chili Sauce
  • 4 cups cooked rice, for serving

Directions:

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Cook the onion, garlic, and celery in the oil until tender. Stir in the tomato paste until blended in.

Add the turkey, sausage, Cajun spice blend, chili powder, and cumin and cook over medium-high heat until the meat is cooked through and it's no longer pink. Add tomatoes and okra and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the beans, undrained, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 10 minutes more, uncovered and stirring frequently, until it thickens slightly. Serve the Cajun Chili Gumbo over the rice and enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Sarah-Jane Bedwell, RD, LDN, on behalf of BUSH'S Beans

5. Spicy Downhome Chili and Cornmeal Waffles

Chicken and waffles may be the popular combination, but I'm liking the sound of chili and waffles even better! These cornmeal waffles are a breeze to make, and the chili uses BUSH'S Mild Mixed Chili Beans to give it a well-rounded flavor. Add some Greek yogurt (a healthier alternative to sour cream) and chives and you'll forget the fried chicken version even existed!

Servings: 8 to 10
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

For the waffles:

  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 2 ½ cups yellow cornmeal muffin mix
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups milk

For the chili:

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb. lean beef
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle chili powder (use less if you like a milder chili)
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 cans (16 ounces) BUSH'S® Mild Mixed Chili Beans
  • 1 can (28 ounces) fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Garnish cheese, plain Greek yogurt, green onions, pickled jalapenos for serving

Directions:

To make the waffles, preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions. Mix all the waffle ingredients together in a large bowl until blended. Bake waffles in batches and then set aside and keep warm.

To make the chili, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the ground beef until it's no longer pink. Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper, chipotle chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, and cook until vegetables are tender.

Stir in the beans (undrained), tomatoes (with their juices), and brown sugar. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until thickened slightly, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Serve the chili over the cornmeal waffles and top with cheese, yogurt, onions, and/or pickled jalapenos, if desired, and enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Sarah-Jane Bedwell, RD, LDN, on behalf of BUSH'S Beans

6. Smoky Poblano Turkey Chili Boats

Here's another fun twist on a classic favorite. I love stuffed baked potatoes, but sweet potatoes are so much healthier for you and they add a nice counterbalance to a smoky chili. BUSH'S Spicy Kidney Chili Beans bring the spice, and using espresso powder with cumin brings a bitter, smoky element to this healthy turkey chili.

Servings: 6 to 8
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1/8 cup instant espresso powder
  • 1/8 cup chili powder
  • 1/8 cup ground cumin
  • 2 cans (16 ounces) BUSH'S Spicy Kidney Chili Beans, undrained
  • 1 (28 ounces) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 8 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 8 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Heat the canola oil over medium-high in a large nonstick skillet. Cook the onion and pepper in the oil until tender. Add the turkey, espresso powder, chili powder, and cumin over medium-high heat until the turkey is cooked through and no longer pink. Add tomatoes and honey and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the beans, water, salt, and chipotle chili powder and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes more, uncovered and stirring frequently, until it thickens slightly.

Meanwhile, poke a few holes in the sweet potatoes with a fork and bake in the microwave on high for 5 minutes or until cooked through. Slice potatoes lengthwise (into a football shape) and scoop out some of the potato flesh to make a bowl.

Spread 1 tablespoon of yogurt into each potato half. Spoon some chili into each potato half. Top with shredded cheese to mimic the laces on a football. Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Sarah-Jane Bedwell, RD, LDN, on behalf of BUSH'S Beans

7. Cincinnati Chili

easy-chili-recipes
Chelsea's Messy Apron

Have you ever heard of Cincinnati chili? It's a Mediterranean-spiced meat sauce that is used as a topping for pasta (or hot dogs, because why not?). The BUSH'S Chili Beans taste like they've been cooking all day and bring some pretty delicious chili flavors to the party.

Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2-3 tablespoons ground chili powder (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon EACH: ground allspice, ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
  • 8 ounces sharp or mild cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 1 can (15 ounces) BUSH'S Chili Beans, undrained
  • To top with: another onion (finely diced), oyster crackers

Directions:

Add 1 tablespoon oil to a pot or Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat. Add in the diced onion and cook until tender. Add in the beef and lightly brown, crumbling as you cook it. Add in the garlic.

Add in the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer until the meat is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Add the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, cayenne pepper, cocoa powder, and bay leaf.

Add the Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, and undrained chili beans. Bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for one hour or until completely thickened. When ready to serve, skim off the fat and remove the bay leaf.

Serve over cooked spaghetti topped with cheese, another diced onion, and oyster crackers.

Recipe courtesy of Chelsea's Messy Apron, on behalf of BUSH'S Beans

8. Chili Mac

easy-chili-recipes
She Wears Many Hats

There's only one thing I love more than mac 'n cheese, and that's chili mac. This hearty chili will keep you warm and cozy as you get your wits scared away! The mild sauce from BUSH'S Chili Beans are nice and mild, but the addition of the green chilies really adds a ton of spice! For a milder version, omit the green chilies, or for a spicier version add 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or hot sauce.

Servings: 12 to 15
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups diced onion (about 2 medium onions)
  • 2 pounds ground beef (I like to use ground chuck.)*
  • 7 ounces canned diced green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 8 ounces beef broth
  • 64 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
  • 3 (16) ounce cans BUSH'S Beans Chili Beans Kidney Beans in Mild Chili Sauce (do not drain)
  • 1 pound shredded cheddar cheese (medium or sharp)
  • optional garnish: sour cream, shredded cheese, diced green onion

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package instructions.

While pasta is cooking, heat oil in large stock pot** over medium heat. Add onions; cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes, until slightly softened.

Add ground beef, canned chiles, salt, pepper, chili powder and garlic powder. Stir together and continue to cook to brown beef, breaking up any clumps of meat, about 5-7 minutes.

Once all meat has browned, stir in beef broth, crushed tomatoes, and beans (along with bean sauce). Reduce heat to a simmer; allow to simmer for at least 15 minutes.

Drain pasta. Stir cooked pasta and shredded cheese into chili until combined well and cheese has melted. Salt and pepper to taste. (If a thinner consistency is desired, add a bit more broth at a time until desired consistency is reached.)

Serve topped with optional garnish: sour cream, shredded cheese, sliced green onion, diced red onion, corn chips.

*Ground turkey may be substituted, or, if a vegetarian version is preferred, omit the ground beef and add 2 more cans of chili beans.

**This recipe makes a large amount. Use a stock pot that holds at least 6 quarts or cut the recipe in half.

Recipe courtesy of She Wears Many Hats, on behalf of BUSH'S Beans

9. Vegetarian Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

easy-chili-recipes
Reluctant Entertainer

Meat eaters might say chili isn't chili without the meat, but the sweet potatoes, BUSH'S Black Beans in Mild Chili Sauce, and cinnamon come together to make this super satisfying. The addition of orange zest really kicks these flavors up!

Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 sweet white onion, diced
  • 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into very small pieces
  • (3) 15 oz. cans BUSH'S Black Beans in a Mild Chili Sauce (do not drain)
  • 3 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 14 oz. can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 orange, zest
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

Directions:

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy, deep pot (I use my Le Creuset). Add the onion, cooking for 5 minutes.

Add the sweet potatoes and gently stir. Add the beans, tomatoes, and spices. Bring to a low boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes or so, until the sweet potatoes are very soft.

Add fresh orange zest; stir. Serve hot with sour cream and cilantro.

Recipe courtesy of Reluctant Entertainer, on behalf of BUSH'S Beans

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