Superbowl Chili

No matter who you are cheering for in the Superbowl, there is one winner for everyone…



A little history about Chili

The full name is Chili con carne. In Spanish, the “chili” refers to a chile pepper and the “carne” means meat. American frontier settlers would make it with dried beef, suet (a fatty meat or mutton), dried chili peppers and salt. They would take this mixture and pound it together to form bricks and left to dry. When they were ready to use it, they would boil it in pots on the trail.

At the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the San Antonio Chili Stand would help people from other parts of the country taste and appreciate chili. Chili con carne, better known as just chili, would become the official dish of Texas in 1977.

San Antonio, a tourist destination, would play a big role in introducing chili to America. During the 1880s women who were dressed in brightly dressed Mexican outfits would come to be known as “Chili Queens”. They would appear at dusk in public gathering places in San Antonio and build charcoal or wood fires to reheat cauldrons of precooked chili and sell bowls to passersby. The aroma was a potent sales pitch with mariachi street musicians joining in to serenade the eaters. This industry would all by disappear overnight in 1937 when the San Antonio Health Department implemented new sanitary regulations. San Antonio’s “mercado” or semi-permanent stands were renovated in the 1970s and they began staging historic re-enactments of the chili queens’ heyday. The Unofficial re-enactment is “Return of the Chili Queens Festival” held in April.

Hundreds of small, family-run chili parlors or “chili joints” could be found throughout Texas and other states before World War II. As early as 1904, chili parlors were opening outside of Texas. Each would claim to have some kind of “secret recipe”. In the 1920s and 1930s chains of diner-style “chili parlors” grew up in the Midwest. As of 2005, one of these old-fashioned chili parlors still exists in downtown St. Louis.

Speaking of “Secret Recipes” I have a “Secret Recipe” for Wendy’s Chili. This is what we made today for the Superbowl. I have to tell you it is very close to the original recipe. The only thing missing it the “Frosty” afterwards!

Wendy’s Secret Recipe Chili

Makes about 12 servings


2 pounds ground beef

One 29 ounce can tomato sauce

One 29 ounce can kidney beans, drained

One 29 ounce can pinto beans, drained

1 cup diced onions

1/2 cup diced green chili – I used 2 serrano peppers

1/4 cup diced celery – about one stalk

3 medium tomatoes, chopped – I don’t like a lot of tomatoes in ours so I used 3 Roma tomatoes

2 teaspoons cumin powder

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper

2 teaspoons salt

2 cups water

(To make it hotter or spicy – add more black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste. We love it with it)


Brown the ground beef and onions and then drain off the fat. Place in a crock pot. Add the remaining ingredients and turn on. Let cook through the day, at least 2 to 3 hours. Stir throughout the day.

Serve with cheddar cheese and sour cream on top.


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54 thoughts on “Superbowl Chili

  1. John says:

    Mmmmmm chili!! Wendys is delicious too.

  2. charlieray45 says:

    A great recipe, but I like mine with chunks of meat instead of ground beef; and, lots of jalepenos.

  3. Chuck says:

    In New Mexico “real” chile (the stew or the vegetable) is spelled with an “e” (chile, like the country) rather than an “i” (chili).

    The chile is our state vegetable and New Mexico State University has a long relationship with the chile having developed it into a robust and flavorful vegetable. New Mexico grows many varieties of chile and we ship to other states (i.e., Louisiana) and nations.
    New Mexico chile is seldom crowded with beans of any kind, particularly Kidney beans, although pintos are often served on the side..
    Our official state question is, “red or green,” … meaning do you want reg or green chile in your burrito, chile stew or whatever. If you prefer both, then you tell the host or the wait person, “Christmas.”

    The meat in our chile can be beef, pork, venison or chicken and if the first three it will often be cubed similar to stew meat, although it is often ground lean chuck..

    Having said all of the above, I do love Texas style chili con carne (chili with meat) with pinto beans, but my heart and soul always yearns for New Mexico chile.

    Thanks for allowing me to crow a little … it is difficult to get a word in edgewise when Texans are around. :>) But please don’t tell them I said so.

    . you may find the foregoing link interesting and useful.

  4. shellakers says:

    Very interesting! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  5. Great history of chili – adore the stuff!

  6. tucsonmike says:

    Loved the history and love chili.

  7. Anne Bonney says:

    Chili bricks! What a great concept.

  8. pumpernickelsdeli says:

    Who doesn’t love chili! Sounds delicious!

  9. dcwisdom says:

    I love Wendy’s chili! Thanks for the recipe. Stay warm! 🙂

  10. You are right … chili is always a winner 🙂

  11. My Mom made the best Tex-Mex Chili I have ever eaten. Looks like you have many of her ingredients in your mixture. Dianne who was born in Texas.

  12. mizqui says:

    I always feel pretty cool when I visit your site – It’s got a cool vibe; however today – it is pretty chili — and I LOVE IT! Awesome post & thanks for the recipe too. Oooo! 🙂

  13. Janet Rörschåch says:

    Looks yummy and reads beautifully. Thank you for making it gluten-free!

  14. sarahlouisek says:

    Darn, I’m a couple of days too late on this. I had deep dish Chicago pizza though, and that’s perfect for the Superbowl game too.

  15. SharingMom says:

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  16. GrayFoxDown says:

    Nothing goes down quite like a bowl of chili when it’s chilly in Brooklyn…or, more precisely, bordering on permafrost. Never mind the Superbowl, I’ll just have a bowl of that! Merci!

  17. I love trying new chili recipes! I completely agree that, while a touchy subject with many, all chili is great, and I’m a big fan of trying something new. I saw you checked out my “quick chili” recipe, but I also have a slow cooker chili recipe you might enjoy.

    I really enjoyed checking out your blog, and I will be trying your chili recipe very soon!

  18. jericho777 says:

    Reblogged this on Jericho777's Blog.

  19. Chris Brann says:

    Thanks for liking my site.
    I love Chilli and we make our own every so often.
    I will see about trying this recipe although as there are only 2 of us we will have to cut it down a lot.

  20. Maurice Enwright says:

    Chilli is so good! I think I need to try this. We should swap recipes!!

  21. I bet this was good!! You can never have too many good chili recipes, I think.

  22. Chris Brann says:

    Hi Made up a 6 portion version of your recipe. Had to change a few things as some things are different in Britain
    My wife loved it. A very good recipe, thanks..
    Used sieved toms rather than sauce. Baked beans rather than Pinto as we could not get them.

  23. […] Superbowl Chili ( […]

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