Thursday, January 16, 2014

Not Just for the Superbowl Chili Recipe (Gluten-Free)

I've been making this chili for years, and it's too good to save just for the Superbowl!

Not Just for the Superbowl Chili found on

We still have a few weeks before Superbowl Madness takes over the U.S. but I thought it would be fun to update the photos of this favorite Not Just for the Superbowl Chili as today's pick for the month of  Daily Phase One Recipes.  For years this was my signature chili recipe for Denny family Superbowl parties, and it got the name when we decided the chili was too good to save just for the Superbowl!

(You can see all the Phase One recipes from the month by clicking Daily Phase One Recipes.  Check after the recipe for Phase One Flashbacks from this day in 2012 and 2013.)

If you're not a native English speaker, you might wonder about the word *chili*. In the U.S. *chile* usually refers to the spicy vegetable peppers used to season foods, while the spelling *chili* means a slowly simmered dish made with meat, tomatoes, onions, spices and sometimes beans. My signature chili is heavy on the meat and light on the beans, and although there's a long list of ingredients, it's actually pretty easy to make.

This chili features both mushrooms and black olives, for a slightly different take on chili, and i like it with a lot of finely chopped cilantro added at the end.  (My family has some cilantro haters though, so the cilantro is definitely optional!)  I made half the recipe to update these photos, but this freezes well, so make the whole batch if you have a pot that's big enough. And although Not Just for the Superbowl Chili may have more saturated fat than the South Beach Diet would prefer, for Superbowl food, this is pretty healthy. (Check South Beach Suggestions for a way to reduce the saturated fat.)

Soak dried red beans overnight and simmer on low until the beans are tender, or use canned red beans if you're short on time.  Rinse canned beans well with cold water.

Brown the pork sausage and ground beef well, breaking apart with a turner as it cooks.  (If you're making the full batch, I'd brown the meats separately.)  

Add the browned meat to the soup pot along with the black (and red beans if you're using canned beans), beef broth, tomato sauce, water, and diced tomatoes and let the mixture start to simmer.

Brown the onions well, then add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more.

Then add the ground cumin, dried oregano, chile powder, Ancho chile powder, cayenne, dried parsley, and Epazote (if using) and cook about 1 minute.  Add the onion-spice mixture to the chili.

If you started with dried beans, add the cooked red beans as soon as they're tender.  Cut up the mushrooms and olives and add the chili.  Let it simmer on low for a few hours.

This is a thick chili and here's how mine looked after it had cooked down for a couple of hours.

At this point add a generous amount of chopped fresh cilantro (or sliced green onions would be good if you're not a cilantro fan.)  Cook about 15 minutes more.  Serve hot with chili toppings like cheese, sour cream, and avocado if desired.

And just for the fun of it, here's the original photo from 2006 when I first shared this recipe!

Not Just for the Superbowl Chili
(Recipe created by Kalyn and served at many Denny Family Superbowl parties through the years.  This is half the recipe which makes 8-10 servings as part of a Superbowl buffet; see after the recipe for link to the original recipe, which is double these amounts.)

1 cups dried red beans, soaked 8 hours or more in cold water
(or substitute 2 cans -15 oz. each- red beans)
1 1/2 tsp. chicken soup base (for cooking beans)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (for cooking beans)
1/2 tsp. onion powder (for cooking beans)
1/2 tsp. olive oil (for cooking beans)
1 can black beans (15 oz.), rinsed and drained 
12 oz. low fat pork sausage
(I use Jimmy Dean variety labeled 50% less fat)
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 cans (14 oz.) beef broth or 4 cups homemade beef stock
1 can (14.5 oz.) tomato sauce
1/2 can water (rinse out tomato sauce can)
2 cans (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
2 tsp. olive oil (for sauteeing onion and spices)
1 med onion, diced small
1 T minced garlic
1 1/2 T ground cumin
1 1/2 T dried oregano
1 1/2 T ground chile powder
(or more, use New Mexico chile powder if you can find it)
1/2 T  Ancho chile powder (optional but very good)
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)
1 T dried parsley
2 tsp. Epazote (optional but recommended)
8 oz. white mushrooms, cut in quarters (or more)
1 can (6 oz.) black olives, drained and cut in half lengthwise
salt/pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional) plus additional cilantro or parsley to garnish (or use sliced green onion if desired if you're not a cilantro fan)
grated cheese, sour cream, or diced avocado for garnish (optional)

If you want to use dried red beans, soak overnight in cold water to cover by a few inches.  The next day, drain the soaking water and put soaked red beans in saucepan with enough water to cover. Add chicken soup base, garlic powder, onion powder, and olive oil and bring beans to a gentle simmer. Cook about one hour, until barely tender. (The small amount of olive oil prevents the "foam" that comes when dried beans are cooking. You can omit if you prefer.)

While beans cook, in very large frying pan, brown pork sausage well, breaking up with turner as it cooks. Remove from pan, rinse if desired, and place in large soup pot. Next brown ground beef well, breaking up with turner, rinse if desired, and place in soup pot. (You can cook the pork sausage and ground beef together if you have a large frying pan.)  Add beef broth, tomato sauce, water, diced tomatoes, and canned black beans and bring the soup pot ingredients to a gentle simmer.  (If you're using canned red beans, you can add them now.)

Wipe out frying pan and add 2 tsp. olive oil. Add diced onions and saute 5 minutes, until slightly browned.   Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes, then add ground cumin, dried oregano, chile powder, Ancho chile powder (if using), cayenne, dried parsley, and Epazote (if using), and cook about 1 minute more.  Add onion-spice mixture to chili, along with chopped mushrooms and sliced black olives.

When red beans are tender, drain and add to the chili with about a cup water.  Let chili simmer on low several hours more. Add cilantro if desired last 15 minutes of cooking time. Taste for salt/pepper and serve hot, with cheese, sour cream, and avocado to garnish if desired.

Printer Friendly Recipe for Original Amount, about 15-20 small servings

South Beach Suggestions:
Chili like this one that's heavy on meat and other ingredients besides beans is a great food for any phase of the South Beach Diet. This version of chili probably has more saturated fat than South Beach recommends, but you can use a fine strainer and rinse the browned meat with the hottest water you can get from your tap, and a lot of the fat will be washed away.

Phase One Flashbacks:
January 16, 2012:  Slow Cooker Balsamic and Onion Pot Roast
January 16, 2013:  "Breaded" Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Chili That's Not Just for Superbowl Sunday:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

Black Bean and Beef Chili with Cilantro, Lime, and Avocado Salsa ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Wendy's Chili Recipe ~ CopyKat Recipes

Turkey and White Bean Chili with Chocolate ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

35 Chili Recipes to Kick Start Fall ~ Aggie's Kitchen

Amy's Amazing White Chicken Chili ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. Great post. And the chili looks delicious! : )

  2. You and me both on the Penzey's ads! hee hee!

  3. Sounds good, Kalyn--I hope you have a great party!

    Cilantro lovers and haters in the same family?! It's just amazing! ;-)

  4. Yum, sounds like a great chili. I have both haters and lovers of cilantro in this family too :)

  5. Love red beans and that dish looks yummy,Kalyn.

  6. What are the black things...they look like olives?

  7. This is a lovely post of this recipe! Makes me want to come back to the States...just for the food lol
    Unfortunately, you don't get to enjoy the get-togethers like the Superbowl & Chili dinners when you're on vacations. Which is a shame! Especially as I've always wanted to enjoy the atmosphere!
    Hey ho.

  8. Dang, this looks like a great chili! When I used to live in Chapel HIll many years ago, our company won the annual chili cook off contest in town. Our secret ingredient, suggested by our boss who was from Texas? A little Orange Juice!

  9. Kayln, I love all your recipes, but this is one of my favorite! I make a big pot and freeze it and have it for lunch when its really cold (in fact, I have some ready for today!). I plan on making it for my Super Bowl party this Sunday as well!

  10. Really glad people can see past this photo to how good the recipe is! The most fun thing of all about reposting this is that I just heard from Lisa--In a Nutshell yesterday who had stopped blogging. Then I updated and posted this recipe and there was a comment from her!

    My crazy crazy life, two cans of black olives are listed in the ingredients. You worried me there, thought I forgot to include it!

    Julie, great to hear from someone who's made it. This is definitely the favorite chili recipe of my family.

  11. carole with an "e" in NYCJanuary 27, 2009 at 6:42 AM

    Hi Kalyn. You don't have to worry about your photo on this one. After reading your list of ingredients, my tummy's imagination started salivating. Will definitely add this recipe to my favorites even though I have one question: "what is the superball?" Ha Ha

  12. Carole, my thoughts about it exactly. When I go to the superbowl parties, I feel like I should wear a sign "I'm just here for the food!"

  13. Just for clarification, do you drain and rinse the black beans and do you drain and rinse the tomatoes? My instincts would be to drain and rinse both and add tomato sauce if needed. Z

  14. Football and food, the perfect combo! I am excited for Sunday. I better get my menu together. Chili is a great idea!

  15. Michael, I wouldn't drain the tomatoes, just add with liquid. I see I didn't say in this recipe to drain and rinse the beans but I would do that now, so I'll edit the recipe. Thanks!

  16. i love chili - i always add tonnnns of cumin and herbs! :)

  17. Hi, Kalyn,
    I use breakfast sausage in my holiday dressing and I slice and simmer it in water to cover until water is almost gone. This renders almost all of the fat and really leaves nothing but good sausage flavor. This is also the technique Wendy's uses to cook hamburger for their chili. I'm going to try your recipe and just for the record, cilantro tastes just like soap to me.

  18. Pearl, I love cumin! Never too much cumin for me.

    Cajun, my brother feels the same way about cilantro, so you have my blessing to leave it out.

  19. I had never heard of what we always called chilli con carne called just 'chilli' until I inadvertently ordered nachos with chilli on a trip to New York and was horrified to find it was a minced beef stew rather than some chilli peppers (as a vegetarian I sent it back and asked for a vegetarian nachos as I couldn't eat it) - so I can tell you that it is not just non-English speakers who may find the use of chilli and chile foreign! Hope you enjoy the super bowl!

  20. My husband is a BIG chili fan! Thnaks for passing this along...I collect chili recipes for when I need to entice big favors out of him...heehee :)

  21. Carole with an "e" in NYCJanuary 30, 2009 at 3:26 PM

    Hi Kalyn
    "Your" chili is simmering on my stove as I write this (in two pots since I went whole hog and did the full recipe) and my house has the greatest aromas streaming thru. Taking some to my daughter's house tomorrow, freezing some as you suggested, and eating the rest on Sunday even though we will not be superbowling it. Thanks again Kalyn for this lovely recipe.

  22. Don't you love those cilantro haters? :-)

    I have a Brazilian friend who visited me years ago and he made me promise to not even have a cilantro plant in the backyard.. Amazing, since cilantro is quite prominent in Brazilian cooking... I think there's not middle term with cilantro, people love it (count me in) or despise it!

  23. Yes, my niece married a confirmed cilantro hater, and there are a few others in the family too. More cilantro for us, right?

  24. Did you know that cilantro-haters actually taste something different than cilantro-lovers?

    The haters taste soap, or dirty feet, whereas lovers taste something fresh and clean.

    It could actually be hereditary.

    I, personally, don't like mint in anything but chewing gum. It just doesn't taste right to me in anything throwing chewing gum into a savory dish.

    Who knew?

  25. Yes, I did know that and I've read that people from northern Europe are more likely to not enjoy cilantro. It makes it a challenge when some people love it so much and others hate it just as strongly!

  26. Kalyn, why are you posts no longer showing an option to pin the recipe to pinterest?

  27. The look of the buttons has changed but there are now actually three ways to pin. You can hover your mouse over the post and a circle with the Pinterest P will pop up; click that to pin. You can also pin using the red button with a P that now appears both above and below the post, either one will work for that post.

  28. Did you use fresh epazote? I've never used it and found fresh at my farmers market. Not sure if I use the leaves, the stems or both. Will try to research but thought I'd ask so if others find it they will know.
    Making this today as its snowing like crazy outside and this looks so good!

  29. Moonkitty, my condolences on the snow. I used dried Epazote, but if you have fresh just finely chop the leaves. I haven't used the stems fresh, but the dried epazote definitely contains stems.

  30. Hi Kayln,

    I just started South Beach Phase 1 and I have tried your recipe yesterday, I used chicken. We dont cook beef and pork at home:-(. It was delicious. SO I made it again today. It is still delicious and My husband is a picky eater and he ate this without any complaints This was the first time I cooked black beans. Your blog was what inspired me to go for the way of living and secondly my love for legumes and the fact that I cannot calorie count

    I am on day 4 today. I find that I have no craving for anything. I am not a candy person but I used to have rice twice a day. IS it normal to not have any craving or withdrawal? I did have 1/2 tsp sugar yesterday and today.

  31. I find that when I don't eat sugar, rice, pasta, and wheat products the cravings for those higher carb foods definitely does go away. Unfortunately, if you start eating them again, the craving comes right back.

    Good luck! You can do it.


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