Set up a chili bar with these tips, ideas, and images, plus my all-purpose chili recipe!
Today I’m sharing an idea that you can use for Fall or Winter entertaining, as well as a timely idea for Super Bowl & other Football gatherings. I thought, ‘what could be more hearty, manly, and versatile than a chili bar?’ I didn’t want to do a chili tasting or cook-off because I think most people have seen that already. Instead I thought about the many ways you can serve chili using one all-purpose recipe. This is how it usually goes at my house: First round is chili & tortillas, next day leftovers are served over pasta, at a fast food restaurant we order chili & baked potato, or chili cheese fries, etc.
This is a fun way to set up a buffet for friends and even the kids loved making their own variations. Using some printable tags from Party Box Designs I set up and labeled lots of chili toppers + root beer. You can see my list of options below, plus the delicious recipe I used that goes with everything!
Setting up the Chili Bar:
Base items available for topping with the chili:
- Hot Dogs
- Crinkle cut french fries
- Small bags of Fritos corn chips
- Baked Potatoes
- Shredded cheese
- Sour Cream
- Diced Onion
- Sliced Jalapenos
- Diced Tomatoes
- other condiments like ketchup & mustard for the hot dogs
Combine the base items with the chili and select toppings and you have a great meal. I suggest small servings so you can have more than one combo – you may even want to cut the hot dogs in half. One of my personal favorites is the Fritos bags that you can just grab and go. You fill the bag with the chili and toppings and eat right out of the bag!
To hide the not-so-attractive crock pot, I wrapped it with burlap. I served root beer from a large urn, which you could also fill with beer of course.
This chili bar was a huge hit with the family. The husband loved it, the kids loved it, and it could even be used for a tween or teen birthday buffet.
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All Purpose Chili Recipe
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, browned
- Chili Seasoning Packet – “Original” flavor
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 can water
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on high for 6 hours.
What’s your favorite chili bar combination?
For another great chili recipe, check out our Fiesta Chili Recipe here!
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