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An Epic Chili Bar for Your Weeknight Dinner Party

It's not the prettiest picture, but you get the point. This epic chili bar is the easiest and cheapest way to throw a dinner party ever. The chili can and should be made a day or two in advance, because we all know it gets better with time. Then the night of, simply warm up the chili, shred some cheese, chop up a handful of other toppings and you've got yourself a cozy, filling, weeknight dinner party.


2 pounds ground beef

Kosher salt and black pepper

2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp garlic powder

1 large onion, chopped

¼ cup tomato paste

2 Tbsp chopped chipotles in adobo (from a can of chipotles in adobo)

1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15.5-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15.5-ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed

2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained

1 or 2 (15.5-ounce) can mushrooms

1 (12-ounce) stout beer

Put the meat in the slow cooker and season it with one tsp both salt and pepper. Add the chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder. Mix the meat gently with your hands so it's evenly seasoned.

Add the onion, tomato paste, and chopped chipotles in adobo. Top with the beans, then the tomatoes, mushrooms, and beer. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours, or on low for 8 to 10 hours. Remove the lid and fish out the clump of beef in the bottom, place in a bowl or pot and break up as small as you want. Add the meat back into the chili and stir so everything is evenly distributed. Let the chili come to room temp before refrigerating.

topping suggestions

shredded cheese

fritos or tortilla chips


hickory sticks

corn nuts

bacon bits

red onion

gold fishes


green onion

pickled jalapenos


tater tots


sour cream

hot sauce

ranch dressing

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