In the long-ago winter when I first began dating my husband Ted, his beloved Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup, the grand prize of professional hockey. They won it the next year, and the year after that, and I realized that if I wanted a life with this man, I'd better learn something about hockey. One thing I have learned is that you have to keep your strength up during the long playoff season, if your team is good enough to stay in the playoffs. (Believe me, it's exhausting to be a spectator married to a true fan.) Nothing says "sports fan" like chili, and the best thing about it is that you can make a pot at the start of the playoffs, and that chili will see you through the end of the season. I love to make chili, with or without beans, with or without meat, on the stove or in the slow cooker, and of all the chili variations I've shared here, these are my very favorites.
The recipe for this traditional football season chili came from an old Boston restaurant. It's just as good during hockey season.
This vegan spicy pinto bean chili with corn and kale won't win any beauty contests, but it's easy to make in the slow cooker, and it's gluten-free. Oh, yes, it is truly delicious.
Floribean chicken chili brings together the sweet with the heat.
Turkey mole chili, with its undertones of chocolate and chile pepper, might be our all-time best of the best.
Another vegan chili that doesn't taste like anything is missing, South End Deep Root Chili comes with a funny story about its name.
This smoky turkey, black bean and corn chili gets its smoke from barbecue sauce or chipotle chiles (or both!).
Last, but in no way least, this recipe for President Obama's chili will satisfy any sports fan. I made it with turkey; it would be great with beef, too.
Whichever chili you choose -- beef or turkey, black beans or red beans, mild or spicy -- pile on the toppings, and may the best team win. If that team happens to be Ted's team, I won't complain.
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