Home » 12th Annual Chili Contest: Entry #3 – Four-Chile Chili

12th Annual Chili Contest: Entry #3 – Four-Chile Chili

This has been such an odd football season. I feel as though I’ve been HOME during approximately 1 game this season, if that. It used to be that before kids, our boring little DINK life was planned around game day. What does this upcoming Saturday look like? Family pictures (Christmas mini – I know, we JUST had pictures…I’m getting big time rebuttal from Mark), followed by not one, but TWO birthday parties for the girls to go to.

Of course they’re at that age where I can’t properly drop both kids and bolt, so that means I’m going to 2 birthday parties this Saturday, too. We play Minnesota at 12pm EST and I will be making chili. It may be between the 2 parties, but it’s happening.

Because apparently, Illinois likes to win on the road as under-dogs. Two weekends ago, I was on a girls weekend trip to Grand Rapids when the Illini decided to pull out the 9 over-time win against ranked Penn State…at Penn State. My friends were out shopping and I was glued to the bar stool at some pizza joint, surrounded by strangers, going berserk over the over time show down.

I was literally giddy for a week after that, only to have a major let down at home last weekend against Rutgers. Of course that game was not watched real time because we were at a Halloween party. No complaints, but I mean, I miss my football Saturdays!

And you guys, I know you’ve been waiting for this one. I put it out there on Instagram that this recipe contains ICE CREAM. Chocolate ice cream, even.

Consensus on Insta: ew.

Consensus from my taste testers: THUMBS UP.

Plus, this is like cooking with wine: bonus leftovers not used in the recipe. Dark chocolate ice cream is not something I’d generally stock, but man, the leftovers…I wasn’t sad about those. This recipe was MONEY – we were huge fans! Friends, you can’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!!!

Four-Chile Chili

Four-Chile Chili

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 3 seconds
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes 3 seconds

This full-bodied, traditional chili has undertones of cinnamon and chocolate and perfectly compliment the rich protein and acidic tomatoes.


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs 96% lean ground beef
  • 1 lb ground mild Italian sausage
  • 1/2 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 jalapeño chiles, seeded and minced
  • 3 Tbsp ancho chile powder
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups low-sodium beef stock
  • 2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 scoop (1/2 cup) dark chocolate ice cream
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro, for serving


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Once hot, add half the ground beef and sausage in large chunks and season with half the salt and pepper. Cook until brown on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Stir and cook until most of the pink is gone, about 3 minutes, keeping the meat in large chunks. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining meat.
  2. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pot; return to stove. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeños; cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until softened, about 6 minutes.
  3. Add the ancho powder and paprika and cook over low heat, stirring often, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the paste starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, beef stock, and cooked beef and any accumulated juices. Bring to a simmer; reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the kidney beans, chipotles, and oregano; simmer for 30 minutes longer. Season with a large pinch of cinnamon. Remove from the heat, stir in the ice cream until melted. Let stand for at least 20 minutes, served with cilantro.


Recipe adapted from Food + Wine by Michelle B.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: ~2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 492Total Fat: 21.7gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 842mgCarbohydrates: 30.8gFiber: 7.4gSugar: 9.7gProtein: 43.1g

Did you make this recipe?

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Looking for more GREAT chili? These have been some killer chili contest submissions of the past!

Be well,

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