Chili Casserole and Other Creative and Unexpected Chili Recipes

Homemade Tater Tot Hotdish Casserole


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Homemade Tater Tot Hotdish Casserole

Change-Up Chili

As we inch further into fall, a warm, hearty pot of chili has never sounded more appetizing. But with so much more chili, er, chilly weather on the horizon, you don’t want to get tired of eating the same thing over and over. Rather than becoming a recipe recycler, you can try out some out-of-the-box chili ideas. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite creative takes on the classic dish. Let us know in the comments if you have others!

Related: Regional Chili Recipes to Try This Fall

Pigs in a Blanket
Chili With Beans

Dr Pepper and Chocolate Chili

It’s been used as a baking ingredient, a marinade, and as a flavorful addition to pulled pork and brisket, so why not add Dr Pepper to chili? While you’re at it, toss in some cocoa powder. This recipe is full of surprising, bold ingredients with deep flavor.

Recipe: Oh Sweet Basil

Related: Secret Ingredients That Made Grandma's Food Amazing

Reeses Bombon Chocolate

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Chili

If you thought Dr Pepper and chocolate chili was out there, this one will really have you scratching your head. Bacon, chipotle pepper powder, and fire-roasted tomatoes pack flavor into this unique chili, but the biggest oddball addition is without a doubt the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup the recipe calls for.

Recipe: Beyer Beware

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Chorizo Chili with Jalapeño Cornbread Waffles

Waffles don’t have to be exclusive to breakfast — these jalapeño cornbread waffles lend themselves perfectly to chili, and this chorizo chili recipe is full of robust ingredients that bring the heat.

Recipe: Strawberry Blondie Kitchen

Sloppy Joe Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Sweet Pickles

Chili Grilled Cheese Sandwich

While a classic grilled cheese sandwich dipped in tomato soup is a timeless dish, this chili grilled cheese sandwich takes the combination of bread, cheese, and tomato to a whole new level.

Recipe: Dizzy Busy & Hungry

Beef Chili

Bacon Cheeseburger Chili

Bacon cheeseburgers and chili are well-loved dishes, so it only makes sense to combine them for a hybrid recipe. The recipe even includes the condiments you’d see on a bacon cheeseburger: ketchup, mustard, and dill pickle relish.

Recipe: 4 Sons ‘R’ Us

Traditional American chili hot dogs with cheddar cheese, onion and spicy sauce closeup. Horizontal top view

Chili Cheese Dog Boats

If you’re craving a chili cheese dog but want something a bit more hearty, you can hollow out the hot dog buns and fill a baking dish with them, adding the hot dogs, chili, and cheese for a chili-dog-meets-casserole recipe.

Recipe: Tasty

delicious pumpkin stewed with meat and vegetables close-up in a saucepan. horizontal

Crockpot Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin and chili are basically synonymous with autumn, and some of the season’s most beloved flavors. This recipe adds canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice to an otherwise classic chili mixture — and sort of reminds us of the Three Course Dinner Chewing Gum that turned Violet into a blueberry in “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” — dinner and dessert simultaneously.

Recipe: Moms with Crockpots

Homemade Chili Mac and Cheese

Cheesy Chili Mac

If you haven’t tried chili mac, you don’t know what you’re missing out on, especially if you’re someone who adds a lot of cheese to your chili before digging in. It makes perfect sense to combine macaroni and cheese with chili — the flavors complement each other and the noodles make an already hearty meal even heartier. 

Recipe: Chili Pepper Madness

Homemade Cincinnati Chili Spaghetti

Chili Spaghetti

Chili and spaghetti are notoriously simple-to-prepare dinners that are pretty universally enjoyed even by the pickiest of eaters. This hybrid dish lends itself to many toppings, including sliced black olives, sliced green onion, shredded cheese, and sour cream.

Recipe: Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen

Taco casserole

Chili Dog Biscuit Casserole

If simplicity and ease appeal to you in a recipe, this one is right up your alley. With just four ingredients, you can create a hearty, flavorful casserole that appeals to kids as much as adults.

Recipe: The Salty Marshmallow

Cheesy, Chili Rotini

Ground Beef Queso Chili

This recipe will trick you into thinking you’re making a traditional chili until you add rotini noodles and start on the queso sauce. It’s ideal for serving with Fritos or tortilla chips.

Recipe: Together As Family

Frito Pie

Frito Pie

This layered casserole gives off a similar vibe as walking tacos, but with a chili twist. The bottom layer is a meaty chili-and-corn mixture topped with layers of shredded cheddar cheese, green onions, and Fritos. 

Recipe: This Is Not Diet Food!

Homemade Tater Tot Hotdish Casserole

Tater Tot Chili Dog Casserole

Rather than order a side of tater tots with your chili dog, just make a casserole that uses the same ingredients in one dish. Bonus: The recipe takes only five ingredients.

Recipe: The Salty Marshmallow

closeup of bowl of homemade chili with cornbread
Lynne Mitchell/istockphoto

Chili Pot Pie with Cornbread Crust

Pot pie and chili are two of the most popular comfort foods around — and cornbread is arguably the best companion for chili. The idea to create a chili pot pie with a cornbread crust is nothing short of genius.

Recipe: Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons