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Chili is like fingerprints — no two are the same. Even if the recipes are identical, each cook inevitably adds their own touches, whether it’s an extra shake of chili powder, varying the beans and protein, adding extra vegetables or using spices to add (or take away) heat. As much as we love our own versions, sometimes it’s fun to experiment. Try one of these five recipes during the cold snap, and perfect them in time for the Super Bowl. The only constant in them all? They’re even better when served with cornbread.
Taste columnist Beth Dooley insists that the best chili recipe is the one that you like, and she’s right. This recipe, from a chilly day just a year ago, uses lamb as the protein, but use the protein of your choice. Because it’s your chili, after all. Find the recipe here.
Black Bean, Poblano and Butternut Squash Chili
This is a go-to recipe from Taste columnist Meredith Deeds, who always keeps it on hand during the busy holiday season. But what season isn’t busy? This version is quick, easy and meatless, and you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry. Make a big batch — it freezes beautifully. Find the recipe here.
Skillet Turkey Chili
This recipe, from Beth Dooley, uses salsa, cherry tomatoes and peppers to give ground turkey a fresh lift. While it follows the cardinal rule of chili and goes great with cornbread, you can also serve this over rice or rolled into a tortilla for something different. Find the recipe here.
Chicken and Corn Chili with Roasted Poblanos
Loaded with chicken and just one diced tomato, this is closer to a white chili. The recipe, from Meredith Deeds, was written nearly a decade ago in the fall to take advantage of late-summer flavors, but harnessing those flavors in the middle of winter is most welcome. The ingredients call for fresh corn, but frozen works just as well. Find the recipe here.
Pumpkin Spice Chili
Yes, you read that right. When you take away the sugar, the same spices found in the ubiquitous lattes can also warm up chili. Chef Robin Asbell wrote this meatless recipe for the Star Tribune in 2018, taking all the charms of cinnamon, cloves and allspice — warming spices — and pairing them with chiles and pumpkin (well, technically squash). Find the recipe here.
Fresh Corn Skillet Cornbread
Because we’ve already determined that cornbread is the common thread in all chili meals, we thought you should have a recipe for that, too. This was was perfected by our former colleague, Kim Ode, for her Baking Central series of recipes. You could make it your own and add cheese and jalapeños, but it’s perfect as is. Find the recipe here.