6 Awesome Cookoff-Winning Chili Recipes

These chili recipes are the chili cook-off champions! And they could be your ticket to a blue ribbon, too.

1. Boilermaker Tailgate Chili

Boilermaker Tailgate Chili

Photo by Molly

“This Chili recipe has now won us 2 Chili cookoff blue ribbons! It is still our only Chili recipe. Just two minor alterations: 1) We used a whole bottle of Guiness beer and 2) only used 2 cans of spicy chili beans, and cooked it all day on low in our HUGE slow cooker. Fantastic! Great flavors — our new favorite chili recipe for all football Sunday gatherings! Lot’s of chopping but oh-so-worth-it in the end.” — MrsFritz

“I can’t praise this chili enough! The meat melted in your mouth, the flavors tingled nicely all the way to your toes. I just won a chili cookoff with it.” — VORCHA

“My husband used this recipe for his office chili cook-off competition and has won two years in a row, and he’s been in two different companies!”
— danda22151

“I have won 1st place in 4 different cook-offs with this recipe. I do replace the ground beef with 1 lb stew meat and 1 lb roast (whichever kind is on sale) cubed. I mix up the beans a bit using 1 can black beans, 1 can dark kidney, and 1 can spicy chili. The flavors are amazing as they are written! But the texture of the different beans and meats makes it blow the judges and crowds away!” — TXRachel

 

2. Debdoozie’s Blue Ribbon Chili

Debdoozie's Blue Ribbon Chili

Photo by cookin’mama

“I live in Texas where the chili cook-off competition is fierce, and I had to enter it in the “Non-Texas” category because it has beans in it. Mine was lucky no. 7 (out of 14 in the category), and it won! It is a true blue-ribbon recipe. It got lots of compliments. It could have been a might spicier for my Texan taste, but for those not used to spice it’s perfect — award-winning in fact!” — Tamara

“I actually won a chili contest at work with this recipe! Great, and super easy… and even beats my mom’s :) — Shhh don’t tell!” — chadobryhim

“This truly IS the best and easist recipe EVER! I do it in the crockpot to make it even simplier. I, too, have won chili cook-offs with this without changing a thing.” — lbarbour

“Be sure to enter this chili in contests at work…it WINS all the time.” — DEBZDOO

 

3. Flatlander Chili

Flatlander Chili

Photo by Rock_lobster

“I won the chili cook-off with this recipe last night. Everyone commented that they liked the combination of spicy and sweet.” — MikeLikesToEat

“My two daughters and I used this recipe for our Girl Scout Father/Daughter Chili contest and won “Best Overall Chili” out of over 30 contestants!” — David P.

“I just won the chili cook off with this recipe. I too made some adjustments. I used tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.The rest of the recipe, I copied exactly as written. Yummy!” — Nancy Morrison


Related: How to Make Chili Like a Champion


4. Washabinaros Chili

Washabinaros Chile

Photo by Meredith

“This chili recipe has won me back to back office chili cook-offs. Naturally I took all the credit, but time to give the credit where it is due. Thanks. Great flavor. I make sure to use a different dark beer each time I make it for a different angle. I like using a chocolate stout, which adds a rich and smooth consistency. Make sure the coffee used is a STRONG cup to give it a noticeable but it still wont be an overbearing kick. Kudos to the creator.” — Brad S

“I have won several chili cook-offs with this little gem. I stick to the recipe mostly, but I do usually omit the habaneros and sometimes substitute a can or two of great northern white beans for the kidney beans just because I find them more tender. I used a smoked porter for the beer the first time but lately have just been using a standard red ale with a drop of liquid smoke mixed in. I find the flavor to be almost identical. I have yet to meet anyone who does not love this chili.” — Three-Two

“I just returned home from a chili cook off and I won!! I did add a teaspoon of cocoa powder per 8 searvings. This stuff rocks!”
— Mark Fish

5. Chili I

Chili I

Photo by Theresa

“My wife used this recipe in her company chili cookoff and won FIRST place. Even beating her boss whose been the reighning chili champ. Wonderful recipe. This recipe is awesome!! We used 3 peppers instead of 4 and used 1/4 cup brown sugar rather then the full amount. The Starbucks Verona and the Guiness worked well together. It was the only crock pot that was sitting empty. We are making another batch today.” — erika

“This is an awsome recipe. We used it for a chili cook off and won 1st place. Don’t change a thing. This is the perfect chili. Everyone wants the recipe.” — LORILYNN71

“I won my office chili cookoff with this recipe! Fantastic. Followed the directions exactly as stated EXCEPT I used a dark Bavarian beer and 2 shots of Espresso. Other than that everything was exactly the same. And yes, it is better the next day. Amazing flavor!” — toddster

6. The Ultimate Chili

Ultimate Chili

Photo by Meredith

“Awesome! This recipe won me top price at my company’s annual chili cook off. There wasn’t enough to satisfy the demand. Great stuff!” — RogerH

“My husband won a chili cookoff using this recipe, hands down! The only modification he made was to add a little pasta a few hours before the chili finished cooking. This chili smells so wonderful while it’s cooking that the real challenge is in actually waiting until it’s done! Thanks, Wendy!” — ERIN


If this list merely whets your appetite for chili, check out our complete collection of Chili Recipes. You’ll find beef, chicken, turkey, and pork chili recipes, plus vegetarian chili recipes, white chili recipes, and those with and without beans. And speaking of beans, these heirloom beans will take your award-winning chili to the next level.

Check out this savory cornbread waffle — it’s chili’s choice companion.


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