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National Chili Day

Updated: Mar 24

Photo Source Giphy

February 22 is National Chili Day and you can find ways to celebrate this holiday on this day and others times during the year. Chili is not just a winter recipe but can be enjoyed all year long.

A Brief History of Chili

Chili Con Carne Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

In the 1880s chili stands appeared in open markets and became popular in San Antonio, Texas. The stands were run by woman cooks called Chili Queens and the equipment needed to cook was transported by wagons during 1870 to 1930. Men worked in these stands too cooking and serving food. They women were able to create a businesses from their cooking during this time.

At one time in the early 1900s chili cost 10 cents per bowl. It was the time when the writer O' Henry lived, They served chili at the World's Fair in San Antonio in 1893. In 1977 Texas made chili their official dish though their legislature.

In the late 19th century most American towns and cities opened a chili parlor or restaurant. During the Great Depression many consumers said that chili kept people from starving. It was an economical meal that feed large families.

President Lyndon Johnson loved chili and his favorite recipe was Pedernales River Chili named after the ranch he lived on. This version of chili used venison instead of beef. There are many different types of chili recipes to make at home or try at a local restaurant. Some recipes are Chili Con Carne, Cincinatti Chili, Texas Chile, Chile Verde, Carne Adovada and White Chili.

Popular ingredients in chili are hot peppers, bell peppers, onions, ground beef, tomato sauce, steak, and pork. Most consumer like spicy chili but there are many recipes of for mild chili con carne.

Ways to Celebrate National Chili Day

Chili Verde Photo Source: Pappp's Rambling

  • Look up chili recipes online and make a new chili recipe for family and friends at home or bring it to work to share with co-workers. Some sources for recipes are below:

  • Visit a local restaurant that specializes in chili and eat lunch or dinner out. If you prefer to eat at home order takeout food from the menu.

  • Take a chili cookbook out of the library or buy one at the local bookstore. Learn to make a new type of chili at home.

  • Throw a chili party at home or at the office and have everyone bring a different type of chili. Organize the party to have side dishes that go with the chili.

Texas Chili: Andreas Ivarsson/Flicker

Mild Chili Con Carne Recipe

This is mild recipe for those of you that do not like spicy chili or cannot eat it. You will need a skillet, frying pan, or medium sized pot, cutting board, knife, small container, measuring spoons, serving spoon, measuring cups, strainer or sieve, and wooden spoon for stirring.


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground beef

1/4 cup chopped leeks

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/3 cup beef broth

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 can rinsed white or red kidney beans



Soak chopped leeks in warm water about 5 minutes before cooking. Strain off water.

Rinse kidney beans in a sieve or mesh strainer to remove excess salt before you add the beans to the chili.

Defrost ground beef in microwave or refrigerator before using.

In a skillet or medium sized stove heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Chop 1/4 cup leeks and soak in warm water 5 minutes and drain. Add leeks to pan with garlic. Sauté the leeks on stove for about 5 minutes. Stir using a wooden spoon. Add one pound ground beef crumbled and defrosted. Let beef cook for about 5 minutes break up with wooden spoon. Add the beef broth. When beef is browned add 1 can rinsed kidney beans, paprika, and chili powder. Stir and let cook 10 minutes more to dry out liquid. This recipes takes 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with rice. Serves 4

Chili Festival Photo Source Jazz Guy/Flicker

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