Chili for a Crowd Recipe
Chili for a Crowd Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Chili for a Crowd Recipe

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Meet the Cook: The basis for this recipe was handed down to me by my aunt, who said she got it from a "grizzled Montana mountain man". I added some zesty ingredients to come up with the final version. Hot food is something that my husband's family isn't accustomed to. So I adjust the spices for them. In fact, with a few simple alterations to the "heat" index, I can serve this chili to anyone. Chad and I and our 2-year-old son live 12 miles from town in the country. -Lisa Humphreys, Wasilla, Alaska
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Cook: 1 hour
MAKES:20-24 servings
Contest Winning Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Cook: 1 hour
MAKES: 20-24 servings


  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans or 4 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans or black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pound smoked kielbasa, sliced and halved
  • 2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
  • 2/3 cup hickory-flavored barbecue sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 5 fresh banana peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
  • 1 teaspoon each dried oregano, thyme and sage
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 cup) equals 207 calories, 11 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 40 mg cholesterol, 422 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 15 g protein.


  1. In an 8-qt. kettle or Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Yield: 20-24 servings (6 quarts).
Originally published as Chili for a Crowd in Country Woman January/February 1996, p31

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Reviewed Nov. 19, 2015

"I looked for a chili recipe for a large crowd and found this one. Made it for a group of 32 men. I received very good compliments on this chili, so it is definitely a keeper.

I doubled the recipe for this group and it wasn't quite enough. Guys like "seconds" and though several guys got seconds, more would have had there been more chili. The serving size of 1 cup is too small, in my opinion. It takes 2 cups to have a nice bowlful.
We enjoyed this recipe just as it is and will make it again, but next time will be more careful to make enough. Thanks Lisa for sharing this recipe."

Reviewed Feb. 5, 2015

"Made this recipe for an open house over a year ago....

We are hosting another one and people are asking if I'll be making that chili again. Definately a keeper and more then enough to go around!"

Reviewed Jan. 18, 2011

"I made this recipe with a few of my own additions and won first place in a chli contest! It has so many layers of flavor, you won't ever get tired of eating this chili."

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