As Seen on TV: Kevin’s Chili from ‘The Office’

Re-create one of TV's most iconic food moments with the official recipe for Kevin's chili from 'The Office.'

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Kevins Chili in a bowl spilled onto a to do list and office files Lauren Habermehl for taste of Home, getty images

Kevin’s chili, The Office. Those four words are all that needs to be said for anyone who grew up in the golden age of TV sitcoms. You’ll instantly see Kevin Malone’s character spill, slip and hilariously try to scoop up copious amounts of chili from the floor with any office supplies in reach.

It’s such an iconic moment in the show’s history that when The Office became available to stream on Peacock, NBC decided to hide the official recipe in their terms of use (which has subsequently been shared by countless eagle-eye fans who apparently read the fine print).

Not a fan of reading through legal jargon? Never fear. We’ve pulled the recipe and put it to the test below for your convenience.

Love sitcom recipes? If you haven’t made it yet, you’re going to have to try Ross Geller’s “Moist Maker” Sandwich.

How to Make Kevin’s Famous Chili

ingredients for Kevin's chili on a countertop Lauren Habermehl for taste of Home

“It’s a recipe passed down from Malones for generations. It’s probably the thing I do best.”

Kevin’s Famous Chili yields 8-10 servings.

Ingredients

  • 4 dried ancho chile peppers
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil (e.g. vegetable or canola)
  • 3 pounds ground beef (80/20 or 85/15 lean)
  • 2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 large jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more if you like spicy chili)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 (12 ounce) bottles of beer (lager or pale ale)
  • 3 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 2-1/2 cups ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • Chopped green onions, shredded cheese and/or sour cream, for topping

Directions

Step 1: Grind the chiles

ground chili on a spoon Lauren Habermehl for taste of Home

Tear the ancho chiles into large pieces and discard the seeds and stems. Transfer to a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and toast the chiles, stirring occasionally, until fragrant; about 4 minutes. Add the toasted chiles to a food processor and pulse until a finely ground chili powder forms. Set aside.

Step 2: Brown the beef

meat in a large pot Lauren Habermehl for taste of Home

Next, cook the ground beef until well browned, breaking the beef into small pieces as you work. Transfer beef to a bowl, leaving the drippings in the pot, and set aside.

Step 3: Saute the onions

cooking onions in a large pot Lauren Habermehl for taste of Home

Add the onion to the reserved drippings and cook until barely softened over medium-high heat; just 1-2 minutes is all you need.

Kevin’s Tip: The trick is to undercook the onions.

Step 4: Spice it up

adding spices to cooked onions Lauren Habermehl for taste of Home

Add the pressed garlic (here’s why it’s different from other minced garlic methods) to the onions along with the jalapenos, oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper, ground ancho chiles and tomato paste. Cook until fragrant (about 2 minutes), then deglaze with the beer, scraping the pan to remove any flavorful bits stuck to the pan; about 7 minutes.

Step 5: Mash the beans

beans in a bowl with a masher Lauren Habermehl for taste of Home

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, gently mash the rinsed and drained beans. Don’t completely pulverize the beans. You want some of the beans left whole while others should be broken up into large pieces.

Step 6: Everyone is going to get to know each other in the pot

Kevins Chili in a large pot Lauren Habermehl for taste of Home

Finally, add the mashed beans, beef stock (try making your own stock), chopped tomatoes, salt and cooked beef to the pot. Cover, bring to a strong simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cook for 2 hours at a gentle simmer, then remove from heat, uncover and let the chili rest for at least 1 hour before serving.

You can also refrigerate the chili for 8 hours or overnight. This is perfect if you plan to make the chili ahead and bring it to the office the following day.

Step 7: Serve

Kevins Chili with a Tod do list and office files to the side Lauren Habermehl for taste of Home

Before serving, reheat the chili over low heat and season with additional salt to taste. Top with your favorite chili fixins such as chopped green onions, shredded cheese, sliced jalapenos and sour cream. We also suggest serving with one of these tasty cornbread recipes.

Editor’s Tip: Chili is heavy. Walk, don’t run. Use an elevator vs. the stairs to transport the chili (when possible). If chili should spill, file folders don’t make a great scooping tool. Also, chili is slippery. If you’re looking for more recipes, then try Joanna Gaines’ chili recipe.

Where to Watch ‘The Office’

You can relive the magic of this moment by streaming The Office on Peacock.

Lauren Habermehl
Lauren is a recipe developer and food photographer. At Taste of Home, you’ll find her putting famous celebrity recipes to the test, from Dolly Parton’s stampede soup to Stanley Tucci’s six-ingredient pasta casserole. She’s also known for her FoodTok finds and sharing tips for how to re-create Internet-famous 15-hour potatoes, apple pie cinnamon rolls and chamoy pickles. When she’s not trying out a recipe-gone-viral, she’s developing copycat recipes and new twists on comfort food for her food blog, Frydae.