9 Essential Types of Chili Every Cook Should Know
Kick back and "chili" while one of these tasty types of chili simmers on your stovetop.
Chili con carne, meaning “chili with meat,” is probably what most people think of when they think of a bowl of hearty chili. The dish consists of meat like beef, pork or venison combined with assorted chili peppers with tomatoes, beans and onions cooked on the stovetop or in an Instant Pot. Learn how to make the best-ever chili.
This differs from traditional chili con carne in that it’s made with white beans, chicken and mild green chilies. It’s typically milder than other chili recipes and has a creamy base that is sometimes thickened with sour cream or white cheese, like Monterey Jack. Find top-rated white chicken chili recipes.
Vegetarian chilis are essentially traditional like chili con carne—but made without meat. Some vegetarian chili recipes will add other types beans like kidney, cannellini or black beans to the recipe, while others add meat substitutes like tofu or tempeh to mimic the texture of meat.
Cincinnati chili (also called Skyline chili) is a regional-specific type of chili popular in Ohio. What makes this type of chili unique is that it’s typically sweeter than traditional chili and flavored with cinnamon, chocolate, allspice and Worcestershire. This distinct type of chili is also always served on a bed of cooked spaghetti.
Don’t mess with Texas! Texans are very particular about how true, authentic Texas chili is defined. Texas chili does not contain beans or tomatoes and also is made with no vegetables other than chili peppers that have been boiled, peeled and chopped.
Turkey chili is classic chili con carne made with lean ground turkey rather than beef. This type of recipe is popular with those who love the taste of traditional chili but what to make it leaner. Here’s our guide on making the best turkey chili.
This “green chili” is popular throughout the Southwest but especially in New Mexico and Colorado. It’s made most often with pork and includes roasted green chili, tomatillos, garlic, oregano and cumin.
Black bean chili is a popular chili option that relies heavily on black beans over other types of beans. Some black bean chili recipes are vegetarian, while others will include ground beef or bite-sized pieces of steak.
OK, this may not be chili in the traditional sense, but we felt it was worth mentioning. A chili dog is a hot dog topped with a special type seasoned of chili that varies depending on the region. At home, many use canned chili but chili dog enthusiasts will declare that homemade chili is the only way to go.