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Contest-Winning Pepperoni Pizza Chili Recipe

Contest-Winning Pepperoni Pizza Chili Recipe

Pizza and chili together—what could be better? Fill folks up at halftime when you set out bowls of this chili. —Jennifer Gelormino, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 30 min. YIELD:12 servings


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) salsa
  • 1 can (16 ounces) hot chili beans, undrained
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (12 ounces) pizza sauce
  • 1 package (8 ounces) sliced pepperoni, halved
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


  • 1. In a Dutch oven, cook the beef, sausage, onion, green pepper and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
  • 2. Stir in the salsa, beans, pizza sauce, pepperoni, water, chili powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle servings with cheese.
    Freeze option: Before adding cheese, cool chili. Freeze chili in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if necessary. Sprinkle each serving with cheese. Yield: 12 servings (3 quarts).

Nutritional Facts

1 cup chili with 1/4 cup cheese: 464 calories, 28g fat (11g saturated fat), 94mg cholesterol, 1240mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 5g fiber), 33g protein.

Reviews for Contest-Winning Pepperoni Pizza Chili

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Emiie User ID: 9206860 269623
Reviewed Jul. 17, 2017

"This was a very good chili, though I omit the sausage."

greatwithoutgluten User ID: 6330173 263947
Reviewed Mar. 26, 2017

"This was really good! So much flavor and easy to make too! This is going to be our new chili recipe!"

Anniepants User ID: 5509096 263260
Reviewed Mar. 9, 2017

"I made this for the chili cook-off at work and it won first place! I bought an 8 oz. hunk of pepperoni from the deli and diced it up. Much preferred the texture of cubed pepperoni in place of slices. I did not find this chili to be overly greasy at all and did not precook the pepperoni or drain the sausage. I think the bit of grease in the pan is a big part of the flavor as everything cooks together. Made it on a Sunday and stuck it in the fridge for two days to let the flavors meld. I heated it back up in a crock pot on high for 3 hours. I added generous amounts of black pepper for extra flavor and spice. Topped it with mozzarella. Definitely a winner!"

ambkab1202 User ID: 4038479 259247
Reviewed Jan. 5, 2017

"This was easy and delicious. I left out the salt and was still very good."

Adamscooking User ID: 7060631 256517
Reviewed Nov. 7, 2016

"Delicious chili recipe. I used mild Italian sausage instead of hot. My wife and daughter (who aren't big on spice) still found it quite spicy."

Sue Zappa User ID: 1094741 254013
Reviewed Sep. 12, 2016

"Even my husband who usually doesn't care for chili loves this recipe! You can't beat pepperoni pizza flavor in a thick, hearty soup in the wintertime! The only change I make is to use my homemade pizza sauce ingredients instead of the pizza sauce called for. Delicious!"

ebramkamp User ID: 702841 253943
Reviewed Sep. 10, 2016

"I made this chili for a contest and won 3rd place. I did make a few changes based on the reviews. I had doubled the recipe but didn't double the ground beef and it was still a meaty chili. I found mini pepperoni slices which didn't require cutting and I heated them up in a paper towel lined pie plate and blotted off the excess grease. I also cooked it in a crock pot and added a layer of mozzarella cheese on top to melt and become ooey gooey cheesy goodness. Very good chili I will definitely make again."

Kristens198 User ID: 2663751 247101
Reviewed Apr. 14, 2016

"I cooked the 3lbs of meat, but only used about 1/2 of it. And I still added another can of spaghetti sauce because it was nice, but *very* meaty! Everyone put pepperoni and cheese on top of their own bowl and it was a hit!"

VictoriaElaine User ID: 3422096 245127
Reviewed Mar. 8, 2016

"It was good but I didn't like it as much as I thought I would. I felt it could have used more flavor."

LeslieH User ID: 191346 245027
Reviewed Mar. 6, 2016

"Very tasty. I only used the chili beans as my husband prefers less beans. I used pepperoni slices, but I think I will try buying a chunk and cutting it into pieces next time. It would mix better into the chili."

rgh1970ss User ID: 6477954 243923
Reviewed Feb. 16, 2016

"Excellent. Went with two cans of kidney beans and two cans of hot chili beans."

ScottsGrace User ID: 2739134 243087
Reviewed Feb. 2, 2016

"I'm eating this now and really loving it. I used mild chili beans instead of hot and Spicy Italian sausages (casings removed) instead of bulk sausage...this is what I had on hand and I'm sure it doesn't make a difference. I think this was the perfect amount of heat for me! And I think you could really play around with this with other pizza toppings if wanted. Great job!"

jgbex1 User ID: 5795516 242044
Reviewed Jan. 18, 2016

"I used a ground turkey and turkey pepperoni. I also just had a mild mild Italian sausage so I used that. It was great!!"

melbadam User ID: 5777638 241689
Reviewed Jan. 13, 2016

"Loved this recipe and shared with co-workers. Now this is our go-to chili recipe. Co-workers also loved the chili !!!!! Thank you so much."

Charlar User ID: 2215916 241468
Reviewed Jan. 10, 2016

"When using pepperoni in a recipe, always microwave then pat with paper towels to remove most of the grease."

mrevan8877 User ID: 8665370 239555
Reviewed Dec. 16, 2015

"This chili was great! I won our cookoff at work with it and went home with an empty crockpot. All the flavors in it were super good."

Melrocks92 User ID: 8479516 234882
Reviewed Oct. 13, 2015

"Very good. I use a package of mini pepperonis and turkey burger/sausage. It also good without beans for those that have family members that hate beans."

JeffLaura2001 User ID: 5606486 230822
Reviewed Aug. 6, 2015

"A family favorite! Works great in the crock pot and super easy to throw together."

JoanieK53 User ID: 8355717 227754
Reviewed Jun. 11, 2015 Edited Oct. 11, 2016

"Very good. Best chili recipe I've made so far. Cut up the pepperoni slices."

mamarey User ID: 1121217 221515
Reviewed Feb. 27, 2015

"My husband who does not like pepperoni loved this chili. I have made it three timesI. I did Use the mini pepperoni but stayed true to the recipe as written. It was very good and smells great. just what you need on a cold, snowy winters day"

jjheineman User ID: 3582857 218786
Reviewed Jan. 25, 2015

"I won with this chili recipe! It was the category for use of most unusual ingredient. Everyone loved it. My chili was almost gone by the end of the night. My hubby who is a chili purest said it was pretty darn good. I used the mini pepperoni. Just saved me one step. Once everything was combined and simmering I put it in the crock pot for about 3 hrs on high. Will make this again & am saving it to my recipe box."

swinny User ID: 1858482 214258
Reviewed Dec. 7, 2014

"Delicious! I used 2 lbs of ground turkey & regular ital sausage. turkey pepperoni too. I did let the meat & veggies cook for about an hour then added rest of ingredients along with the turkey pepperoni. The chili was served with Jiffy corn bread muffins and this added very nicely to the recipe!!!"

Twins1111 User ID: 1562391 214194
Reviewed Dec. 6, 2014

"This was delicious. I didn't have any mozzarella cheese so I added a dollop of sour cream. Everyone loved it, even my picky eaters."

rebelwithoutaclue User ID: 4288906 213953
Reviewed Dec. 4, 2014

"What could make this appealing for almost everyone would be to make your favorite 'red chili' recipe. Sub in the pizza sauce for tomato sauce then add pepperoni. Everyone has a favorite that they always go to, make 2 changes and BINGO."

Nicelady73 User ID: 7658859 133285
Reviewed Sep. 14, 2014

"We love it a lot"

kassie1 User ID: 1288048 178246
Reviewed Jan. 15, 2014

"Added a pint jar of undrained canned tomatoes from the cellar instead of the plain water. Also added 8oz mushrooms & sauteed them with the meat and other veggies. Put the garlic in the pot after I drained the meat... otherwise all of that good flaver drains off. It's a good chili recipe!"

rita43 User ID: 1917187 123876
Reviewed Feb. 3, 2013 Edited Dec. 4, 2014

"This was so good. I had 5 people request this recipe sent to them. Yum"

mjlouk User ID: 1712085 195287
Reviewed Jun. 10, 2012

"I made this tonight and it was great! I used a 1/2 lb. of turkey sausage and only 1 lb of ground beef and 1/2 the pepperoni and it was perfect for us!"

dschultz01 User ID: 1076910 178245
Reviewed Mar. 30, 2012

"This was much better the 2nd day (as chili usually is!). The pepperoni ended up adding a lot of grease to it. I might not add as much pepperoni next time."

Rube1234 User ID: 1260707 184598
Reviewed Feb. 6, 2012

"Excellent! Perfect party food!"

TahitiJ User ID: 6502782 195286
Reviewed Feb. 5, 2012

"Made this for Super Bowl Sunday and it was a huge HIT!!"

justmbeth User ID: 1196484 195285
Reviewed Nov. 29, 2011

"Great chili recipe. Very hearty and filling so maybe consider adjusting quantity as necessary. I could only eat about 1/2 as much as I usually do with another recipe."

bjsilve0 User ID: 172187 111719
Reviewed Nov. 7, 2011

"To die for. Why is everything I love so high in calories but then this IS worth it!"

kayakbabe1 User ID: 1292154 150427
Reviewed Oct. 2, 2011

"This is one of our favorite recipes! Very flavorable."

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