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Gallons of Chili, chile, chilli

Many people have requested quantity chili recipes. Here is a wide range of chili-flavored recipes as well as a variety of chili side dishes. For a family size recipe of pure Texas -style chili try my Bowl of Red or my vegetarian Kung Fu Chili. For silly chili fun and links to championship recipes, go see Fun Facts and exotic Recipes. Ever heard of cinnamon-flavored Cincinatti chili?

These recipes are developed to feed 100 people, making about 10-12 ounce servings. Flavors range from school cafeteria-style "Chili mac" to authentic Cincinnati chili. Everyone who makes chili thinks theirs is the best or ONLY recipe! So you don't write about adding or omitting beans or tomatoes- living in Texas, I have heard it before. But if you just need to cook chili for a few hundred people, keep reading.

Here is a quantity tip: you need half as much of a chili recipe to make taco salad or to top baked potatoes.

Church Social or Fundraiser Basic Hamburger Chili

Quick. Cheap. It has beans. It has tomatoes. Some people will be at the upper edge of their spice limit and others add LOTS of hot sauce. Even small children will eat it. And there will be hardly any left when everyone's done. It freezes pretty well- milder when thawed and reheated. Remember to pour into shallow pans (2" or less) to cool quickly.

Yields 6 gallons, just under 100 cups. Feeds about 80 people.
1 1/2 recipe fills 2 18-quart Nesco Roasting Ovens. Add an oven full of rice and feed the multitudes!
Prep Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 2 Hours 30 Minutes
Ready In: 4 Hours

Basic recipe:
6 pounds dried pinto beans
3 tablespoons salt
20 pounds lean ground beef
1 pound chopped onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 quarts canned peeled and diced tomatoes in juice
2 quarts tomato paste
1 1/3 cups chili powder I recommend Gebhardt's
3 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
water, beef broth, beer*, and/or coffee if extra liquid is needed- depends on cooking method
Additions and variations:

  • Use kidney, navy or black beans, add 60-80 ounces frozen corn niblets wth the tomatoes.
  • Increase onions to 4 pounds and garlic to 2 heads. Add 40 ounces chopped bell pepper.
  • Prepare fresh chili peppers to taste and saute with the onions, etc.
  • Substitute 13 pounds fresh pork sausage for 1/2 the ground beef. Drain some of the fat before adding to the beans- the sausage has way more fat.
  • Substitute 13 pounds diced top sirloin for half the ground beef. Brown with the burger.
  • Add additional spices: 1/4 cup dried oregano, 2-4 tablespoons crushed or ground red/cayenne pepper PLUS 1/4 cup paprika, 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • You can make a vegetarian chili by substituting soyburger.
  • Bean prep: Wash and sort pinto beans. Bring 3 gallons of water to boil in a 6 gallon pot. Pour in beans, return to a boil and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 1 hour. Stir in salt and simmer until tender, 90 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, brown beef with onions and garlic over medium high heat or brown in oven at 350 degrees until pink is gone, up to 1 hour. Combine, chili powder, cumin, pepper Add to meat mixture, tomatoes, tomato paste and cooked beans in 6 gallon pot; stir; cover.
  • Simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add liquid to ontain desired consistency- amount varies by cooking method and beans. May also be cooked covered in the oven or in Nesco roasting ovens, which are basically 18 quart crock pots, for about 3-4 hours at 300-325. In the oven, uncover for the last half hour.

Serve over rice or Midwestern style over spaghetti, or in a bowl with corn tortillas, saltines or cornbread on the side. Toppings include crumbled cheese, chopped raw onions, chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh cilantro, sliced jalapenos, hot sauce. Side dishes, green salad, really good pickles and iced tea or beer.
*depends on the church of course.
Nutrition analysis per cup (basic recipe)
Calories: 296
Total Fat: 11.8g
Cholesterol: 60mg
Sodium: 372mg
Total Carbohydrates: 23.5g
Dietary Fiber: 7.4g
Protein: 24g


Cincinnati Chili

The beans are always cooked separately.
8 servings serve 100
about 120 servings
3 cups 3 gallonscold water
2 pounds 30 poundslean ground beef
chuck or round
2 large30
1 gallon
onions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons 1/2 cup garlic granules or powder
1 ounce
OR 1 1/2 tablespoons
12 ounces
OR 1 1/2 cups
unsweetened baking chocolate
OR cocoa
4 tablespoons 3 1/2 cups chili powder
1 teaspoon 1/2 ouncecayenne OPTIONAL
1/2 tablespoon 6 tablespoons ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon 5 tablespoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon 1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons 6 tablespoonssalt
2 12 bay leaves
1 (6-ounce) can 4 1/2 poundstomato paste
1 tablespoon 1 cupred wine vinegar
6 quart Dutch oven2 18-quart Nesco roasters
OR 6, 6 quart crock pots
cooking utensil
Additional items needed
1 pound dry12 pounds dryspaghetti, cooked
1 quart3 gallons
4 #10 cans
cooked beans
2 cups1 1/2 gallonsdiced onions
8 ounces8 poundsgrated sharp cheddar cheese
11 ounce box6 poundsoyster crackers

Place water and ground beef in the cooking utensil over a medium heat. Stir vigorously to break up the meat. It thickens, keep stirring but do not add any more water at this point.
Add onion, garlic, chocolate, chili powder, allspice, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, salt, bay leaves, tomato paste and vinegar. Increase to a high heat to bring to a boil. When boiling, reduce to a hard simmer.
Cover and cook for 1 hour and 40 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Remove cover and cook 20 minutes more (2 hours total cooking time).
OR, transfer to crock pots and cook on high 5 hours.

Serve with the traditional accompaniments. Two Way means spaghetti topped with chili; Three Way is spaghetti topped with chili and grated cheddar cheese (preferably sharp cheddar); Four Way is spaghetti topped with chili, grated cheese and chopped onions; and Five Way is cooked kidney beans or chili beans, heated separately, placed on the plate then topped with spaghetti, chili, chopped onions and grated cheese.

For chili condiments for 100 people, you need 10 pounds of cheddar, 5 pound of chopped onions, 7 pounds each of sour cream and chopped jalapenos.


Plain Ol' Chili Beans
from scratch

100 servings
Allow 3-4 hours cooking time.

8 pounds pinto beans, soaked overnight
4 gallons cooking water
2/3 cup dehydrated onion flakes
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2/3 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons white pepper

Soak the beans overnight or by the fast methods explained in the Bean faqs. Use plenty of water, they will about triple in size. Drain the beans. Put beans and all seasonings in pot with the 4 gallons of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a steady simmer and cover. Cook two hours, check for tenderness, if needed allow another hour.
When the beans start to get tender, mash some of them against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. This will thicken the broth. Salt the beans to taste after they are done.
To improve the above recipe, add either a pound of chopped bacon or ham or a good-size ham hock to the pot after the first 2 hours.


Chili Mac with NO Beans

Serves 100 (6 gallons) - very mild
Use 2 Nesco roasters or 2 or 3 18x24 roasting pans


Boiling water 6 1/2 gallons1. Start water for macaroni first, it will take an hour or more to boil. After you have the meat and veggies prepared, add macaroni slowly to water, stirring to separate. Bring back to a boil, which can take another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping. Boil 10 TO 15 minutes, drain.
salt3 tablespoons
Ground Beef 32 pounds2. Brown ground beef until beef is no longer pink, breaking beef up into crumbles; pour off drippings. Sprinkle in the salt. Ser aside.
salt3 tablespoons
onions, chopped9 1/2 pounds
(10 1/2 pounds vefore chopping
OR 19 ounces dry, rehydrated)
salad oil1 cup3. Saute onions, optional squash and spices in oil until onions are quite tender and squash starts to melt, 10 to 15 minutes
OPTIONAL, finely shredded
carrots or summer squash
OR diced bell pepper
8 pounds
black pepper 3 1/2 tablespoons
chili powder 1 1/2 ounces or to taste
canned tomatoes15 pounds
OR 1 no. 10 can PLUS 1 #2 1/2 cans

4. Stir together tomatoes, meat and spiced onions. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer 10 minutes.
Cheddar cheese, shredded6 quarts
(6 pounds)
Divide the macaroni and the meat mix evenly among the pans, mix very well. If you have oven space, three pans allows more topping, cooks faster and is better for self service. Top with cheese, bake 45 minutes in a preheated oven at 375 degrees. If a convection oven is used, set to "350 degrees, high fan, vent closed" and bake 20-30 minutes until cheese is lightly browned and casserole is hot all the way through.
IMPORTANT, if the casserole is refrigerated before baking, lower oven temp 25 degrees and add at least 45 minutes to cooking time. Bake refrigerated casseroles covered until the last 15 minutes.
This is real school cafeteria bland, I ALWAYS add Italian herbs, garlic, cumin, and more chili powder, use the other recipes as a guide for quantities. I also use up to 4 quarts of sliced bell pepper.


Chili Mac/ Pasta with Beans
Variation: Sloppy Jose Potatoes

Serves 100


Ground Beef 17 pounds1. Brown ground beef and onions until beef is no longer pink, breaking beef up into crumbles; pour off drippings.
onions, chopped4 1/2 quarts
canned tomato sauce2 no. 10 cans2. Stir in tomato sauce and chili beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes.
canned chili beans in sauce1 no. 10 can
canned mild chilies, diced2 1/2 quarts3. Stir in chilies, jalapeno peppers, chili powder and garlic powder; continue cooking 10 minutes. Keep hot.
fresh or canned
jalapeno peppers, minced
chili powder3/4 cup
garlic powder2 1/2 tablespoons
To serve:
cooked macaroni or rotini, hot
12 1/2 quarts
4. For each serving: Portion 3/4 cup beef mixture over 1/2 cup pasta. Top with about 2 tablespoons cheese.
Cheddar cheese, shredded3 quarts
SLOPPY JOSE POTATO VARIATION: Beef mixture may be served over cooked potato wedges instead of pasta
frozen potato wedges
OR baked potatoes
18 1/2 pounds
OR 60 potatoes

Cook potatoes. For each serving:
Portion 3/4 cup beef mixture over 3 ounces (1/2 cup) cooked potato wedges OR 1/2 baked potato; top with 1-2 tablespoons sour cream and Cheddar cheese.
Cheddar cheese, shredded3 quarts
Sour cream OR plain yogurt3 quarts
NOTES: Double amounts of cheese and sour cream if self serve.


Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredient 25 50 75 100
Cups Shortening 1 2 1/4 3 1/3 4
Cups Flour 4 9 13 18
Tablespoons Sugar 2 4 6 9
Tablespoons Baking Powder 3 6 9 12
Tablespoons Salt 1 2 2
Cups * Milk 1 3 5 7

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Cut shortening into mixture until it resembles fine crumbs. Stir in milk just until dough leaves sides of bowl. Dough will be soft and thick. Turn dough on to lightly floured surface. Knead lightly 10 times. Roll to 1/2 in. thick and cut with 2 1/2 in. cutter. Place on un-greased cookie sheet and bake 10 to 12 minutes. *Slightly more or less milk may be needed.


Plain Ol' Cornbread

3 9x13 pans serves 50

7 cups cornmeal, preferably whole grain
5 cups all purpose flour
4 Tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon salt
8 eggs
6 cups buttermilk
2 cups vegetable oil

Grease 3 1x13 pans
In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Set aside. Mix together remaining ingredients and add to dry ingredients, mixing until just moistened. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.


If you are making a lot of chili, you may need to make your own chili powder. Heat depends on the type of chilis used. With chipotle, this is medium hot.
Makes 6 pounds.

76 ounces ground dried chili peppers
13 ounces ground cumin
4 ounces garlic powder
2 ounces onion powder
3 ounces ground oregano
1/2 ounces cayenne pepper
1-1/2 ounces black pepper
1/2 ounces ground coriander

Put all the ingredients in a big zipper plastic bag. Blend well by shaking until completely smooth. Makes 6 pounds.


Hot Horseradish Pickles for Chili

Too easy and so good. Also great with fried fish or barbecue. You might use 2 gallons for 100 serevings.
2 gallons kosher dill pickle halves, 30-40 pickles, with brine
2 cups prepared horseradish
1 pint sliced jalapenos, drained Prearation:
Pour the brine from the pickle jar into a large bowl. Mix the horseradish and jalapenos into the brine.
Cut the pickles into large bite-sized pieces and reimmerse them in the spiced brine.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Blanched mini carrots or blanched cauliflower bits are great soaked in the same brine. Yes, you must blanch them first.



You need to use care to serve gallons of chili safely. Here are the steps to ensure the event is fun and safe for all.


Prepare cook and store chili in a health approved food premise (commercial kitchen).
Use only ingredients purchased at grocery stores or other approved sources.
Make sure chili is well cooked to 170F / 4 C - especially if it contains meat products.


Cool chili to 40 F / 4C or less at 40F / 4C.
Chili must be frozen if storage will be longer than 3 days - chili depth for freezing is 4 inches maximum.
Containers must be labeled, dated and lids secured.


Thaw out frozen chili overnight or 24 hours in a commercial fridge or walk-in cooler, or in a refrigerator that is NOT being opened and closed. The temperature must remain below 40F / 4 C at all times.


Only thaw out frozen chili in a fridge.
If outside, store unheated chili in coolers packed in ice.
Heat thawed chili on the stove or BBQ to 170 degrees Fahrenheit before serving.
Keep chili for serving at 140 degrees throughout the event



Wash your hands frequently under warm running water during preparation and cooking.
Use liquid soap.
Dry your hand with paper towels.
During the event a coffee urn is an acceptable method of obtaining hot running water if outside away from plumbing.
A minimum of 20L (5 gallons) of water exclusively for handwashing purposes must be available if outside away from plumbing. Collect waste water in a plastic bucket and dispose of it down a toilet.


Chopped Chili Veggies

A great, mildly spicy side dish with roast chicken, or a vegetarian entree. Quick and tasty. Better the second day, the beans absorb more flavor.

1 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup zucchini or yellow squash, coarsely chopped
1 cup celery, chopped, including tender leaves
1 cup carrots, chopped fairly small
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
2 16 oz. cans whole tomatoes in juice, chopped
1/2 of a 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 16 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
OR 3 1/2 cups cooked beans
OR 1 1/3 cups dried beans or lentils, cooked

Cook onion, garlic and spiuces in oil until onion is tender, Add chopped vegetables, cook and stir about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cover. Simmer until all the veggies are tender (10-30 minutes depending on amounts). Add beans and heat through.