18 Creative Chili Recipes Inspired by World Flavors
Mediterranean Chickpea Chili
Mexican Winter Chili
Sweet and hot peppers plus bold spices give this chili some typical Tex-Mex flavors. So what makes it merit a spot on our list of unusual chili recipes? A can of pumpkin and a touch of cream. The unexpected ingredients add richness and depth of flavor to this cold-weather supper.
Caribbean Chili with Black Beans
For unusual chili ideas that go beyond the usual bowl of red, add some flavors from the tropics. Here, sweet mango, allspice, and orange juice temper the spice of the habanero pepper. For a side dish that adds extra freshness to the meal, try our Tropical Fruit Salad.
New World Chili
In our quest for unique chili recipes, we scored one with a seasonal bent. Butternut squash and cranberries are classic autumnal flavors. Better yet, these ingredients meld beautifully with classic chili fixings, including jalapeño pepper, chili powder, beans, and Monterey Jack cheese.
Crisp veggies, ginger, basil, garlic, and coconut milk. Those ingredients sound more like something you’d find in your favorite Thai dish than in a chili. But add drained and rinsed beans and chili powder, and the combo might just earn a spot on your list of great new chili ideas.
Slow Cooker Chocolate Chili with Three Beans
As soon as there’s a nip in the air, we start rifling through our archives of unique chili recipes to find the best way to kick off chili season. With chicken-apple sausage, butternut squash, and fresh green apples, this contender is perfect for when summer’s growing season gives way to the autumn harvest.
Lamb, Bean, and Sweet Potato Chili
If you seek different kinds of chili that can be made in your pressure cooker, here’s one to consider. It’s anchored by lamb shoulder, which is a cut that gets bolder, richer, and more tender when cooked under pressure. You can get the same effects by slow-cooking the chili. Either way, you’re in for a spicy, meaty, and filling one-dish meal.
Family-Style Chili & Corn Bread Dumplings
When a chili recipe’s ingredient list kicks off with round steak or pork shoulder, you know it’s going to be rich and meaty! What makes it score a spot on our list of unusual chili recipes, however, is the plus-one of cornmeal dumplings. Bonus: They’re a little like corn muffins, but you don’t have to grease (or scrub) a muffin pan.
Steak and Soda Chili
This might be the most creative of our unique chili recipes! Two kinds of dried chilis plus a can of a popular soft drink add sweet-spicy flavors to the bowl of red. What? No beans? Nope, it’s patterned after a classic Texas-style chili, which means beans are out!
Vegetarian Green Chili
Hearty Vegetarian Chili
Sometimes we seek different chili recipes for different reasons. Maybe we want to go global or use unusual ingredients or spice blends. But when healthfulness is the major goal, this recipe is definitely one to consider: It’s a meatless, fiber-packed, low-calorie winner, and it’s super-satisfying too.
Chipotle Turkey Chili
Chunky Vegetable Chili
Sweet Potato-Black Bean Chili
Fire and Ice, Beef and Grape Chili
If it’s truly unusual chili recipes you’re after, here’s one to add to your short list. Fire-roasted salsa makes it extra-spicy, beef short ribs make it ultra-meaty, and a frozen red-wine topping adds a dashing hot-cold effect. Any dry red wine will do; just choose one you’ll enjoy drinking along with this dish.
Slow Cooker Jalapeño Popper Chili
With melted cream cheese and fresh jalapeño peppers, this chili is inspired by a popular bar-grill snack. Add bacon to the mix, and it's no wonder it’s on our list of best chili ideas! For a bright and perky side dish, team with a side of Vinaigrette Coleslaw.