Gameday Tailgater Chili with Cheese Balls

The classic cold weather meal gets a game day makeover in this tailgater-friendly rendering of the quintessential chili. Soupy and sustaining meat with beer, beans, and peppers will have you warmed right to the bone.  Oh yeah, and there are cheese balls too.


This wasn’t the chili I had intended to make, as we are holed up in the kitchen and most certainly not tailgating (by the way it’s Thursday). I had been in the middle to creating a different chili when I realized I was missing a key ingredient.  I pretty much freaked out and began to throw random edibles into the pot.  I hope the end result is better than that of last night’s freak out, which culminated in a badly twisted ankle.




½ lb ground beef

¾ C diced sweet red pepper

1 C vegetable juice

1 C beer

1 T chili powder

½ t celery salt

½ t garlic powder

1 T diced dried onion

½ t cumin

1 C diced fresh tomato

½ C pickled banana peppers, diced

1 can pinto beans drained




  1. Brown ground beef and drain.
  2. Add red pepper, vegetable juice, beer, and seasonings. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add remaining ingredients (except the cheese balls) and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Ladle into bowls and top with cheese balls.


Gameday Tailgater Chili with Cheese Balls

Gameday Tailgater Chili with Cheese Balls

Tasting Notes:


This would make excellent tailgater fare. The recipe’s inclusion of beer and snack food all but cinches it.  The chili turned out quite well, possibly even better that the dish I had wanted to make.  Panic works, sometimes……I guess.

The ITP liked it very much, no doubt because they were afforded the opportunity to eat limitless cheeseballs. The flavor profile included hints of beer, beef, and tomato.  The pickled peppers provided a punchy little zip.  The chili provided great enjoyment- far more pleasure than I will derive from running my sprained ankle tonight.

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5 Responses to Gameday Tailgater Chili with Cheese Balls

  1. Hey, this looks like the best use of cheeseballs, ever – and no orange fingers…Genius!

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