Th Pepperoni Pizza Chili is the stuff dreams are made of packed with ground beef, sausage, garlic, beans, and marinara sauce for only 329 calories.
Pepperoni Pizza Chili is the perfect marriage of two of the country's favorite comfort foods.
Who doesn't love a warm, melty slice of pepperoni pizza? I've been a big fan of pizza for my whole life, though as I have made changes to work towards a healthier lifestyle I have had to reduce my pizza consumption. Sad times!
One day I got a recipe for pepperoni pizza chili in my inbox. It sounded delicious, and I knew I wanted to give it a whirl. I took some liberties with the recipe and made a couple of easy changes to lighten it up without sacrificing any deliciousness. I was able to shave off over 100 calories by making simple adjustments to the recipe, like subbing in 95% lean ground beef, turkey sausage, and turkey pepperoni. You can even sneak in a little extra goodness and protein by adding some chopped up mushrooms with the meat.
While the original recipe was created for the stove top, I have included a slow cooker version for you as well. It's perfect for those busy weekdays, and the leftovers will make for a tasty lunch the next day. I hope you enjoy this warm and comforting Pepperoni Pizza Chili, it's the perfect blend of two classic comfort foods!
How to Cook Pepperoni Pizza Chili
If you want to make this on the stovetop you are going to need a large soup pot or a dutch oven.
In that, you'll start by cooking the beef, sausage, onion, peppers, and garlic until the meat is brown all the way through. If a lot of liquid has built up feel free to drain it, or you can leave it if you like.
Stir in the beans, salsa, pizza sauce, pepperoni, chili powder, oregano, salt, pepper, and water. Give it all a good stir so everything is well mixed together then bring it to a boil. Once the chili mix has started boiling, lower the temperature and cover it. Stir it every few minutes just to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Finally, after about 20 minutes, your chili is ready to serve. Be sure to sprinkle some cheese on top as you dish it up.
Slow Cooker Directions
Brown your meat just like you did for cooking it on the stovetop and cook the onion, pepper, and garlic along with it. This will help give your meat a better texture when it cooks. Then combine everything in the slow cooker and put it on low for 4-6 hours. If you want to make it a bit faster set it to high for 3-4 hours.
Instant Pot Directions
Brown the ground beef in the Instant Pot using the Saute feature. Add the onions, peppers, and garlic and cook for a few minutes until softened. Then add the remaining ingredients and cook on Manual for 30 minutes to deepen and combine the flavors.
How to Serve Pizza Chili
While you certainly could just dish up your chili in a bowl, there are a few other ways you could serve it instead.
Some might have you raising your eyebrow and some might have you shaking your head, depending on how much of a chili purist you are.
- Garlic Bread Bowl: Sticking with the pizza theme you could hollow out a bread loaf and brush garlic butter all over it before dropping the chili inside the middle. Use the bread you have left from the loaf to dip into the chili.
- Over Spaghetti: In Cincinnati chili is served over spaghetti and it works amazingly with pizza chili as it transforms the dish and brings it back to pizza's roots in Italy. This also works wonderfully with zoodles and spaghetti squash.
- Over Rice: This is a popular way to serve chili in a lot of places, including in President Obama's White House, and in Europe. It does help to stretch the chili further if you don't make a whole lot of it or you have a lot of mouths to feed; I'll be honest, though – this isn't my favorite way to eat chili of any kind.
- On Baked Tortilla Chips: If you've never made nachos with chili then can you really say you've been living your best life? All kidding aside, putting your pizza chili on tortilla chips and then covering it in cheese has long been one of my favorite ways to enjoy leftover chili. But who says it has to be just for leftovers?
Other Pizza Chili Flavors
Pepperoni is a great flavor but by no means, the only flavor you can give your pizza chili. Here are a few more ideas if you want to experiment.
- BBQ Sauce and Chicken: Swap out the beef and some of the pizza sauce for chicken and BBQ sauce instead.
- Black Olives, Mushrooms, and Spinach: Leave out the pepperoni and add some olives, mushrooms, and spinach instead.
- Buffalo Chicken: Chicken, buffalo sauce, onion, blue cheese, and a squirt of ranch dressing topped with bacon.
- Hawaiian: Yes, I'm talking about putting pineapple in chili. No, I don't know if it works, I'm honestly too scared to try. But if you do… let me know?
Can You Freeze It?
One of the things I love most about chili is that it is incredibly easy to freeze and have later. Store it in an airtight container like a freezer bag or a plastic food storage container. I like to put it in single serving sizes that way if I want to grab some for a quick lunch I'm not heating up all of the chili I have. If I have any freezer bags on hand then I will use those to store my chili. If you lay it flat in the freezer, then you'll have a thin flat(ish) layer of chili in a bag that you can stack up next to another frozen chili like they're books on a bookshelf.
Your chili will be good in the freezer for about 4-5 months before it will start to suffer from freezer burn.
Other Chili Recipes
Pepperoni Pizza Chili (Stove Top or Slow Cooker)
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- 1 pound 95% lean ground beef
- 1/2 pound hot Italian style turkey sausage
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (I use jarred)
- 16 oz. canned hot chili beans, undrained
- 8 oz. salsa
- 8 oz. marinara sauce
- 4 ounces sliced turkey pepperoni, sliced in half
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon chili powder (or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 6 tablespoons shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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