Game Day Foods – The Ultimate Chili Bar

Score a touchdown with the ultimate chili buffet. My fall Sundays usually revolve around football and I am always thinking of fun ways to step up my hosting game.
Game Day Foods – The Ultimate Chili Bar

What I really like about setting up a chili station is that you can go a little crazy with the toppings and your guests will enjoy customizing to their exact taste preference.

Chili comes in many forms, colors, heat levels and flavors. It’s great for parties because it’s the kind of food that tastes best re-heated. Make your favorite chili recipe, or try one of these; Food&Wine’s Pinto Bean Chili, Smitten Kitchen’s Red Bean Chili, Lesley’s Green Chili, or this fall inspired Butternut Squash & Chipotle Chili.

To create your ultimate chili station:

  1. Start with small cans of various shapes, remove the labels if you wish, and clean the cans thoroughly.FootballFood20
  2. Fold a large piece of construction paper (ideally in your favorite team’s colors) in half length wise. Draw triangles along the seam. These will be your labels/ flags.
  3. Cut them out so you have a mirror image of your triangle.FootballFood21
  4. Fold the triangle around a toothpick or bamboo skewer and glue the sides together.FootballFood22
  5. Prep your different toppings and place them in cans.
  6. Label the toppings, put out bowls & utensils.FootballFood23



For our toppings we used:

  • Tortilla Chips
  • Sour Cream
  • Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Chopped Tomatoes
  • Corn Salsa*
  • Guacamole
  • Green Salsa*
  • Salsa
  • Hot Sauce
  • Chopped Avocado
  • Cilantro Leaves
  • Limes
  • Shredded Pepper Jack¬† Cheese

Other fun toppings might be – chipotles, jalapenos, corn bread, Plantains, bacon, radishes, and many many more.

*Corn Salsa Recipe:

In a bowl toss together corn (from 2 roasted ears of corn), 1 chopped red bell pepper, 1/2 a jalapeno diced (optional), 1/2 a diced red onion, a few leaves of cilantro, the juice and zest of 1 lime and salt and pepper to taste. Allow to rest for at least 20 minutes so the flavors combine.

*Spicy Green Salsa

In a food processor, blend 4-6 tomatillos, 1 serrano  chile, 1/2 a small white onion, a few leaves of parsley or cilantro, the juice of 1 lime, 1/4 tsp. of sugar, and salt. Pulse until you get a nice smooth consistency.