There’s nothing quite like curling up with a steaming bowl of chili on a rainy day to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. But even when it’s not cold and dreary outside, a big pot of chili is the ultimate lazygirl option for a busy week. We all wish we could come home to a hearty meal ready and waiting for us, but let’s be real, most of us don’t have that option. The best thing about this one-pot meal is that you throw everything in the crock pot so dinner is waiting when you get home, or prep a batch on Sunday and have lunch all week. Score! Not feeling the chili-vibe? You’re grandma’s chili recipes are great, but sometimes it’s nice to switch it up with something a little out of the box (can you say chocolate chili?). However you choose to prepare it, these 16 unique chili recipes will comfort you on even the rainiest of days.


1. Bacon Bison Beer Chili: Using lean bison is a great way to cut some of the fat from your chili while adding a unique flavor that partners well with smoky bacon. Try a medium-bodied beer like a lager to deglaze the pan and infuse a crisp tartness. (via A Healthy Life For Me)


2. Bean + Buckwheat Chili With Dark Chocolate: The fact that this chili is vegetarian can be your little secret. The texture of buckwheat slightly resembles that of ground meat so even the most carnivorous will be fooled. They’re also going to be shocked to find out that there’s half a bar of dark chocolate lingering in their midst. You can’t taste it, but it adds just that little something extra. (via Heavenlynn Healthy)


3. Slow Cooker Black Bean, Butternut Squash + Quinoa Chili: The only thing better than a warm bowl of chili is having some ready and waiting for you in the slow cooker. This stick-to-your-ribs vegan chili has a slightly smoky flavor from chipotle peppers and smoked paprika. Top with vegan sour cream for an extra luxurious feel. (via The Full Helping)


4. Easy Black Lentil Chili: Lentils go from drab to fab in this simple chili recipe. The flavor only gets better with time, so if you make a big batch at the beginning of the week, you can dine on chili for days! Plus, it freezes beautifully so you can even enjoy it way down the road. (via Turnip the Oven)


5. Chili Con Carne: The longer you let this chili simmer, the more flavorful it will get. You want the consistency to be very thick and not soupy at all. Serve with a bunch of toppings like shredded cheddar and avocado so that everyone can customize their bowl. (via What’s Gaby Cooking)


6. Chorizo Sweet Potato Chili: This paleo-friendly chili is ready-to-eat in under 30 minutes, making it absolutely ideal for those nights you need dinner on the table quickly. Try chopping your vegetables ahead of time and you’ll get it done even faster. (via The Paleo Running Momma)


7. Cincinnati Turkey Chili Spaghetti Squash Bowls: Cincinnati chili is known for being piled on top of noodles. Since you’re always looking for new ways to use spaghetti squash, it only makes sense to do the same with the tender strands of squash “noodles”. Your family will love the fun presentation and you’ll love that everyone is getting a ton of veggies. (via Whole and Heavenly Oven)

mole chicken chili

8. Mole Chicken Chili: You’ll have to try this chili to understand how so much flavor can be crammed into one bowl. But don’t be afraid when you see ingredients like cinnamon, dark chocolate and almond butter! When they’re mixed with all of the other spices, they create a luscious sauce worth nomming on. (via Whole Bite Blog)


9. Pork Chili With Bok Choy: This unique Chinese take on chili is a great way to use up some of your pantry items that usually go untouched. From turmeric to Chinese herbs, the healthiness of this chili is *almost* as enticing as the aroma it will fill your house with. (via There’s a Cook in My Kitchen)

salsa verde chicken chili

10. Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Chickpea Chili: If your family isn’t a fan of quinoa but you’re itching to add that extra bit of protein and fiber to their diet, this chili is the dish that will convert them. When you slow cook the quinoa all day with the chicken and spices, it takes on their flavors and that’s all they’ll be able to taste. (via Ambitious Kitchen)

short rib chili

11. Short Rib Black Bean Chili: Wrap your hands around this bowl of chili and let the warmth sink in. Using short ribs as your protein adds tons of extra richness to the dish because of the slow cooked bones. With its mild spiciness, this is the ultimate comfort for a leisurely rainy Saturday in. (via The Gourmet Gourmand)


12. Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili: Light and creamy doesn’t even begin to describe this chili. The exquisite texture of the soup is thanks to the cream cheese that’s added right at the end. Topping with ripe avocado is an absolute must. (via Creme de la Crumb)

Two bowls of sweet potato and corn chocolate chili are photographed from the top.

13. Spicy Vegan Chocolate Chili: This chili is *slightly* sweet, but not from the chocolate as you may assume. The chocolate is actually unsweetened cocoa powder and the hint of sweetness comes from sweet potatoes and maple syrup. The hefty spice throughout will make you thankful for that extra bit of sugar. (via Foolproof Living)


14. Sweet + Smoky Bacon Chili: Not only does this chili pack some unusual health-boosting add-ins, but it’s full of amazing smoky flavor from bacon and chipotle powder. It’s simmered in trendy bone broth which is know for its amazing health properties. Top with julienned radish and olives for even more pizzazz. (via The Feisty Kitchen)

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15. Vegetarian Chili With Bourbon: There’s an age-old noodle debate in the chili community. Either you’re team noodles or team no noodles. If you’re a fan of noodles in your chili, try using a spiralizer to make hearty sweet potato noodles that instantly increase the nutritional content. Also: BOURBON. (via My Modern Cookery)


16. Warm Kale + Barley Chili: So, you got a little over-excited at the farmers market and came home with five pounds of kale. The clear solution to this is to make a big pot of chili that’s teeming with kale. Add in a little barley to make it more filling and you’ve got yourself a quick and easy kitchen sink chili. (via Brick and Nosh)

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