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Bread Bowl Chili

Serve bread bowl chili for your next game-day meal. This (no-beans) hearty chili cooks quickly and makes a delicious meal in scooped-out sourdough bread rounds. Add sour cream football laces for a theme look. 

Serve a Classic

On a cold fall or winter game day, try serving a hearty chili meal for game-watching. This classic chili recipe makes about six servings and is more filling when you eat the bread bowl. It can be made ahead of time and stored for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Bread Bowl Chili

Quick-Cooking Bread Bowl Chili

This chili cooks in about 20-30 minutes on the stovetop but can be simmered longer if you add extra stock or broth. You can also cook this chili in a slow cooker, and I’ve included instructions in the recipe notes for that cooking method.

Bread Bowl Chili

Ingredient List for Bread Bowl Chili

This recipe has several spices that help give this chili a complex flavor. There are no beans in this chili, but you can add a can of kidney or black beans if you desire, or click here to see my Classic Chili recipe with beans. To eliminate some calories, use a lower fat content ground beef such as ground sirloin or ground round. However, if you use beef with a higher fat content, spoon the extra fat off after it is cooked. For variety, mix plain ground pork with beef or use a combination of ground chuck and ground sirloin beef for extra flavor and texture.

Bread Bowl Chili

Steps to Making Bread Bowl Chili

Follow these steps to make chili with bread bowls.

Bread Bowls

Use dense bread such as sourdough for the bowls. Soft bread doesn’t hold up well with wet chili and should be avoided. Panera sells bread for making bowls and it can be purchased in grocery stores.

Preparing the Bread Bowls

Cut a circle on the top of the bread. Then, cut underneath the circle and lift off the cutout. Use a spoon to hollow out the bread to make a bowl.

Bread Bowl Chili

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Bread Bowl Chili

Bread Bowl Chili

Classic chili with ground beef, spices, tomatoes, sour cream, and cheese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 516 kcal


  • 1 resealable plastic bag


  • 1.5 pounds ground beef (or a combination of pork and beef)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • (1) 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • (1) 4-ounce can diced green chiles
  • (1) 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 3 cups beef or chicken stock (broth may be substituted)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Extra salt and pepper for taste
  • sour dough bread bowls (or use another dense, sturdy bread that can be used as a bread bowl)
Football Laces
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons cream (or milk)


  • Brown the beef and then add onions, peppers, and garlic and cook until onion wilts and any vegetable water cooks off.
  • Add chili powder, cumin, hot sauce, cayenne, paprika, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire and stir.
  • Add the tomatoes, green chiles, tomato sauce, and stock. Stir. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes; stir in the sour cream. Then, add the cheese, saving a little to use as garnish. Stir until the cheese melts. Add additional salt and pepper to taste if desired.
  • Cut a circle into the top of each bread bowl, and then cut underneath the circle to detach the cutout. Use a spoon to remove extra bread to form a bowl in the bread. Add chili to the bowls immediately before serving them so the bread does not become soggy.
Football Laces
  • Mix the sour cream and cream together. Place the mixture into a resealable plastic bag and snip off one bottom corner of the bag, big enough to pipe the football laces. Start by piping a straight line down the center of the chili. Cross the straight line with 3 or 4 shorter lines (as shown in the photos) to form football lacing.


Slow Cooker Option

  1. Brown the beef in a skillet (or in a slow cooker if it can saute), add the onions, peppers, and garlic, and cook until the onion wilts and any vegetable water cooks off.
  2. Add the beef mixture to the slow cooker.
  3. Then add all of the rest of the ingredients except the cheese and sour cream.
  4. Cook on low for 4-5 hours.
  5. Stir in the cheese and sour cream after cooking is complete.

Ground Beef

Use low-fat beef such as ground round or sirloin to reduce calories and fat. Or spoon off extra fat when using higher-fat beef. Other alternatives include using a plain ground pork and beef mixture or a half-ground chuck and half-ground sirloin for great flavor and texture.


A serving is one bread bowl filled with chili.


Calories: 516kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 30gFat: 40gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 129mgSodium: 858mgPotassium: 779mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 2016IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 288mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Chili, Classic Beef Chili
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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