December 09, 2018

The Ultimate Chili Bar

The Ultimate Chili Bar features a spicy chili and all the toppings including shredded cheese, onions, jalapenos, hot sauce, corn chips, and sour cream.
Spicy Turkey Chili
At least a couple of times a year, I enjoy making a huge pot of chili for my family. When hosting a party, it is a perfect dish to serve. In fact, one Christmas, we had a chili party with a few different kinds of chili and lots of toppings. For this chili bar, I made a spicy turkey chili with all the toppings that you're going to love.

Ultimate Chili Bar
For Oliver's first birthday party, we had a make-your-own chili bar. Our guests really loved it! I was so happy with my decision to make it for Oliver's party. One thing that I learned was that I did not need 4 slow cookers full of chili. I needed one. We ate chili for forever in April! Good thing that it freezes really well.

Spicy chili
To be honest, it is hard for me to share my chili recipe because it changes every single time. I think that chili can be made with whatever you have on hand and doesn't need to be exactly the same. I make chili with either ground turkey, beef, venison or even vegetarian depending on what I have stocked in my freezer or feel like eating.

Chili Bar Ingredients

How to Make The Ultimate Chili Bar

I make spicy chili with all different vegetables depending on what I need to use up. The constant vegetables are pretty much always onions, carrots and celery. Zucchini, summer squash, sweet potatoes and squash also work really well in chili. I also use different tomato products such as tomato puree from my garden which I freeze each year, no-salt added tomatoes, tomato puree or even fresh tomatoes.

Growing up, my dad was always the chili maker. We ate it often and he actually just made us some a couple of weeks ago. We never ate toppings on our chili so that is new to me. When I met Troy, he was totally obsessed with a chili toppings bar so now when I make chili, I always set out a bunch of toppings and my husband is thrilled.

Spicy chili
For this chili bar, I decided to make a spicy turkey chili and it came out awesome! I made a huge pot of it to take over to our cousin's house. When you're making chili, feel free to make it in quantity and freeze some. I freeze mine in mason jars and just make sure to leave some room at the top since the soup will expand when it freezes. I love pulling out quart jars full of chili during a busy week and having dinner ready to go in no time.

What toppings are good on chili?

Toppings make chili SO much more delicious than chili just on its own. The topping options are endless! Some delicious chili toppings are onions, cheese, corn chips, jalapenos and more! Read below for a more extensive chili toppings list.

What are the best toppings for chili?

  • Diced red onion
  • Chopped avocado
  • Shredded yellow cheddar
  • Shredded white cheddar
  • Diced green onion
  • Corn chips
  • Cornbread
  • Cilantro
  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • Any flavor of hot sauce
  • Sliced jalapenos 

How to Freeze Chili

I like making a double batch of chili and freezing some for later in Ziploc bags. It lasts about 6 months in the freezer. To defrost, place the bag of chili in a pot a day ahead of time to thaw. Reheat the chili on the stove.

Ultimate chili bar toppings
This chili has a little bit of spice and a lot of tomato flavor which I really enjoyed. I chose ground turkey because that is what I had on hand. Feel free to swap it for any ground meat you prefer.

What kind of cheese goes well with chili?

Any kind of shredded cheese would be good on chili but my favorite is definitely shredded sharp cheddar cheese. White cheddar, mozzarella, smoked gouda, and pepper jack cheese are other great toppings for chili.

Up close photo of chili

The Ultimate Chili Bar

The Ultimate Chili Bar features a spicy turkey chili and all the toppings including shredded cheese, red onions, jalapenos, hot sauce, corn chips, sour cream and green onions. Perfect for entertaining and easy to make in large quantities.
Yield: serves a crowd- at least 12 servings 

The Ultimate Chili Bar: Spicy Turkey Chili

The Ultimate Chili Bar features a spicy turkey chili and all the toppings including shredded cheese, jalapenos, hot sauce, corn chips, and sour cream. Perfect for entertaining and easy to make in large quantities.
Prep Time:  10 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes Total time: 35 mins



  1. In a large nonstick pan, cook ground turkey while breaking up until no longer pink.
  2. In a large pot, heat olive oil and cook the carrots, celery and onion until soft, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the turkey into vegetables and add in tomatoes, tomato puree, kidney beans and all spices.
  4. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. Place any toppings you want in bowls to serve.
  5. Enjoy!
*This chili freezes really well in bags or mason jars.
**If not serving a crowd, you can easily cut this recipe in half.

Like this recipe? Check out other soup recipes:

Ultimate Spicy Turkey Chili Bar
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  1. I love it. I now know that I was thinking right about what to put on a chili bar. I would also put ketchup & a regular hot sauce everything else is right on.


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