The fourth Thursday of February is celebrated each year as National Chili Day. This year, that day falls on February 27. Let’s learn some more about this tasty national day.
Who doesn’t love bowl of spicy chili, simmering to the brim with chili peppers, meat and/or bean and a delicious blend of spices in a tasty tomato base?
Whether you like your chili with meat or with beans (or both), or if your preferences run to a white meat based dish, there is no doubt that chili is a popular dish.
There is even a whole month devoted to chili. National Chili Month is an annual holiday observed in October. This makes sense since it’s the beginning of the colder temperatures and chili is great to warm you up.
February is also the perfect month to celebrate National Chili Day. The temperatures are cold outside for most of us and nothing warms us up like a steaming hot bowl of chili.
We don’t stop with bowls of chili either. National Chili Dog Day is celebrated on the last Thursday in July.
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Fun facts about chili
If you love chili, you’ll be interested to learn these fun facts about the spicy dish.
- There are lots of ways to make chili, but traditionally, the recipe is a spicy mixture of hot chili peppers, tomatoes and either meat or beans. The dish is often thought of as a Mexican offering but other countries in the Spanish and Native American cultures actually influenced the recipe.
- As any chili fan will tell you, no two chili recipes are the same. Regional differences also influence the way it is made.
- Recipes for chili date back to the mid 1800s and likely originated from work class families. What’s Cooking America tells us that the first chili con carne recipe was made in 1731. Historians refer to it as a “spicy Spanish stew.”
- Chili cook offs are very popular with fans of the spicy dish and recipes are often kept secret. The first modern day chili cook-off was held in October 1952 at the Dallas State Fair.
- Texas style chili does not contain beans. Chile verde uses tomatillos and green chili peppers and white chili uses beans with either chicken or turkey.
- Chili con carne is the term for chili made with meat and chili sin carne is the term for a vegetarian chili. It often has corn and other vegetables.
- Legend has it that Spanish priests called the chili “the soup of the Devil” because they thought that chili peppers were an aphrodisiac.
- Even though many think of chile con carne as a Mexican dish, it is not actually found in many places in Mexico unless the place caters to tourists.
For another vegetable inspired national day, be sure to check out National Artichoke Hearts Day.
How to celebrate National Chili Day
There are lots of ways to celebrate this tasty national day. Why not try one of these ideas?
- Check out your local Mexican restaurants to see whether they are having specials to celebrate National Chili Day.
- Introduce your child to the idea of chili by reading them Armadilly Chili.
- Spread the word on social media by using the hashtag #nationalchiliday.
- Invite friends over for a chili cook-off party.
- Plant some chili peppers in your garden.
- Share the news about this national day on social media with the hashtag #NationalChiliDay and #chiliday. Here is a tweet to get you started:
Chili recipes for National Chili Day
What better way to celebrate than by trying out some different types of chili recipes. These delicious ideas feature all types of chili recipes. One is sure to become a favorite.
And if you need something extra to go along with your tasty chili recipe, be sure to check out National French Bread Day.
Other ways to use chili in recipes
We think of chili as a recipe that is stew or soup like and served in a bowl. But don’t stop there. There are lots of other ways to use the taste of chili in recipes. Here are some tasty ideas.
Some ideas are
- Serve your chili over a baked potato for a hearty and filling lunch time meal.
- Top your favorite hot dog recipe with a helping of your favorite chili.
- Mix some chili into your potato casserole for a super hearty and spicy side dish.
- Combine chili ingredients to take your “mac and cheese” up a spicy notch.
- Turn pasta into a Mexican flavored recipe by serving your favorite chili recipe on top of spaghetti.
- Stir chili into rice for a spicy side dish.
Toppings for chili recipes
Once you have a batch of chili made, you may want to top it with something to enhance the taste (or cool it down!) Why not try one of these toppings?
- Grated or shredded Cheese
- Avocado slices
- Cornbread pieces
- Spicy Crackers
- Jalapeño slices
- Diced Red onions
- Sliced Green Onions
- Tortilla chips cut into strips
- Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt
- Shredded Lettuce
- Sliced Olives
Pin this post on National Chili Day for later
Would you like a reminder of this post for National Chili Day? Just pin this image to one of your cooking boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.
More national food holidays
If you enjoyed this food holiday, be sure to also check out these national days that celebrate food.
- National Shortbread day – January 6
- National Spaghetti Day – January 4
- National Cherry Pie Day – February 20
- National Pasta Day – October 17
- National Shrimp Day – May 10
- National Tortilla Day – February 25
- National Homemade Soup Day – February 4
- Super Chicken Wing Day – celebrated on Super Bowl Sunday
- National Pork Rind Appreciation Day – a second national day celebrated on Super Bowl Sunday
There are almost 2000 national days to celebrate every year. Don’t miss a single one of them. Check back often to see which new national day we are celebrating this month.
And if you are a foodie, be sure to have a look at my list of national food days in February.