The fourth Thursday of February is celebrated each year as National Chili Day. This year, that day falls on February 28. 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 chile 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.
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.
Chili Recipes for National Chili Day
What better way to celebrate than by trying out a new 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 bowl of chili, be sure to check out National French Bread Day.
Savory Hearty White Bean Chili
A big helping bowl of this hearty bean chili always hits the spot. This savory white bean chili uses three different types of beans along with ground beef and spices for a filling bowl of goodness.Continue Reading
Steak Fajita Chili Recipe – (One Pot Gluten Free) Spicy Mexican Recipe
If you like an authentic Mexican taste, try this Steak Fajita Chili Recipe. It is made in one pot and is gluten free and tastes amazing. Top it with some avocado for a filling and delicious meal.Continue Reading
Keto Low Carb Chili Recipe - Crock Pot or Instant Pot (Paleo)
Following a Keto diet means that bean chili is off the menu. But that doesn't mean that you can't have a full bodied chili taste. This delicious recipe is Low carb and fits into the Paleo diet, too.Continue Reading
DIY Chili Seasoning
A good chili recipe start with the perfect blend of spices and herbs. This mixture uses pantry items to turn meat, beans and tomatoes into a spicy dish.Continue Reading
Mexican Chili Dip – A Crowd Pleaser
It is not just a bowl of meat, beans, spices and tomatoes that gets the term chili. All of these flavors come together for a party in this Mexican chili dip. Serve it with tortilla chips and watch it disappear!Continue Reading
5 Ingredient Instant Pot Chili - Easy Pressure Cooker Chili + Video
One of the draw backs of a chili recipe is that it can take a long time for flavors to develop. But get out the Instant Pot and you have a pressure cooker chili that is ready in less than an hour!Continue Reading
Don't forget Meatless Mondays! This vegan chili is a hearty meatless chili made with lentils. This chili is high in protein, fiber and taste!Continue Reading
Taco Chili - Grace and Good Eats
There is no need to dig out the taco shells in this spicy taco chili. It's a super easy freezer recipe, just throw in the crock pot when ready!Continue Reading
One Pot Chili Con Carne – Warm up with This Winter Comfort Food Recipe
One pot meals are a favorite of mine. Clean up is super easy. This hearty chili con carne has big, flavorful pieces of meat and a spicy sauce that your family will just love.Continue Reading
Ground Turkey Chili – Slow Cooker Comfort Food
Comfort food at it's best and made in the slow cooker for ease of cooking. Your house will smell amazing when you walk in the door and your family will ask for this recipe again and again!Continue Reading
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 it 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 Pasta Day – October 17
- National Shrimp Day – May 10
- National Tortilla Day – February 25
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. Check out this post to find out more National Days in February.