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Contest-Winning Pepperoni Pizza Chili

Pizza and chili together—what could be better? Fill folks up at halftime when you set out bowls of this chili. —Jennifer Gelormino, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 30 min.
  • Makes
    12 servings (3 quarts)


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) salsa
  • 1 can (16 ounces) hot chili beans, undrained
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (12 ounces) pizza sauce
  • 1 package (8 ounces) sliced pepperoni, halved
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


  • In a Dutch oven, cook the beef, sausage, onion, green pepper and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
  • Stir in the salsa, beans, pizza sauce, pepperoni, water, chili powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until heated through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle servings with cheese.
    Freeze option: Before adding cheese, cool chili. Freeze chili in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if necessary. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup chili with 1/4 cup cheese: 464 calories, 28g fat (11g saturated fat), 94mg cholesterol, 1240mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 5g fiber), 33g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Kendra
    Jan 30, 2020

    I won my office’s chili cook off with this recipe! I opted to skip the beans (because I knew most here didn’t care for beans). I added a little more pepperoni (about 2 oz) and a cup of water to make up for the missed liquid from the beans. Also topped it off with crushed red pepper flakes. Winner winner!!

  • SusanB1965
    Nov 11, 2019

    I doubled the recipe to have enough for the family and a pitch-in at work. I used regular Italian sausage, rather than hot, as I didn't want it to be too spicy. It was pretty thick, so I thinned it with a small can of tomato paste, plus 3 cans of water. And a small can of low sodium V8 juice. And a can of hot diced tomatoes. It was pretty perfect then - not at all soupy. The family and coworkers all enjoyed it. I'll definitely make this recipe again. Stirring in the mozzarella cheese when time to eat made it perfect!

  • Christine
    Oct 6, 2019

    I’ve won 3 chili cook offs with this recipe! It’s an immediate hit and different from all the rest. If you love pizza then you will love this recipe!

  • jkharrison
    Mar 9, 2019

    No comment left

  • Jenny TePoel
    Feb 3, 2018

    Really Good! I just didn’t do the “hot” , and I threw it all in the crockpot....will definitely be making it again. Everyone really liked it.

  • JoanieK53
    Sep 19, 2017

    Very good. Best Chili recipe I've made so far. Cut up the pepperoni slices. Omitted the salt . Salty enough without it.

  • Emiie
    Jul 17, 2017

    This was a very good chili, though I omit the sausage.

  • greatwithoutgluten
    Mar 26, 2017

    This was really good! So much flavor and easy to make too! This is going to be our new chili recipe!

  • Anniepants
    Mar 9, 2017

    I made this for the chili cook-off at work and it won first place! I bought an 8 oz. hunk of pepperoni from the deli and diced it up. Much preferred the texture of cubed pepperoni in place of slices. I did not find this chili to be overly greasy at all and did not precook the pepperoni or drain the sausage. I think the bit of grease in the pan is a big part of the flavor as everything cooks together. Made it on a Sunday and stuck it in the fridge for two days to let the flavors meld. I heated it back up in a crock pot on high for 3 hours. I added generous amounts of black pepper for extra flavor and spice. Topped it with mozzarella. Definitely a winner!

  • ambkab1202
    Jan 5, 2017

    This was easy and delicious. I left out the salt and was still very good.