A Super Bowl of Chili

By Elizabeth Czajkowski Here's the recipe you need to snack your way through the NFL championship and settle back into campus.

Elizabeth Czajkowski's Chili. Photo: Elizabeth Czajkowski.

This weekend many students will pack their bags, hop on planes and drive down the road as our paths once again converge at Wheaton College. It is fitting that our return to the Wheaton community falls on a day that Americans have been gathering with friends and family for the past 54 years—Super Bowl Sunday. 


At its birth in 1967, “The Big Game” was a relatively modest affair with ticket prices averaging $12 with local high school and college marching bands featured at half time. Yet, over the years, this sports match has transformed into a lavish, widely celebrated event that has become an iconic symbol of American culture. Fans are no longer “in it” merely for the football, but also for the extravagant halftime show, the much-anticipated commercials and, of course, the Super Bowl party food. 


In fact, this unofficial holiday has come to be known as one of the biggest eating days in America, second only to Thanksgiving. It is estimated that Americans consume around 1.4 billion chicken wings and 28 million pounds of potato chips on Super Bowl Sunday.


This year’s face-off between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will look much different from Super Bowls in the past. Because of Covid, Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. will only be filled to 30% capacity and most people will not be getting together with friends for large Super Bowl parties. However, Super Bowl LV will also feature some positive changes. Health care workers will be honored with free tickets, and Sarah Thomas will become the first female in history to referee the NFL’s title game.


Despite the negative impacts of the pandemic, the spirit of the Super Bowl tradition remains, inviting us, this Sunday, to gather with our roommates and share laughs, conversation and good food. While traditionally, on this day, many indulge in a variety of common Super Bowl foods such as wings, sliders, chips and dips, this year it might be nice to change things up by having a more college-friendly dish that you can easily throw together and simmer on the stove while you unpack and settle back into campus. And, what better way to spend your first few days on campus as you isolate after your Covid test than to gather round a good ‘ole pot of Classic Super Bowl Chili with your roommates? 


This recipe is not only easy and delicious but will also offer ample leftovers to reheat for a quick dinner during the week.

Suggestions Before Starting:

I personally like my chili with elbow macaroni (Cook noodles separately, drain and then add a few TBSP of butter to keep from sticking). However, you can also have it with Tom Tom Tamales (in the freezer section of the grocery store), oyster crackers, rice, or Fritos corn chips! 


Some optional toppings include: shredded Mexican or cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, or sliced jalapeno.


If you’re looking for a yummy side dish to accompany your chili, cornbread is a perfect complement. My family’s favorite is Simply Homemade Cornbread baking mix by Fleischmann’s—it’s really good and easy to make.


3 lbs. ground chuck

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 medium/large onion, diced

1 package of Lawry’s Chili Spices & Seasoning Mix

1 cup of water

2 – 15 oz. cans of tomato sauce

16 oz. can of Bush’s Chili Beans in Mild Chili Sauce

16 oz. can of Bush’s Dark Red Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained

  1. Brown the ground chuck in a large skillet along with the garlic and onion.
  2. When the meat is browned, drain any liquid and transfer cooked meat to a large stock pot.
  3. Add in the remaining ingredients.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and
  6.  simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Serve and Enjoy!


Whether you are a football fan or not, I hope that this simple meal will provide you with an opportunity to gather together, experience community and remember God’s good blessings in our lives.


 “They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity — all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people.” ~ Acts 2:46-47 NLT



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