Chef John's Italian Sausage Chili Recipe -
Chef John's Italian Sausage Chili Recipe
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Chef John's Italian Sausage Chili
Put a tasty Italian twist on traditional American chili con carne. See more
  • READY IN ABOUT 2 hrs

Chef John's Italian Sausage Chili

Recipe by  

"I've added pork to ground beef in chili before, but I've never tried it with all Italian sausage, and I loved the results. We Italian'd this up even more with cannellini beans and a touch of basil, but other than that, it's a fairly classic chili. Garnish with sour cream, avocado, red onion, and basil."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr 30 mins

    1 hr 50 mins


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook and stir hot Italian sausage, mild Italian sausage, onion, and a pinch of salt together in the pot, breaking up sausage with a wooden spoon. Cook until sausage is browned and crumbly, and most of the liquid is evaporated, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir ancho chile powder, paprika, cumin, ground black pepper, chipotle chile powder, and oregano into sausage mixture; saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Pour water and tomato puree into sausage mixture, bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook on a steady simmer until sausage is tender, about 45 minutes. Add water as necessary and skim any fat that floats to the top.
  4. Stir cannellini beans, red bell pepper, and green bell pepper into sausage mixture. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
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Reviews More Reviews

Jan 02, 2015

I loved this recipe, and whats nice is we changed just a few things instead of a trip to the store and it turned out spectacular! I used all hot sausage, 1-28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, and white kidney beans. We enjoyed the incredible flavour! He was right, such a nice change from beef. Chef John won't steer you wrong! Best chili I have ever made.

Mar 30, 2015

This was amazing Chili. I used one can of canellini beans and 1 can of black beans. I couldn't find chipotle chile powder so I substituted one tablespoon of canned chipotle. Sprinkled fresh Cilantro on the top with shredded tex mex cheese, avacado and sour cream. Another HOME RUN for Chef John.


7 Ratings

Mar 23, 2014

I am usually not a chili fan, but I like this chili. Way better than the usual ground beef ones.

Feb 24, 2014

We really liked this - it does have a bit of a kick but the sour cream and avocado garnish help to tame it. I made this with Johnsonville All Natural sausage. I didn't have tomato puree so I used a can of diced tomatoes in sauce which worked great.

Jan 19, 2015

We changed this a bit; we had the sweet sausage, but substituted the spicy sausage for regular minced beef and it worked really well.

Jun 11, 2014

To cut down on the prep time, I sautéed the peppers in EVOO until softened, then added a spoonful of minced garlic to the peppers and cooked for an additional minute or so, & finally added the veggies to the sausage mixture. I let it cook for 15 mins instead of 30. No salt needed. This dish is really amazing the next day. WOW! I was surprised to see Italian sausage instead of the traditional meat found in chili however this was a great mix of flavors and a hit at my house. Another winner by Chef John. I am becoming a huge fan of his recipes. Thanks much!!!!


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  • Calories
  • 599 kcal
  • 30%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 31.4 g
  • 10%
  • Cholesterol
  • 88 mg
  • 29%
  • Fat
  • 37.7 g
  • 58%
  • Fiber
  • 7.6 g
  • 30%
  • Protein
  • 32.3 g
  • 65%
  • Sodium
  • 1879 mg
  • 75%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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