Spicy Southern Chili, served in Bread Bowls

It’s been years since I’ve had chili in a bread bowl. Maybe even a decade worth of years.  I’d forgotten how amazingly delicious the bottom of the bread bowl tastes, after it’s had time to soak up all the chili juices.

A perfect warm your tummy meal!

First up.

The Chili Bread Bowls

Made with, yes, chili powder in the dough!

The dough has a lovely orange tint.

On the second rise.

While those rise and then bake, it’s time to move to the chili…that is unless you started the chili earlier and it’s simmering away on your stove…sending it’s lovely aromas all through your home!

Next up.

The Spicy Southern Chili

Starlets #1 and #2.

Hunts Stewed tomatoes.

Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies.

Starlets #3 – #214. (Okay, maybe not that many.)

Pinto beans. (Cooked from scratch.)

It’s how they do chili in the south. With pinto beans.  (At least that’s how they do it in the part of the south where I come from.)

And when we put it all together and…

Nummy. Num. Nom. Nom. Num. Nom. Num.

(sung to the tune of a fun little jig!)

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Spicy Southern Chili, served in Bread Bowls


Bread Bowl Dough

  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($.10)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour ($.60)
  • 1 packet active dry yeast ($.25)
  • 1 tsp sugar ($.01)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder ($.05)


  • 1.25 lb ground chuck ($2.45)
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped ($.20)
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed ($.10)
  • 1 15 oz can Hunts stewed tomatoes ($.16)
  • 1 10 oz can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies ($.16)
  • About 2 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans ($.40)
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder ($.10)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional Toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, scallions ($.50-$1)


  • Place the ingredients in the order listed into the bread machine and run the dough cycle.  When finished, lightly knead the dough on a clean and floured surface.  Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and form into the shape of a ball.  Let rise for about 30 minutes in a warm place.  Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.  Let cool slightly before cutting the tops out with a bread knife.
  • In a large saucepan, brown the ground beef with the red onion and garlic.  Drain and return to the pan.  Add the stewed tomatoes, and Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, pinto beans and chili powder.  Let simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve Spicy Southern Chili in Bread Bowls.

Cost $5.08

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  1. Annie says

    Can you make this without beans? My hubby would eat chili, but HATES beans… I would love to try this, but would it be disasterous without the pinto beans?

    • Candra says

      You certainly can make chili without beans, either increase the amount of ground beef or decrease the amount of liquid.

  2. Wendy says

    I like pintos, although I’ve never used them in chili. We use kidney beans, but have also used navy beans with no change in taste. Black beans would also be good (WITH other beans, I think, rather than alone). Since we eat our chili in bowls, I might do this the next time we make some.

  3. Jessica says

    Erin – I wanted to thank you so very much. I stumbled upon your first book at the library a few months back and decided to get serious about reducing our grocery bill and menu planning in 2011. Our grocery bill was always at least $600/month! I’ve set an initial budget of $400/month and spent January organizing my new coupon binder and trying to figure out when sale prices are really worth it. So today was my first big test – I ended up buying $93 in groceries but brought it down to $64 with coupons!! I was doing a little happy dance at the register! That is over $80 in savings this week ALONE!!! I bought boxes and boxes of veggie and whole wheat pasta for 29 cents!!!

    Thank you, Thank, you, Thank you!!!

    I’d love to try some of the bread recipes, but don’t have a bread machine. With 2 little ones I’m not sure the “by-hand method” is gonna work out. Can I use my mixer instead? Do I just mix and let rise in there? covered?

    If I need a bread machine, what kind of bread machine do you have? I am researching them now and am not sure what kind of basic functions I’ll need to do this recipe as well as several of the others – hello, pizza dough!

    Also – for Ohio fans, Drug Mart is having a sale on Reiter’s milk -$1.39 for half gallon white and $1.99 for chocolate. There were $1.00 off coupons in the paper last week – $1.00 off tqo 1/2 gallons of white or $1.00 off 1/2 of chocolate.

  4. says

    We made this last night and it’s wonderful! :) We added a green bell pepper…because we just love them in everything really haha! :) Also, I don’t have a bread machine, so I took your ingredients and incorporated them into a bread recipe. Here’s a link to my blog post where I linked back to you and shared my version of the bread recipe minus bread machine! :) http://wendyandadam.blogspot.com/2011/03/chili-in-breadbowl.html

    Thanks so much again, this was absolutely delicious!!! :)

  5. Robyn says

    LOVE this recipe! We have been making it at least once a month since we found this recipe last February. Thank you!!!

  6. Stephanie says

    I don’t have a bread machine, but have been looking. What features/brands do you recommend?
    Thanks for your blog!

  7. Barbara Bradshaw says

    Before you spend too much money on a bread machine, check your local Goodwill stores to see if they have one. I bought a brand n.ew one there at a steal! I did the same when buying my juicer


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