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Italian sausage chili is warm and hearty with a spicy kick. Cozy up with a big bowl of this comfort food on a cold evening. Your family will love this easy recipe!
Featured with this recipe
- Creamy Italian Sausage Chili Ingredients
- How to Make Easy Italian Sausage Chili
- Tips for Making the Best Italian Sausage Chili
- What to Serve with Homemade Italian Sausage Chili
- More Methods of Cooking Italian Sausage Chili
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Storing and Making Ahead
- More Chili Recipes
- How to Make Italian Sausage Chili
- Italian Sausage Chili Recipe
This award-winning creamy Italian sausage chili is a recipe that has won chili cook-off after chili cook-off! It is rich, thick, creamy, and so flavorful. Every year this sausage chili continues to win award after award for being the best chili recipe. Take this to your next chili cook-off or enjoy it with family and friends to be the winner around the table!
Chili recipes are easy to come by but a good, rich, and creamy recipe is just what you need to satisfy kids to adults. This is the perfect blend of sweet and savory in a chili, plus there are no onions! Let the cooking begin with this amazingly delicious Italian sausage chili recipe!
Creamy Italian Sausage Chili Ingredients
Don’t be alarmed by the number of ingredients this chili recipe has! It is by far the best recipe and all the seasonings and spices are pantry staples that mix together perfectly. Combined it is the perfect combination!
- Italian sausage – Cook up the sausage and crumble before adding it to the soup. Create mini-round balls similar to meatballs to add to the soup once cooked.
- Olive oil – Saute the sausage in the skillet with the oil. Adds flavor and brings out a crispy outer layer while keeping the inside of the sausage tender and juicy.
- Garlic – A flavor booster for sure! Garlic is always a great add-in to any soup and most dishes.
- Chicken broth – Helps soothe the body with hydration and nutrients when added to soups. This is a great way to add in liquid with lots of flavor and deliciousness.
- Seasonings – Chili powder, paprika, oregano, cumin, and parsley are a great blend of sweet and savory with a hint of spice mixed together.
- Diced tomatoes – Canned diced tomatoes work perfectly. Simply open the can and drain then dump it into the large pot.
- Tomato juice – Adds, of course, a tomato flavor but also gives it more liquid and coloring to the chili.
- Red wine vinegar – It may sound funny to add red wine vinegar but this is a booster or flavor enhancer to many types of soups.
- Beans – Black beans, pinto beans, cannellini beans, and kidney beans can all be drained and rinsed if desired, or dump and go!
- Cream cheese – For the base and creamy deliciousness, cream cheese is slowly melted into the chili for that beautiful coloring and taste!
How to Make Easy Italian Sausage Chili
This creamy chili is perfect for fall. It is quick and easy to throw all the ingredients in the slow cooker and let the spices and flavors cook during the day so it is ready to go at dinner time. Control the heat by using more or less spices to mild it down but we like it with a little bit of heat.
- Saute – Brown the sausage in a frying pan on the stove top.
- Boil – In a large pot cook the garlic in the olive oil until it is golden. Then add the broth, spices, tomatoes, tomato juice, and vinegar. Stir well and bring to a boil.
- Simmer – When the sausage is browned, place it over some folded paper towels to drain off some of the grease. Add the sausage and the cans of beans. You do not have to drain the beans into the pot. Let the chili simmer for about half an hour. Lastly, add the cream cheese and stir in until completely dissolved.
- Serve – It’s especially good served with crackers, tortilla chips, or cornbread.
Tips for Making the Best Italian Sausage Chili
Follow these delicious tips for ideas on creating the best Italian sausage chili recipe! Create your own version of Italian sausage chili. Make this chili season even better with this award winning Italian sausage chili your way!
- Sausage – Choose a good quality sausage that has the best flavor. There are mild, hot, and sweet Italian sausage choices. Pork sausage or your favorite type of sausage.
- Veggies – Create your favorite vegetable mixture by adding corn, bell peppers, carrots, or zucchini.
- Spicy – If you love heat, add sriracha, and red pepper flakes, or even find a hot Italian sausage.
- Let simmer – Let the flavors meld together while it is simmering.
- Toppings – Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, a dollop of sour cream, or a sliced avocado.
What to Serve with Homemade Italian Sausage Chili
Chili is perfect to have as a main dish, a side dish, or use as a topping for other recipes. We love to use this creamy Italian sausage chili in various ways. Perfect for adding chips, making some cornbread, top-off fries, tacos, or nachos for more great dinner ideas!
- Garnish – Serve a big bowl of this creamy chili with crackers or tortilla chips crumbled on top.
- Add a side dish – Bake up our favorite Easy Cake Mix Cornbread to serve alongside this chili. My kids love to dip the cornbread right in their bowls. Yummy!
- Fries – Use this chili recipe for our delicious Chili Cheese Dogs or chili cheese fries. This particular recipe adds a spicy kick to both!
- Tacos – Leftover Creamy Italian Sausage Chili would be delicious on our Navajo Tacos too!
- Nachos – Make Chili Nachos by layering tortilla chips or corn chips, chili, cheese, sour cream, avocado, tomatoes, and diced green onions on a plate.
More Methods of Cooking Italian Sausage Chili
Finding the perfect method to cook your Italian sausage chili can be found in three ways. We use the dutch oven the most and is in between the slow cooker and the instant pot timing as well as work on the stove. Instant pot is simple and quicker, however, the slow cooker lets the flavors mend together. Either option gives you the best Italian sausage chili!
- Slow cooker – Cook the sausage separately in a pan with onions, and minced garlic. Place the other ingredients into the slow cooker with the sauteed sausage. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. Stirring occasionally.
- Dutch oven – This is the best option that we have found to be easiest. It becomes a one-pot meal when using a large dutch oven. Follow the recipe card below for the complete recipe.
- Instant pot – Saute the sausage, minced garlic, and onion. Add remaining ingredients and stir together. Place the lid on select the “manual” setting and set the cooking time to 10 minutes on high pressure. Allow the natural pressure to release for 10 minutes.
“I made this recipe for dinner tonight. This is the first time I have served chili and my kids actually ate it! So delicious, I will be making it again. Thank you for sharing it!”-Kelley
Frequently Asked Questions
Chili is always a favorite and has the best taste! Fresh herbs, like cilantro, basil, and parsley will enhance the flavors of the soup. Extra flavors to add in a re cinnamon, tomato paste to thicken, or cocoa powder to balance out the flavors. These all give the chili a rich, sweet, and salty flavor in each bite.
Protein is great to add to chili or in most soups! Some options we like to use are ground beef, chicken, ground turkey, pork, or even lamb in the chili. It is best to use lean meat to avoid too much grease when cooking. Ground beef is the most common meat that is used in red chili.
Yes! Adjust the amount of seasonings for a milder flavor.
Fresh tomatoes will work in this stew. You will want to add tomato sauce or tomato paste for a thickening agent. Canned tomatoes already have the concentration you need and flavor.
Yes! You can either double the recipe or split the recipe in half depending on who you are serving.
If you prefer a thicker chili, simmer a little longer. This will reduce the liquid and give it a thicker consistency. Add more water or broth if you would like it less thick.
Storing and Making Ahead
This Italian sausage chili is the best way to feed a crowd and enjoy a hearty and comforting meal together. These helpful ways to make ahead and store the homemade Italian sausage chili is the best dinner this winter season!
- Making ahead – Most of the time chili tastes better the next day. Make this Italian sausage ahead of time for a more flavorful dinner the next day.
- Fridge – Place the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days. When ready to enjoy, reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until it is warmed through.
- Freezing – This is a great way to store extra Italian sausage chili for a later time. Place the chili in an airtight freezer bag or an airtight freezer container. Leave some space above the containers for them to expand a bit while sitting in the freezer. Freeze for three to four months.
- Thawing and reheating – When ready to thaw the chili, place it in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat on medium-high heat or in the microwave until it is warmed through.
More Chili Recipes
If you are a big chili fan, we have some other yummy chili recipes that you are sure to love. These are some of our favorites. If you want an amazing chili you can’t go wrong with any of these!
How to Make Italian Sausage Chili
Italian Sausage Chili
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 14 ounces chicken broth (1 can)
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- salt and pepper
- 28 ounce can diced tomatoes lightly blended, (or 2 cans)
- 1 cup tomato juice
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 14 ounces black beans (1 can)
- 4 ounces cream cheese (half of one package)
- 14 ounces pinto beans (1 can)
- 14 ounces kidney beans (1 can)
- Brown the sausage in a frying pan. When the sausage is browned, place it over some folded paper towels to drain off some of the grease.
- In a large pot cook the garlic in the olive oil until it is golden. Then add the broth, spices, tomatoes, tomato juice, and vinegar.
- Stir well and bring to a boil.
- Add the sausage and the cans of beans (you do not have to drain the beans) to the pot. Let the chili simmer for about half an hour.
- Lastly, add the cream cheese and stir in until completely dissolved.
- It's especially good served with crackers, tortilla chips, or cornbread.
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