“Chili means Halloween to me,” says Grant Achatz.

By F&W Editors
October 22, 2015

As a kid, the future mega-chef behind Chicago's Alinea and Next would always get a hearty bowl before trick-or-treating, and the Achatzes weren't alone with this tradition. Not only is chili a hearty base to blunt the sugar overload to come, it’s also a great way to feed a crowd or any ghoulish drop-ins. Here, Achatz’s recipe for smoky, spicy chili, plus seven more.

1. Beef Chili with Beans (above)
This is a slightly modified version of Achatz’s mother’s chili, made with ancho, pasilla and chipotle powders, plus a homemade blend of seasonings and fresh herbs.

2. Swamp Chili (Poblano-and-Spinach Posole) 
Spinach and pureed poblano chiles give this chili a swamp-like look that’s fun on Halloween.

3. Cumin Chili 
You’ll get a clear taste of cumin in this great cold-weather chili made with ground beef, beans and green pepper.

4. Three-Chile Beef Chili 
With coffee, dark beer, smoky bacon and three kinds of chiles, this is one deep, rich, spicy pot of beef chili.

5. Fire-and-Ice Ohio Chili 
Ice cream maven Jeni Britton Bauer adds richness to this wonderful chili with a surprise ingredient: dark chocolate ice cream.

6. Goat Chili with Eye of the Goat Beans 
Spiced with árbol and guajillo chiles, this mellow, satisfying chili contains both braised goat shoulder and Rancho Gordo's Ojo de Cabra (Eye of the Goat) beans.

7. Turkey-and-Pinto-Bean Chili 
This spicy chili is a big favorite of Oprah’s, according to chef Art Smith.

8. Winter Vegetable Chili 
Thick with kidney beans and hominy, this vegetable chili is deliciously smoky and spicy.

Related: Best Chili in the U.S.
13 Halloween Cocktails
Great Halloween Desserts