Mini Beef Chili Bread Bowls (Football Appetizer)

This post is a collaboration with Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own.

What’s better than a bowl of chili in the fall? Mini football shaped bread bowls filled with a delicious Beef chili! They make the ultimate football appetizer that deserve a spot on your table for Game Day!

Beef chili bread bowls football shaped

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Ground Beef is such a versatile option for everything from tacos (you must try my Beef Taco Wonton Cups) and spaghetti to classic hamburgers and tasty Beef Chili. Chili is one of my favorite foods, especially when football season rolls around.

Whether you’re headed to the game to tailgate stadium-side, attending a friend’s football watch party or just enjoying the big game on television at home, these chili bread bowls will become your new game day tradition!

Football Shaped Bread Bowls

I have a clever little way to serve up chili appetizer-style to your tailgate guests…in mini football shaped bread bowls! Eat your chili and the bowl! Search for oval-shaped dinner rolls in the bakery section of your grocery store to recreate these football bread bowls.

Game Day Chili Bread Bowls

How to make Beef Chili Bread Bowls

  1. Cut an oval-shaped hole into a sturdy oblong dinner roll. Hollow out the bread inside, being sure to leave at least 1/2″ at the bottom. You can press part of the cut-out top back into the bottom to make it a bit sturdier for your chili.
  2. Fill up the mini bread bowls with Beef Chili (recipe below).
  3. If chili is hot, go ahead and top with your favorite chili toppings (like shredded cheese, red onion, and sour cream piped on to make football laces) and enjoy.
  4. You can also fill with chili and then bake at 350 degrees F for a few minutes to warm chili through if reheating the chili. Either way works!
Football Shaped Appetizer

You might be wondering if there are any tricks to ensuring you don’t have a mess if the chili leaks from your bread bowl. Not to worry! This chili recipe is a hearty, thick chili so that’s the first trick.

The second trick is selecting a sturdy, hard dinner roll. Be sure not to cut out too much bread, just enough that it can hold a serving of chili.

Beef Chili Bread Bowl Toppings

Serve up all the best chili toppings for your game day spread. Here’s a list, but get creative and add your own flair!

  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Diced Red Onion
  • Diced Green Onion
  • Jalapeños
  • Chips (Tortilla Chips or Corn Chips work well)

Making Football-Shaped Bread Bowls

You can up the ante on your football them and fill a small plastic bag with sour cream, snip the corner with a pair of kitchen shears and pipe football laces on top of the chili for the ultimate football-themed dish!

Or slice a white cheese (like provolone) into laces and lay them on top of the chili. The football laces is absolutely optional, but I love a good theme – especially football – so I’m all about adding this extra touch

Beef Chili Bread Bowls

Another reason I really love this dish for game day is because you can make the Beef Chili in advance so if you’re busy until kick-off, no problem! Prep the chili ahead of time, then fill up your bread bowls and bake them all together to reheat when ready to serve.

Hosting a backyard tailgate or headed to a friend’s football watch party? These make a fabulous addition to any Football spread! Here’s how I served them on my tailgate table!

Football Tailgate Table

Serve up the chili bread bowls in a big wooden board or even a tiered tray. Add in small spoons for eating and you’re ready to go! Add in a few of your other favorite football foods too, I have some ideas below to your get game day menu started!

Game Day Appetizers

Game Day Chili Bread Bowls

Beef Chili Bread Bowls

These mini football-themed bread bowls forgame day are filled with a delicious Beef Chili seasoned to perfection!
SERVINGS 20 mini bread bowls
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes


  • 2 small onions - diced
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 green bell pepper - diced
  • 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 jalapeños - stems removed, seeded and minced
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 15-ounce can red kidney beans - – drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans - – drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce black beans - – drained and rinsed
  • 1 6-ounce tomato paste
  • 20 small dinner rolls - – select oval for football shape

Chili Toppings

  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • red onion – diced
  • green onion – diced
  • jalapenos
  • sour cream


  • In a large pot, sauté onion, garlic, and bell pepper over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in Ground Beef, crumbling with a wooden spoon and cooking until no pink remains.
  • Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt and jalapeños. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, and tomato paste. Bring chili to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 to 2 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Cut the top off each bread roll and hollow out the inside to make a mini bread bowl. Be sure to leave at least ½ inch of bread at the bottom. You can also press the cut-out top back into the bottom of the bread bowl to be sure your chili won’t soak through.
  • Fill each bread bowl with chili and garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream, diced green onion, red onion and jalapeños.
  • If making into a football shape, use sour cream piped from a plastic bag with the corner cut off to pipe on the laces.


Calories: 332kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 17gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 835mgPotassium: 648mgFiber: 8gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1797IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 148mgIron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. These appetizers look amazing. Perfect for preparing it on a Friday afternoon.

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