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A Guide to Regional American Chili Styles

A Guide to Regional American Chili Styles


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Most of us have a similar mental image of what a bowl of chili should look like: Ground beef in a cumin and chili powder-spiced thick sauce, jazzed up with kidney beans and chunks of tomato with add-ons like shredded cheese, sour cream, onions and jalapeños on the top. In certain parts of the country, however, the word “chili” has a whole other meaning.

We’re not just talking about variations like white bean chili or vegetarian chili here. Some regional variations contain no beans, some are more like a sauce, some more closely resemble a beef or pork stew than a bowl of chili, and some are served with a pool of beef fat floating on top.

Chili has been a staple of the American diet for more than 100 years, and over that time, it’s morphed and evolved in some interesting ways. Read on to learn about 10 unique regional spins on this beloved dish.

Cincinnati

In Cincinnati, Ohio, chili is more of a beef-based sauce, made with a recipe that contains ground beef, tomato sauce, onions, a little cocoa and spices, including cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, cloves and allspice. It can certainly be eaten in a bowl on its own, but almost no one in the region does that. It’s served with a heaping mound of shredded cheddar cheese and is best enjoyed atop spaghetti or on a hot dog with additional toppings including onions and beans. While this dish may sound crazy, it’s one of the Midwest’s signature dishes.

Detroit

Like Cincinnati chili, Detroit-style chili is also more of a sauce, but this version is Greek-inspired, with paprika and dried oregano bringing different flavors to the recipe. It’s also sometimes thickened with a roux, which gives it a more gravy-like consistency, and is usually made with ground beef heart. When it’s served atop a hot dog with some mustard and onions at Detroit institutions like American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island, it becomes a “coney dog,” one of the most iconic dishes in America.

Indiana

Indiana-style chili, also called Hoosier chili, looks like your standard beef-and-bean chili, but with a few key differences. It usually contains tomato or V8 juice along with a little brown sugar, which makes it sweeter. Most importantly, this chili contains pasta, usually broken spaghetti or elbow macaroni. There are as many variations on the dish as there are Hoosiers, but if you ever see macaroni in your chili, you can consider it to be Indiana-style.

New Mexico: Carne Adovada

There are a couple chili versions inherent to New Mexican cuisine, one of which is carne adovada. Carne adovada doesn’t look like your standard chili; it’s more of a pork stew, cooked in a rich sauce of red chiles, cumin, oregano and other optional spices like coriander until it’s falling apart. It can be eaten on its own, but it also makes for a spectacular burrito filling.

New Mexico: Chile Verde

Green chiles are just as quintessential to New Mexican cuisine as red chiles, and carne adovada’s green counterpart is called chile verde. It’s also made with slow-cooked pork, but the primary flavoring comes from smoky roasted Hatch chiles, mildly spicy green peppers from the town of Hatch. Garlic and broth or water are all that’s needed to round out the dish, but some recipes call for tomatillos, cilantro, onions, Mexican oregano or cumin.

Oklahoma

Veronica D./ Yelp

Chili is big in Oklahoma, with just about every regional style openly welcomed. Because of this, there may not be one specific style of chili endemic to Oklahoma, but if you had to pin down “Oklahoma-style” chili, according to Tulsa World, it would most likely be chunks of beef in a bright red sauce with beans, taking inspiration from both Midwestern and Texas traditions.

Rocky Mountains

Chili in the Rocky Mountains is intended to be a rustic dish, something you can picture bubbling away in a big cast-iron pot over a campfire. The recipe itself varies, but it’s generally pretty straightforward with beans, canned tomatoes, chiles and spices. There’s just one main difference: game meats like elk, deer and antelope are preferred to beef.

Springfield, Illinois

The town of Springfield, Illinois, is pretty famous for its chili — or “chilli,” as it’s called there. In fact, the town is absolutely loaded with chilli parlors, so much so that in 1993, the Illinois government dubbed it “The Chilli Capital of the World.” The chilli here is made with beef suet (fat from around the kidneys), ground beef, tomato sauce, vegetables diced so fine that they vanish, pinto beans upon request, spices and just enough chile powder to make its presence known. It’s a rich, beefy style made famous at Springfield institutions like Dew Chilli Parlor and The Chili Parlor, which both serve some of the best chili in America.

Texas

FoodWanderer A./ Yelp


Beans In Chili: The Endless Regional American Debate Rages On

There are a few really great food feuds that will never die: New York pizza vs. Chicago pizza, whether it's a hoagie or a grinder, whose barbecue is the best and whether or not beans are allowed in chili. NOW EVERYONE CALM DOWN. Since football food season is now on, we want to tackle the age old question of which chili recipe is the best chili recipe.

The answer, really, is kind of a cop out so please don't yell at us -- all chili is good chili and we can live in peace and harmony when it comes to beans. Really, seriously, Texas. We see you getting red in the face over there. Your meat-and-chile-only chili (also known as a bowl of red) is one of your greatest contributions to American culinary history. But if someone wants to put beans in it, they should totally be allowed to. Because beans are delicious, cheap and good for you. For goodness' sake, Cincinnati puts cocoa powder in their chili and it still tastes good, so we've decided that chili really cannot be screwed up. In case it wasn't clear, we are giving beans in chili our blessing.

In what may be the single most meaningful advancement in the beans-in-chili-debate's history, last year, the International Chili Society's World Chili Cook-Off included an additional division -- you guessed it -- chili with beans. Look, guys, the International Chili Society said so. So stop telling people that their beans are invalid.

America is like a beautiful Benetton ad of regional chili variations. Don't believe me? Don't worry, we found pictures.

Texas' Bowl Of Red

Meat. Chiles. Tomatoes. Little else, simply perfect. Get the Bowl of Red recipe from Food52.

New Mexico's Green Chile Stew

New Mexicans don't care whether or not there are beans in our chili. We only care that you refer to green chile stew (chile with an 'e,' not an 'i,' thank you) correctly. Usually made with pork (sometimes beef), New Mexico green chiles, potatoes/beans, etc., this stuff will knock out a hangover or a cold in no time flat. Get this amazing green chile stew recipe from MJ's Kitchen.

Cincinnati Chili

A five-way Cincinnati Chili includes spaghetti, beans, raw onions, chili and cheese. Let us start off by saying that anything that gets topped with this much cheese is a-okay with us. It sounds crazy, but give it a chance. Get a great Cincinnati Chili recipe from SAVEUR.

Kansas City Chili

Popularized by chili joints like Hayes Hamburgers and Chili and Fritz's Chili, Kansas City style chili is basically a loose meat sauce with ground chilis in it, that you then season and flavor yourself upon ordering. Be prepared, it is different.

Michigan-Style Coney Dog Chili

Michigan's Coney dogs are legendary at this point, and have created micro-feuds of their own within the already existing chili feud. There are never beans in Michigan Coney chili, only ground meat and spicy chilis, nearly always slathered over a hot dog with raw onions and the yellowest mustard you've ever seen.

Chili Beans

Beans were first added to chili to stretch it further. Beans are cheap and when times are tight, they're an easy way to get nutrition and fill up hungry stomachs. They have the added bonus of tasting ridiculously delicious in chili, and we'll confess that when we think of chili, we think of beans.

There's not a single version we wouldn't eat, and we can't wait to try new ones we've never even heard of. Did we miss your favorite regional chili variation? Tell us about it in the comments!

Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.


Beans In Chili: The Endless Regional American Debate Rages On

There are a few really great food feuds that will never die: New York pizza vs. Chicago pizza, whether it's a hoagie or a grinder, whose barbecue is the best and whether or not beans are allowed in chili. NOW EVERYONE CALM DOWN. Since football food season is now on, we want to tackle the age old question of which chili recipe is the best chili recipe.

The answer, really, is kind of a cop out so please don't yell at us -- all chili is good chili and we can live in peace and harmony when it comes to beans. Really, seriously, Texas. We see you getting red in the face over there. Your meat-and-chile-only chili (also known as a bowl of red) is one of your greatest contributions to American culinary history. But if someone wants to put beans in it, they should totally be allowed to. Because beans are delicious, cheap and good for you. For goodness' sake, Cincinnati puts cocoa powder in their chili and it still tastes good, so we've decided that chili really cannot be screwed up. In case it wasn't clear, we are giving beans in chili our blessing.

In what may be the single most meaningful advancement in the beans-in-chili-debate's history, last year, the International Chili Society's World Chili Cook-Off included an additional division -- you guessed it -- chili with beans. Look, guys, the International Chili Society said so. So stop telling people that their beans are invalid.

America is like a beautiful Benetton ad of regional chili variations. Don't believe me? Don't worry, we found pictures.

Texas' Bowl Of Red

Meat. Chiles. Tomatoes. Little else, simply perfect. Get the Bowl of Red recipe from Food52.

New Mexico's Green Chile Stew

New Mexicans don't care whether or not there are beans in our chili. We only care that you refer to green chile stew (chile with an 'e,' not an 'i,' thank you) correctly. Usually made with pork (sometimes beef), New Mexico green chiles, potatoes/beans, etc., this stuff will knock out a hangover or a cold in no time flat. Get this amazing green chile stew recipe from MJ's Kitchen.

Cincinnati Chili

A five-way Cincinnati Chili includes spaghetti, beans, raw onions, chili and cheese. Let us start off by saying that anything that gets topped with this much cheese is a-okay with us. It sounds crazy, but give it a chance. Get a great Cincinnati Chili recipe from SAVEUR.

Kansas City Chili

Popularized by chili joints like Hayes Hamburgers and Chili and Fritz's Chili, Kansas City style chili is basically a loose meat sauce with ground chilis in it, that you then season and flavor yourself upon ordering. Be prepared, it is different.

Michigan-Style Coney Dog Chili

Michigan's Coney dogs are legendary at this point, and have created micro-feuds of their own within the already existing chili feud. There are never beans in Michigan Coney chili, only ground meat and spicy chilis, nearly always slathered over a hot dog with raw onions and the yellowest mustard you've ever seen.

Chili Beans

Beans were first added to chili to stretch it further. Beans are cheap and when times are tight, they're an easy way to get nutrition and fill up hungry stomachs. They have the added bonus of tasting ridiculously delicious in chili, and we'll confess that when we think of chili, we think of beans.

There's not a single version we wouldn't eat, and we can't wait to try new ones we've never even heard of. Did we miss your favorite regional chili variation? Tell us about it in the comments!

Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.


Beans In Chili: The Endless Regional American Debate Rages On

There are a few really great food feuds that will never die: New York pizza vs. Chicago pizza, whether it's a hoagie or a grinder, whose barbecue is the best and whether or not beans are allowed in chili. NOW EVERYONE CALM DOWN. Since football food season is now on, we want to tackle the age old question of which chili recipe is the best chili recipe.

The answer, really, is kind of a cop out so please don't yell at us -- all chili is good chili and we can live in peace and harmony when it comes to beans. Really, seriously, Texas. We see you getting red in the face over there. Your meat-and-chile-only chili (also known as a bowl of red) is one of your greatest contributions to American culinary history. But if someone wants to put beans in it, they should totally be allowed to. Because beans are delicious, cheap and good for you. For goodness' sake, Cincinnati puts cocoa powder in their chili and it still tastes good, so we've decided that chili really cannot be screwed up. In case it wasn't clear, we are giving beans in chili our blessing.

In what may be the single most meaningful advancement in the beans-in-chili-debate's history, last year, the International Chili Society's World Chili Cook-Off included an additional division -- you guessed it -- chili with beans. Look, guys, the International Chili Society said so. So stop telling people that their beans are invalid.

America is like a beautiful Benetton ad of regional chili variations. Don't believe me? Don't worry, we found pictures.

Texas' Bowl Of Red

Meat. Chiles. Tomatoes. Little else, simply perfect. Get the Bowl of Red recipe from Food52.

New Mexico's Green Chile Stew

New Mexicans don't care whether or not there are beans in our chili. We only care that you refer to green chile stew (chile with an 'e,' not an 'i,' thank you) correctly. Usually made with pork (sometimes beef), New Mexico green chiles, potatoes/beans, etc., this stuff will knock out a hangover or a cold in no time flat. Get this amazing green chile stew recipe from MJ's Kitchen.

Cincinnati Chili

A five-way Cincinnati Chili includes spaghetti, beans, raw onions, chili and cheese. Let us start off by saying that anything that gets topped with this much cheese is a-okay with us. It sounds crazy, but give it a chance. Get a great Cincinnati Chili recipe from SAVEUR.

Kansas City Chili

Popularized by chili joints like Hayes Hamburgers and Chili and Fritz's Chili, Kansas City style chili is basically a loose meat sauce with ground chilis in it, that you then season and flavor yourself upon ordering. Be prepared, it is different.

Michigan-Style Coney Dog Chili

Michigan's Coney dogs are legendary at this point, and have created micro-feuds of their own within the already existing chili feud. There are never beans in Michigan Coney chili, only ground meat and spicy chilis, nearly always slathered over a hot dog with raw onions and the yellowest mustard you've ever seen.

Chili Beans

Beans were first added to chili to stretch it further. Beans are cheap and when times are tight, they're an easy way to get nutrition and fill up hungry stomachs. They have the added bonus of tasting ridiculously delicious in chili, and we'll confess that when we think of chili, we think of beans.

There's not a single version we wouldn't eat, and we can't wait to try new ones we've never even heard of. Did we miss your favorite regional chili variation? Tell us about it in the comments!

Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.


Beans In Chili: The Endless Regional American Debate Rages On

There are a few really great food feuds that will never die: New York pizza vs. Chicago pizza, whether it's a hoagie or a grinder, whose barbecue is the best and whether or not beans are allowed in chili. NOW EVERYONE CALM DOWN. Since football food season is now on, we want to tackle the age old question of which chili recipe is the best chili recipe.

The answer, really, is kind of a cop out so please don't yell at us -- all chili is good chili and we can live in peace and harmony when it comes to beans. Really, seriously, Texas. We see you getting red in the face over there. Your meat-and-chile-only chili (also known as a bowl of red) is one of your greatest contributions to American culinary history. But if someone wants to put beans in it, they should totally be allowed to. Because beans are delicious, cheap and good for you. For goodness' sake, Cincinnati puts cocoa powder in their chili and it still tastes good, so we've decided that chili really cannot be screwed up. In case it wasn't clear, we are giving beans in chili our blessing.

In what may be the single most meaningful advancement in the beans-in-chili-debate's history, last year, the International Chili Society's World Chili Cook-Off included an additional division -- you guessed it -- chili with beans. Look, guys, the International Chili Society said so. So stop telling people that their beans are invalid.

America is like a beautiful Benetton ad of regional chili variations. Don't believe me? Don't worry, we found pictures.

Texas' Bowl Of Red

Meat. Chiles. Tomatoes. Little else, simply perfect. Get the Bowl of Red recipe from Food52.

New Mexico's Green Chile Stew

New Mexicans don't care whether or not there are beans in our chili. We only care that you refer to green chile stew (chile with an 'e,' not an 'i,' thank you) correctly. Usually made with pork (sometimes beef), New Mexico green chiles, potatoes/beans, etc., this stuff will knock out a hangover or a cold in no time flat. Get this amazing green chile stew recipe from MJ's Kitchen.

Cincinnati Chili

A five-way Cincinnati Chili includes spaghetti, beans, raw onions, chili and cheese. Let us start off by saying that anything that gets topped with this much cheese is a-okay with us. It sounds crazy, but give it a chance. Get a great Cincinnati Chili recipe from SAVEUR.

Kansas City Chili

Popularized by chili joints like Hayes Hamburgers and Chili and Fritz's Chili, Kansas City style chili is basically a loose meat sauce with ground chilis in it, that you then season and flavor yourself upon ordering. Be prepared, it is different.

Michigan-Style Coney Dog Chili

Michigan's Coney dogs are legendary at this point, and have created micro-feuds of their own within the already existing chili feud. There are never beans in Michigan Coney chili, only ground meat and spicy chilis, nearly always slathered over a hot dog with raw onions and the yellowest mustard you've ever seen.

Chili Beans

Beans were first added to chili to stretch it further. Beans are cheap and when times are tight, they're an easy way to get nutrition and fill up hungry stomachs. They have the added bonus of tasting ridiculously delicious in chili, and we'll confess that when we think of chili, we think of beans.

There's not a single version we wouldn't eat, and we can't wait to try new ones we've never even heard of. Did we miss your favorite regional chili variation? Tell us about it in the comments!

Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.


Beans In Chili: The Endless Regional American Debate Rages On

There are a few really great food feuds that will never die: New York pizza vs. Chicago pizza, whether it's a hoagie or a grinder, whose barbecue is the best and whether or not beans are allowed in chili. NOW EVERYONE CALM DOWN. Since football food season is now on, we want to tackle the age old question of which chili recipe is the best chili recipe.

The answer, really, is kind of a cop out so please don't yell at us -- all chili is good chili and we can live in peace and harmony when it comes to beans. Really, seriously, Texas. We see you getting red in the face over there. Your meat-and-chile-only chili (also known as a bowl of red) is one of your greatest contributions to American culinary history. But if someone wants to put beans in it, they should totally be allowed to. Because beans are delicious, cheap and good for you. For goodness' sake, Cincinnati puts cocoa powder in their chili and it still tastes good, so we've decided that chili really cannot be screwed up. In case it wasn't clear, we are giving beans in chili our blessing.

In what may be the single most meaningful advancement in the beans-in-chili-debate's history, last year, the International Chili Society's World Chili Cook-Off included an additional division -- you guessed it -- chili with beans. Look, guys, the International Chili Society said so. So stop telling people that their beans are invalid.

America is like a beautiful Benetton ad of regional chili variations. Don't believe me? Don't worry, we found pictures.

Texas' Bowl Of Red

Meat. Chiles. Tomatoes. Little else, simply perfect. Get the Bowl of Red recipe from Food52.

New Mexico's Green Chile Stew

New Mexicans don't care whether or not there are beans in our chili. We only care that you refer to green chile stew (chile with an 'e,' not an 'i,' thank you) correctly. Usually made with pork (sometimes beef), New Mexico green chiles, potatoes/beans, etc., this stuff will knock out a hangover or a cold in no time flat. Get this amazing green chile stew recipe from MJ's Kitchen.

Cincinnati Chili

A five-way Cincinnati Chili includes spaghetti, beans, raw onions, chili and cheese. Let us start off by saying that anything that gets topped with this much cheese is a-okay with us. It sounds crazy, but give it a chance. Get a great Cincinnati Chili recipe from SAVEUR.

Kansas City Chili

Popularized by chili joints like Hayes Hamburgers and Chili and Fritz's Chili, Kansas City style chili is basically a loose meat sauce with ground chilis in it, that you then season and flavor yourself upon ordering. Be prepared, it is different.

Michigan-Style Coney Dog Chili

Michigan's Coney dogs are legendary at this point, and have created micro-feuds of their own within the already existing chili feud. There are never beans in Michigan Coney chili, only ground meat and spicy chilis, nearly always slathered over a hot dog with raw onions and the yellowest mustard you've ever seen.

Chili Beans

Beans were first added to chili to stretch it further. Beans are cheap and when times are tight, they're an easy way to get nutrition and fill up hungry stomachs. They have the added bonus of tasting ridiculously delicious in chili, and we'll confess that when we think of chili, we think of beans.

There's not a single version we wouldn't eat, and we can't wait to try new ones we've never even heard of. Did we miss your favorite regional chili variation? Tell us about it in the comments!

Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.


Beans In Chili: The Endless Regional American Debate Rages On

There are a few really great food feuds that will never die: New York pizza vs. Chicago pizza, whether it's a hoagie or a grinder, whose barbecue is the best and whether or not beans are allowed in chili. NOW EVERYONE CALM DOWN. Since football food season is now on, we want to tackle the age old question of which chili recipe is the best chili recipe.

The answer, really, is kind of a cop out so please don't yell at us -- all chili is good chili and we can live in peace and harmony when it comes to beans. Really, seriously, Texas. We see you getting red in the face over there. Your meat-and-chile-only chili (also known as a bowl of red) is one of your greatest contributions to American culinary history. But if someone wants to put beans in it, they should totally be allowed to. Because beans are delicious, cheap and good for you. For goodness' sake, Cincinnati puts cocoa powder in their chili and it still tastes good, so we've decided that chili really cannot be screwed up. In case it wasn't clear, we are giving beans in chili our blessing.

In what may be the single most meaningful advancement in the beans-in-chili-debate's history, last year, the International Chili Society's World Chili Cook-Off included an additional division -- you guessed it -- chili with beans. Look, guys, the International Chili Society said so. So stop telling people that their beans are invalid.

America is like a beautiful Benetton ad of regional chili variations. Don't believe me? Don't worry, we found pictures.

Texas' Bowl Of Red

Meat. Chiles. Tomatoes. Little else, simply perfect. Get the Bowl of Red recipe from Food52.

New Mexico's Green Chile Stew

New Mexicans don't care whether or not there are beans in our chili. We only care that you refer to green chile stew (chile with an 'e,' not an 'i,' thank you) correctly. Usually made with pork (sometimes beef), New Mexico green chiles, potatoes/beans, etc., this stuff will knock out a hangover or a cold in no time flat. Get this amazing green chile stew recipe from MJ's Kitchen.

Cincinnati Chili

A five-way Cincinnati Chili includes spaghetti, beans, raw onions, chili and cheese. Let us start off by saying that anything that gets topped with this much cheese is a-okay with us. It sounds crazy, but give it a chance. Get a great Cincinnati Chili recipe from SAVEUR.

Kansas City Chili

Popularized by chili joints like Hayes Hamburgers and Chili and Fritz's Chili, Kansas City style chili is basically a loose meat sauce with ground chilis in it, that you then season and flavor yourself upon ordering. Be prepared, it is different.

Michigan-Style Coney Dog Chili

Michigan's Coney dogs are legendary at this point, and have created micro-feuds of their own within the already existing chili feud. There are never beans in Michigan Coney chili, only ground meat and spicy chilis, nearly always slathered over a hot dog with raw onions and the yellowest mustard you've ever seen.

Chili Beans

Beans were first added to chili to stretch it further. Beans are cheap and when times are tight, they're an easy way to get nutrition and fill up hungry stomachs. They have the added bonus of tasting ridiculously delicious in chili, and we'll confess that when we think of chili, we think of beans.

There's not a single version we wouldn't eat, and we can't wait to try new ones we've never even heard of. Did we miss your favorite regional chili variation? Tell us about it in the comments!

Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.


Beans In Chili: The Endless Regional American Debate Rages On

There are a few really great food feuds that will never die: New York pizza vs. Chicago pizza, whether it's a hoagie or a grinder, whose barbecue is the best and whether or not beans are allowed in chili. NOW EVERYONE CALM DOWN. Since football food season is now on, we want to tackle the age old question of which chili recipe is the best chili recipe.

The answer, really, is kind of a cop out so please don't yell at us -- all chili is good chili and we can live in peace and harmony when it comes to beans. Really, seriously, Texas. We see you getting red in the face over there. Your meat-and-chile-only chili (also known as a bowl of red) is one of your greatest contributions to American culinary history. But if someone wants to put beans in it, they should totally be allowed to. Because beans are delicious, cheap and good for you. For goodness' sake, Cincinnati puts cocoa powder in their chili and it still tastes good, so we've decided that chili really cannot be screwed up. In case it wasn't clear, we are giving beans in chili our blessing.

In what may be the single most meaningful advancement in the beans-in-chili-debate's history, last year, the International Chili Society's World Chili Cook-Off included an additional division -- you guessed it -- chili with beans. Look, guys, the International Chili Society said so. So stop telling people that their beans are invalid.

America is like a beautiful Benetton ad of regional chili variations. Don't believe me? Don't worry, we found pictures.

Texas' Bowl Of Red

Meat. Chiles. Tomatoes. Little else, simply perfect. Get the Bowl of Red recipe from Food52.

New Mexico's Green Chile Stew

New Mexicans don't care whether or not there are beans in our chili. We only care that you refer to green chile stew (chile with an 'e,' not an 'i,' thank you) correctly. Usually made with pork (sometimes beef), New Mexico green chiles, potatoes/beans, etc., this stuff will knock out a hangover or a cold in no time flat. Get this amazing green chile stew recipe from MJ's Kitchen.

Cincinnati Chili

A five-way Cincinnati Chili includes spaghetti, beans, raw onions, chili and cheese. Let us start off by saying that anything that gets topped with this much cheese is a-okay with us. It sounds crazy, but give it a chance. Get a great Cincinnati Chili recipe from SAVEUR.

Kansas City Chili

Popularized by chili joints like Hayes Hamburgers and Chili and Fritz's Chili, Kansas City style chili is basically a loose meat sauce with ground chilis in it, that you then season and flavor yourself upon ordering. Be prepared, it is different.

Michigan-Style Coney Dog Chili

Michigan's Coney dogs are legendary at this point, and have created micro-feuds of their own within the already existing chili feud. There are never beans in Michigan Coney chili, only ground meat and spicy chilis, nearly always slathered over a hot dog with raw onions and the yellowest mustard you've ever seen.

Chili Beans

Beans were first added to chili to stretch it further. Beans are cheap and when times are tight, they're an easy way to get nutrition and fill up hungry stomachs. They have the added bonus of tasting ridiculously delicious in chili, and we'll confess that when we think of chili, we think of beans.

There's not a single version we wouldn't eat, and we can't wait to try new ones we've never even heard of. Did we miss your favorite regional chili variation? Tell us about it in the comments!

Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.


Beans In Chili: The Endless Regional American Debate Rages On

There are a few really great food feuds that will never die: New York pizza vs. Chicago pizza, whether it's a hoagie or a grinder, whose barbecue is the best and whether or not beans are allowed in chili. NOW EVERYONE CALM DOWN. Since football food season is now on, we want to tackle the age old question of which chili recipe is the best chili recipe.

The answer, really, is kind of a cop out so please don't yell at us -- all chili is good chili and we can live in peace and harmony when it comes to beans. Really, seriously, Texas. We see you getting red in the face over there. Your meat-and-chile-only chili (also known as a bowl of red) is one of your greatest contributions to American culinary history. But if someone wants to put beans in it, they should totally be allowed to. Because beans are delicious, cheap and good for you. For goodness' sake, Cincinnati puts cocoa powder in their chili and it still tastes good, so we've decided that chili really cannot be screwed up. In case it wasn't clear, we are giving beans in chili our blessing.

In what may be the single most meaningful advancement in the beans-in-chili-debate's history, last year, the International Chili Society's World Chili Cook-Off included an additional division -- you guessed it -- chili with beans. Look, guys, the International Chili Society said so. So stop telling people that their beans are invalid.

America is like a beautiful Benetton ad of regional chili variations. Don't believe me? Don't worry, we found pictures.

Texas' Bowl Of Red

Meat. Chiles. Tomatoes. Little else, simply perfect. Get the Bowl of Red recipe from Food52.

New Mexico's Green Chile Stew

New Mexicans don't care whether or not there are beans in our chili. We only care that you refer to green chile stew (chile with an 'e,' not an 'i,' thank you) correctly. Usually made with pork (sometimes beef), New Mexico green chiles, potatoes/beans, etc., this stuff will knock out a hangover or a cold in no time flat. Get this amazing green chile stew recipe from MJ's Kitchen.

Cincinnati Chili

A five-way Cincinnati Chili includes spaghetti, beans, raw onions, chili and cheese. Let us start off by saying that anything that gets topped with this much cheese is a-okay with us. It sounds crazy, but give it a chance. Get a great Cincinnati Chili recipe from SAVEUR.

Kansas City Chili

Popularized by chili joints like Hayes Hamburgers and Chili and Fritz's Chili, Kansas City style chili is basically a loose meat sauce with ground chilis in it, that you then season and flavor yourself upon ordering. Be prepared, it is different.

Michigan-Style Coney Dog Chili

Michigan's Coney dogs are legendary at this point, and have created micro-feuds of their own within the already existing chili feud. There are never beans in Michigan Coney chili, only ground meat and spicy chilis, nearly always slathered over a hot dog with raw onions and the yellowest mustard you've ever seen.

Chili Beans

Beans were first added to chili to stretch it further. Beans are cheap and when times are tight, they're an easy way to get nutrition and fill up hungry stomachs. They have the added bonus of tasting ridiculously delicious in chili, and we'll confess that when we think of chili, we think of beans.

There's not a single version we wouldn't eat, and we can't wait to try new ones we've never even heard of. Did we miss your favorite regional chili variation? Tell us about it in the comments!

Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.


Beans In Chili: The Endless Regional American Debate Rages On

There are a few really great food feuds that will never die: New York pizza vs. Chicago pizza, whether it's a hoagie or a grinder, whose barbecue is the best and whether or not beans are allowed in chili. NOW EVERYONE CALM DOWN. Since football food season is now on, we want to tackle the age old question of which chili recipe is the best chili recipe.

The answer, really, is kind of a cop out so please don't yell at us -- all chili is good chili and we can live in peace and harmony when it comes to beans. Really, seriously, Texas. We see you getting red in the face over there. Your meat-and-chile-only chili (also known as a bowl of red) is one of your greatest contributions to American culinary history. But if someone wants to put beans in it, they should totally be allowed to. Because beans are delicious, cheap and good for you. For goodness' sake, Cincinnati puts cocoa powder in their chili and it still tastes good, so we've decided that chili really cannot be screwed up. In case it wasn't clear, we are giving beans in chili our blessing.

In what may be the single most meaningful advancement in the beans-in-chili-debate's history, last year, the International Chili Society's World Chili Cook-Off included an additional division -- you guessed it -- chili with beans. Look, guys, the International Chili Society said so. So stop telling people that their beans are invalid.

America is like a beautiful Benetton ad of regional chili variations. Don't believe me? Don't worry, we found pictures.

Texas' Bowl Of Red

Meat. Chiles. Tomatoes. Little else, simply perfect. Get the Bowl of Red recipe from Food52.

New Mexico's Green Chile Stew

New Mexicans don't care whether or not there are beans in our chili. We only care that you refer to green chile stew (chile with an 'e,' not an 'i,' thank you) correctly. Usually made with pork (sometimes beef), New Mexico green chiles, potatoes/beans, etc., this stuff will knock out a hangover or a cold in no time flat. Get this amazing green chile stew recipe from MJ's Kitchen.

Cincinnati Chili

A five-way Cincinnati Chili includes spaghetti, beans, raw onions, chili and cheese. Let us start off by saying that anything that gets topped with this much cheese is a-okay with us. It sounds crazy, but give it a chance. Get a great Cincinnati Chili recipe from SAVEUR.

Kansas City Chili

Popularized by chili joints like Hayes Hamburgers and Chili and Fritz's Chili, Kansas City style chili is basically a loose meat sauce with ground chilis in it, that you then season and flavor yourself upon ordering. Be prepared, it is different.

Michigan-Style Coney Dog Chili

Michigan's Coney dogs are legendary at this point, and have created micro-feuds of their own within the already existing chili feud. There are never beans in Michigan Coney chili, only ground meat and spicy chilis, nearly always slathered over a hot dog with raw onions and the yellowest mustard you've ever seen.

Chili Beans

Beans were first added to chili to stretch it further. Beans are cheap and when times are tight, they're an easy way to get nutrition and fill up hungry stomachs. They have the added bonus of tasting ridiculously delicious in chili, and we'll confess that when we think of chili, we think of beans.

There's not a single version we wouldn't eat, and we can't wait to try new ones we've never even heard of. Did we miss your favorite regional chili variation? Tell us about it in the comments!

Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.


Beans In Chili: The Endless Regional American Debate Rages On

There are a few really great food feuds that will never die: New York pizza vs. Chicago pizza, whether it's a hoagie or a grinder, whose barbecue is the best and whether or not beans are allowed in chili. NOW EVERYONE CALM DOWN. Since football food season is now on, we want to tackle the age old question of which chili recipe is the best chili recipe.

The answer, really, is kind of a cop out so please don't yell at us -- all chili is good chili and we can live in peace and harmony when it comes to beans. Really, seriously, Texas. We see you getting red in the face over there. Your meat-and-chile-only chili (also known as a bowl of red) is one of your greatest contributions to American culinary history. But if someone wants to put beans in it, they should totally be allowed to. Because beans are delicious, cheap and good for you. For goodness' sake, Cincinnati puts cocoa powder in their chili and it still tastes good, so we've decided that chili really cannot be screwed up. In case it wasn't clear, we are giving beans in chili our blessing.

In what may be the single most meaningful advancement in the beans-in-chili-debate's history, last year, the International Chili Society's World Chili Cook-Off included an additional division -- you guessed it -- chili with beans. Look, guys, the International Chili Society said so. So stop telling people that their beans are invalid.

America is like a beautiful Benetton ad of regional chili variations. Don't believe me? Don't worry, we found pictures.

Texas' Bowl Of Red

Meat. Chiles. Tomatoes. Little else, simply perfect. Get the Bowl of Red recipe from Food52.

New Mexico's Green Chile Stew

New Mexicans don't care whether or not there are beans in our chili. We only care that you refer to green chile stew (chile with an 'e,' not an 'i,' thank you) correctly. Usually made with pork (sometimes beef), New Mexico green chiles, potatoes/beans, etc., this stuff will knock out a hangover or a cold in no time flat. Get this amazing green chile stew recipe from MJ's Kitchen.

Cincinnati Chili

A five-way Cincinnati Chili includes spaghetti, beans, raw onions, chili and cheese. Let us start off by saying that anything that gets topped with this much cheese is a-okay with us. It sounds crazy, but give it a chance. Get a great Cincinnati Chili recipe from SAVEUR.

Kansas City Chili

Popularized by chili joints like Hayes Hamburgers and Chili and Fritz's Chili, Kansas City style chili is basically a loose meat sauce with ground chilis in it, that you then season and flavor yourself upon ordering. Be prepared, it is different.

Michigan-Style Coney Dog Chili

Michigan's Coney dogs are legendary at this point, and have created micro-feuds of their own within the already existing chili feud. There are never beans in Michigan Coney chili, only ground meat and spicy chilis, nearly always slathered over a hot dog with raw onions and the yellowest mustard you've ever seen.

Chili Beans

Beans were first added to chili to stretch it further. Beans are cheap and when times are tight, they're an easy way to get nutrition and fill up hungry stomachs. They have the added bonus of tasting ridiculously delicious in chili, and we'll confess that when we think of chili, we think of beans.

There's not a single version we wouldn't eat, and we can't wait to try new ones we've never even heard of. Did we miss your favorite regional chili variation? Tell us about it in the comments!

Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.