pizza chili with mozzarella on top

Comforting Pizza Chili with Your Favorite Toppings

In Mains by sarawalkenbach5 Comments

Pizza is always a favorite. The tangy sauce, delectable toppings, cheesy goodness… yum! This comforting Pizza Chili with your favorite toppings will be your new favorite. The best part: it’s customizable to your liking.

Looking for more comfort food recipes? Try my light and easy Artichoke Chicken recipe.

This recipe is based off Taste of Home’s Pepperoni Pizza Chili recipe. I’ve tweaked this recipe to satisfy my families likes and dislikes. With my kids, beans are a hard NO. So, it’s been updated for kid’s palates. I also call it “soup” in front of my kids so they will eat it.

Do what you gotta do to get your kids to eat their dinner. But kids or no kids, this is a chili all will enjoy. Just add in your favorite toppings.

2 bowls of pizza chili, one with mozzarella on top, the other with banana peppers. Served with breadsticks
Pick your favorite pizza toppings for this Pizza Chili. Serve with a side salad or breadsticks.

Pizza Chili Ingredients

Thick, hardy, and delicious! This chili is so easy to add your own toppings. I’ll show you the base, and what we like in our pizza chili. Then you can customize it for you and yours.

The Base

There is a lot of tomatoey stuff going in this. If you have a half-used jar of spaghetti sauce in the fridge, throw it into the mix. This isn’t science, it’s chili.

Pizza Sauce

You can spend some money on pizza sauce these days. I usually go what’s on sale or middle of the road. Just watch the sodium content in jarred sauces.

Canned Tomatoes

Whether you prefer Italian Stewed or Fire Roasted, either are great, and both add a little more flavor than a can of plain diced tomatoes. Like the pizza sauce, watch the sodium content in this. If you must, go no added salt canned tomatoes.

Tomato Sauce

Just plain Jane tomato sauce. It’s just a can. If you have V8 that needs to be used up, that will make a fine substitute.

Seasonings

Add in a little more flavor with onions and garlic, if you like. As long as the dice is small, my kids don’t mind.

Pizza seasoning or Italian seasoning goes in too.

Eat Your Veggies Trickster Add-Ins

Have a picky kid or partner who won’t eat their veggies? Sneak some into this chili (or any chili) by sauteing & pureeing spinach, carrots, and mushrooms. They’ll have no idea! Be sure to add in a cup of water if doing this, so it doesn’t get too thick.

pizza chili with banana peppers on top and a breadstick on the side.
Top this Pizza Chili like you would a pizza. Try red pepper flake, banana peppers, parmesan cheese, or mozzarella.

The “Toppings”

This is where the magic happens. Our favorite toppings in this chili are: Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, Mushrooms (with banana peppers on the adult’s). However, the possibilities are endless. Just think of your favorite Pizzeria and what they offer. Here are some suggestions:

Protein:

  • Hamburger
  • Italian Sausage
  • Pepperoni
  • Chicken Breast
  • Chicken Sausage
  • Kidney Beans

Veggies & Such:

  • Mushrooms
  • Green Peppers
  • Banana Peppers
  • Black Olives
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Artichokes
  • Eggplant

Pick your favorites and make the soup.

The Dipper (optional)

This is completely optional. If you are low carb, just move to the next section. My kids love to dip breadsticks in this “soup”. Pick up some dough from your local Pizza Shop or make your own, it really is easy. Use Bobby Flay’s Pizza Dough recipe.

Make your Own Breadsticks

Swap in some whole wheat flour for half the bread flour to give it some nutritional components. Here’s what you’ll need for the breadsticks, if making your own:

  • Bread Flour
  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • Olive Oil
  • Honey
  • 1 Instant Yeast Envelope

With this Pizza Dough recipe, I’ll cut it in half, place half in a freezer zip top bag, and freeze for a later date.

Simple Steps

It’s easy to make your own breadsticks, just allow enough time. Here’s what you do:

  1. Cut dough into 8 sections.
  2. Using your hands, roll out each section in the shape of a breadstick (kids love to help).
  3. Place on greased sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap and let proof (rise) until double in size.
  4. Brush with olive oil or an egg wash and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and a little coarse salt.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown, about 12 minutes.

Dough rises best in a warm moist climate. Some ovens have a proof setting. If yours has this setting, select that and place the breadsticks in the oven (with plastic wrap on top). To speed things up, place a bowl full of water on the bottom rack.

This past time making breadsticks, my dishwasher was just done with a load. Since it’s nice and steamy in there, I placed my baking sheet on top of the top rack (removed any tall glasses that were in my way). Shut the door for 20 minutes and BAM. The breadsticks popped up quick!

If all the stars are aligned and your dishwasher gets done right when you’re making breadsticks, take advantage! Completely out of the ordinary, a little red neck, but it worked like a charm.

For already made easy dippers, try these warmed up:

  • Naan Bread, toaster size
  • Flat Bread, cut in strips
  • Take & Bake Rolls
  • Frozen breadsticks, baked

How to Make Pizza Chili

Starting off this recipe, will depend on the toppings of choice. Here are a few scenarios:

Ground Beef or Sausage

If using ground beef or any type of sausage, start by adding the meat and diced onion to a pan. Start cooking the meat over medium heat. If using any other veggies that require longer cook times (like peppers) add them in. Continue cooking until meat is done (165 degrees). Drain off any fat from the meat. Add in minced garlic. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring the whole time.

Add in all the tomato ingredients along with any other ingredients, like pepperoni, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, olives, banana peppers, spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Bowl it up, top with cheese, and enjoy.

Chicken Breasts

There are a few different ways you can make this if using chicken. It will depend on if you want shredded or chunks of chicken.

Shredded– heat up a Dutch oven, or whatever you use for soup, to medium high. Add olive oil, sear chicken for a few minutes on each side. Remove chicken breasts from pot, put on plate, and set to the side. In the same pot, sauté up the onions and veggies of choice. Add garlic in the last 30 seconds of cooking.

Pour in all the tomato ingredients, any other topping ingredients being used, and 1 cup of water. Return the chicken breasts back to the pot. Cover pot, simmer until chicken is cooked through (165 degrees). Remove chicken, shred, return to pot. Bowl is up, top with finishers, and enjoy.

Chunks– heat up a Dutch oven, or whatever you use for soup, to medium high. Add olive oil, sauté onion and other veggies being used for a few minutes. Drop in chunks of chicken, searing on all sides. Add in garlic at the end, cook for 30 seconds. Next, add in tomato ingredients and any other topping ingredients being used. Simmer for 20-30 minutes on low. Bowl is up, top with finishers, and enjoy.

Beans

Heat up a Dutch oven, or whatever you use for soup. Add olive oil, sauté onion and other veggies being used for 5-8 minutes. Add drained & rinsed beans and minced garlic. Cook for a few minutes, then add all the tomato ingredients, along with any other topping ingredient being used. Simmer for 20-30 minutes on low. Bowl is up, top with finishers, and enjoy.

The Finisher

Once the Pizza Chili is bowled up, it’s time for more toppings. Add any of the following to finish this tangy chili off:

  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Red Pepper Flake
  • Pepperoncinis
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper
All the delightful flavors of pizza mixed together in a delicious chili.
How long does this last in the fridge?

With most leftovers, 3 days is a good rule of thumb.

Can you freeze Pizza Chili?

YES! It freezes great. I like to make a double recipe of this and freeze half. If you hit the 3-day mark and still have leftovers, freeze it.

Can this sit simmering on the stove for a few hours?

Yes! It gets better as it simmers, bringing all those delicious flavors together. If it gets too thick for your liking, just add a little bit of water or stock.

Can I make this into a soup instead of a chili?

Yes. Once you’ve cooked the meat and veggies, add in 3 cups of stock or water with all the tomato ingredients. You may want to add another 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

What salad recipe do you suggest with this Pizza Chili?

Spinach Salad with Pesto Dressing would be delightful.

More Pizza & Chili Recipes

Thai Veggie Pizza

Pizzeria House Salad Recipe

Peach & Brie Pizza

Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan with Goat Cheese

Buffalo Cauliflower Chili

thyme branch

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pizza chili with mozzarella on top

Comforting Pizza Chili with your Favorite Toppings

Adapted from Taste of Home Recipe
Pizza and Chili unite! Pick all your favorite pizza toppings and turn them into a comforting chili. This recipe is based off of Taste of Home's Pepperoni Pizza Chili. The version below is my family's favorite. Read the post for more options.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American Italian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 210 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 5 qt Dutch Oven

Ingredients
  

Pizza Chili

  • 1 lb. Italian Sausage
  • 1/2 Onion diced
  • 3 Garlic cloves minced
  • 8 oz Mushrooms diced
  • 3 oz Pepperoni uncured, cut in quarters
  • 1 jar Pizza Sauce (12oz)
  • 1 can Fire Roasted or Italian Stewed Tomatoes or no sodium added diced tomatoes
  • 1 can Tomato Sauce (15oz)
  • 1.5 tsp Italian Seasoning or Pizza Seasoning
  • 1 can Kidney Beans rinsed & drained, optional

Topping Options

  • Mozzarella Cheese shredded
  • Parmesan Cheese grated
  • Red Pepper Flake
  • Banana Peppers
  • Fresh Ground Pepper

Instructions
 

  • Heat 5 qt Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage and onion. Cook until sausage is cooked (165° F). Drain off fat & discard. Add in garlic, mushrooms, Italian or Pizza Seasoning, and beans (if using). Cook for 30 seconds.
  • Stir in Pizza Sauce, Tomato Sauce, and canned Tomatoes. Add in Pepperoni. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  • Bowl up chili, sprinkle with toppings of choice. Serve with a side salad or breadsticks. Enjoy!

Notes

Make this your own by swapping in your favorite pizza ingredients. 
*Sodium levels in nutrition facts don’t account for no salt added tomatoes or beans.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 8servingsCalories: 210kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 14gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 1589mgPotassium: 778mgFiber: 4gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 1027IUVitamin C: 31mgCalcium: 72mgIron: 11mg
Keyword chili season, favorite pizza toppings, pizza and chili unite, pizza chili, pizza topping soup, twist on chili
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This looks delicious! I’m going to make it for “Souper Bowl” Sunday!

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