We’ve all had to feed a bunch of guests, and it’s always a challenge to do so inexpensively and, where you can, with a bit of flair! Inspired by Dollar Tree’s Chili Bar idea from the Dollar Tree Value Seekers Club, I created a Chili Bar that you can use to add some low-cost fun to a family get-together or even just a family dinner!
The Dollar Tree Value Seekers Club is free to join – and it’s full of seasonal ideas, recipes and crafts. The content changes every month, and you can save or print the project sheets to make handy shopping lists/how-to instructions. I found the Chili Bar idea on the site and thought … hmmmm … I can make this! The Chili Bar idea was just enough inspiration for me to make it my own — adding a Dollar-Tree-specific recipe and fun printables!
I’ll share my Dollar Tree chili recipe, some free, easy printables you can use for your chili bar, and show you how YOU can win a $100 Dollar Tree gift card, too!
Simple Chili Recipe
To build a chili bar everyone can enjoy, I chose to create a few different kinds of chili and share a bunch of yummy toppings so everyone can “build” their bowl of chili just to their taste! I found most of the ingredients and supplies at Dollar Tree (for — you guessed it — $1 each!), like:
- Small condiment serving bowls (4/$1!)
- Large serving bowl for chips
- Cornbread mix
- All of the chili ingredients except fresh veggies and meat (see recipe)
- Chili “garnish” or “add-ins” like shredded cheese, sour cream, frozen (thawed) corn, additional hot sauce, etc.
- Fun gold wrap for the flower decor accents
- Corn chips – both tortilla and “dippers”
Here’s what I love about chili — it’s hard to go wrong! However you make it is how it is supposed to be. So in that spirit, I present my recipe for Dollar Tree Can’t-Miss Chili:
(You may want a Large Slow Cooker — adjust ingredients to fit in your slow cooker! I created the same base and then divided it into three smaller slow cookers with different meat/no meat)
- 2 cans black beans (drained)
- 1 can pinto beans (drained)
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 28-oz can tomato sauce
- 3 tablespoons chili powder (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- (add a couple tablespoons of brown sugar if you like a sweeter flavor — or half a can of Dr. Pepper)
- 1/2 can El Pato brand Mexican hot tomato sauce (optional)
- Additional veggies or meat as described below
Place all ingredients into the slow cooker and stir.
Add spice to taste. We like it a bit spicier but you may want to leave some of the cayenne or chili powder out.
You may want to brown some onion – we added about half a red onion, chopped and browned, as well as one lonely bell pepper we found in the fridge.
We also added fresh sausage, browned. We made vegetarian chili with the same recipe – without the meat (and halved the recipe since only one of us is vegetarian). It also works with diced chicken breasts (precooked).
Add what you like! Corn is not universally adored in our family, so we put it out for those who wanted to add it. If your family likes it, add it to the chili!
Throw it in the slow cooker on low for four hours or so. Pretty much everything’s already cooked, so you’re just letting the flavor get even better.
Serve with the garnishes and sour cream.
Free Chili Bar Printables
And I’ve also shared these FREE printables! The banner is self-explanatory. I included a blank piece in case you had room to drape the “CHILI BAR” banner across your whole serving area – mine was not wide enough. I’ve also included display cards so you can label your chili recipes or styles, garnishes, and so forth.
Right-click the image below or this link to download the chili bar banner:
Right-click the image below or this link to download the chili bar labels:
And now here’s the best part: I’m giving away a $100 gift card to Dollar Tree!
Enjoy! Let me know how you customized YOUR chili bar!
(And don’t forget to sign up for the Dollar Tree Value Seekers Club!)
This post sponsored by Dollar Tree. However, the recipe, printables and creativity are all mine. See my disclosures.
PS: I’ve linked up this post to these fabulous blogs this week!