If Rome, Italy and Dallas, Texas got together had a baby – it would be this Italian Chili! 🙂 This is a very unique and delicious chili – and it just might become your new favorite!
This Italian Chili is a mix of hot Italian sausage, pieces of boneless and skinless chicken thighs, pancetta and pepperoni – plus a variety of vegetables including bell peppers, onions, fennel, corn kernels, tomatoes and pepperoncini.
There ARE some classic chili seasonings in this Italian Chili such as chili powder and cumin. And there are also some classic Italian flavors as well including basil, oregano, and balsamic vinegar!
As I’m writing this, the combination of ingredients together is surprising – but I assure you this Italian Chili is fantastic! The flavors really work very well together and this recipe is a great way to shake up the same old dinner routine! The chili is thick and robust and perfect served with some hot garlic bread!
This Italian Chili recipe was loosely inspired by a recipe we found in The New Basics Cookbook (affiliate link) but we changed up the original recipe quite a bit and made it our own. Enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 ounces pancetta, diced
- 20 slices pepperoni cut into quarters
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup green bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup fennel, bulb only chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons diced fresh red chili pepper (I used one red jalapeno)
- 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
- 1 pound hot Italian sausage, removed from casing
- 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 28-ounce can ground peeled tomatoes (we used Cento brand)
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- ½ cup sliced pepperoncini drained
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon dry oregano
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 ½ cups frozen corn kernels
- 4 plum tomatoes seeded and roughly chopped
- ½ cup fresh basil chopped, divided
- Sour cream for garnish
- In a large heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat and add pancetta and pepperoni. Cook stirring often for 3 minutes or until pancetta is crisp. If getting too browned, lower heat to medium.
- Add onion, green pepper, fennel, and chili pepper and cook five minutes over medium high heat.
- Add garlic and sausage meat and cook until browned, about 5-10 minutes.
- Add chicken pieces and cook for 5-10 more minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink.
- Add canned tomato, tomato paste, pepperoncini, chili powder, cumin, oregano and vinegar.
- Bring to a simmer, cover partially and lower heat to a slow simmer and cook 30 minutes.
- Add frozen corn and fresh tomatoes and cook just to heat, about five minutes.
- Stir in fresh basil (saving some for garnish) and serve with a dollop of sour cream and additional basil.
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