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Italian Chili

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. Add onion, green pepper, fennel, and chili pepper and cook five minutes over medium high heat.
  3. Add garlic and sausage meat and cook until browned, about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add chicken pieces and cook for 5-10 more minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink.
  5. Add canned tomato, tomato paste, pepperoncini, chili powder, cumin, oregano and vinegar.
  6. Bring to a simmer, cover partially and lower heat to a slow simmer and cook 30 minutes.
  7. Add frozen corn and fresh tomatoes and cook just to heat, about five minutes.
  8. Stir in fresh basil (saving some for garnish) and serve with a dollop of sour cream and additional basil.