Bread Bowls with Chili: souper bowls for 
the Super Bowl

So many chili recipes… so little time! Go ahead, I dare you – Google “chili recipe.”

12.4 million results later, I’ll bet you STILL can’t decide which chili recipe to make, right?

Here, let me simplify things for you:

Make our Oven-Baked Chili. And serve it in the bread bowls below.

So, what’s so special about THIS particular chili recipe?

Here’s why I like it:
•It features meaty stew beef, rather than ground beef;
•It’s the perfect balance of beef to vegetables to beans;
•You can dial up the heat or eliminate it entirely, making it adaptable to any audience;
•I love the rich yet comforting flavor;
•It’s oh-so-easy to make in a slow cooker.

If you have your own favorite chili recipe, far be it from me to try to knock it off its pedestal; to each his own, right?

But if you’re at the stage where nothing you’ve tried is quite right, and you’re still Googling “chili recipe,” try Oven-Baked Chili.

And serve it in these crusty/chewy, cumin-scented bread bowls.

Place the following in a mixing bowl:

1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup yellow or white cornmeal
2 to 3 teaspoons ground cumin, to taste; optional
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons potato flour or 1/2 cup dry potato flakes
2 tablespoons Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

Mix and knead to make a smooth, fairly soft dough. If you use a stand mixer, it’ll coat the sides of the bowl at first; stop and scrape down the sides and bottom with a bowl scraper, then continue kneading. By the end, it should be just barely sticking to the sides.

Place the dough in a bowl or rising container – I’m using an 8-cup measure here, which makes it easy to track.

Cover it, and let it rise for about 60 to 90 minutes, until it’s just about doubled in bulk.

Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 8 pieces. Round each piece into a ball.

Stagger the balls on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover, and let rise for about 60 to 90 minutes, until noticeably puffy.

Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake the buns until they’re golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Remove them from the oven, and let them cool right on the pan.

Nice buns!

If you haven’t already done so, make your chili.

When you’re ready to serve, cut the top 1/3 off each bun. Gently and carefully scoop out the bread inside. Reserve for bread crumbs – or feed to the birds.

Heat the chili, and ladle it into the bread bowls.

Place the bowls in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes, to heat and crisp.

Serve with grated cheddar cheese (and sour cream), if desired.

Do you prefer a lighter, chicken-based chili? Try our White Chili.

Can you see serving these on Super Bowl Sunday? Everything done ahead, all you need to do is plate, reheat for 10 minutes, and serve?

I’m so there.

Read, make, and review (please) our Bread Bowls with Chili.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. Brenda

    I can vouch f or this chili–at 60, finally stopped Googling “chili recipe”. Now to try it with the bread bowls!

  2. "Paul from Ohio"

    OH YES! Gonna give this a try. We have a couple of chili recipes I make, but I love the idea of the bread bowls so I’ll be trying this combo – for sure! Fresh cumin on the way too!

  3. Carolyn Y.

    I have a box of Alaskan sourdough mix from y’all… Is there something special I need to do to it to make bread bowls out of it? Maybe throw in that cornmeal you list in this recipe here? My husband only eats one kind of chili, but I think he’d think I was the Queen of the Universe if I made bread bowls for it…

    Should be fine as is, Carolyn; as I recall, it makes a fairly sturdy, “shapeable” dough. All you want is something stiff enough to hold its shape when you make it into balls, which I assume this dough is. Go for it!! You deserve to wear the Queen of the Universe crown… 🙂 PJH

  4. awaken33

    I will certainly be trying the chili! About the bread bowls, my boyfriend’s diet won’t allow much potato or dairy. Can the bowls be made without them?

    Yes, absolutely. The texture will be a bit chewier, that’s all. Enjoy – PJH

  5. wisekaren

    A long time ago, at a local pub, I had a yummy chicken pot pie served in a bread bowl instead of with the usual crust, and I’ve always wanted to duplicate that — this may be the ticket! Do you think I could use just any chicken pot pie filling recipe and cook it on the stove? (Sorry to derail the chili discussion!)

    Absolutely – or try our Stuffing Bread Bowls, which are specially flavored for chicken pot pie filling… PJH

  6. argentyne

    Since just making cookies finally laid my old stand mixer to rest… I was given a brand spanking NEW stand mixer for christmas!

    What better way to break it in than to make delicious bread bowls? 🙂

  7. dwgentry

    Not a criticism – just a heads up. These bowls are yummy (the addition of a little bit of cumin is inspired.) They are smaller, though, than the typical bread/soup bowls you might find in a café. Notice their scale in the photo – next to the fork. I used our neighbors as guinea pigs with this recipe last night. They loved them. Most of us had two each. I let the chili reduce down a bit more than I might normally – so that it could be mounded a bit in the smaller bowls.

    Thanks for your feedback; much appreciated. For larger, restaurant-sized bread bowls, you can easily divide the dough in 6 pieces. To me, the smaller bowls were still a tiny bit big; they hold about 1 cup of chili, which is plenty for me, though I guess I’m used to eating smaller portions. To each his own, right? 🙂 PJH

  8. subhorup dasgupta

    Glad to find this site through a link on a friend’s blog. Baking is my weak area, as I have only recently started learning to bake, specially breads and cakes. Your site helps me to blend baking with other styles to come up with innovative presentations.

    I blog at Subho’s Jejune Diet and one of the posts I thought I could share with your readers is The Kitchen of Love and Life.

    Thanks so much – we’re always happy to share our readers’ blogs… PJH

  9. chris348

    For the chili, if you’re in a bit of a rush and have a pressure cooker, do all of the browning and sauteing in the pressure cooker pot, add everything else and then cook at pressure for 25 minutes. The stew meat still comes out just as tender. (This message brought to you by someone who just got a pressure cooker and is finding out every thing possible to cook in it)

    Chris, thanks! I’ve never had a pressure cooker, but you do make it sound enticing… 🙂 PJH

  10. "chef girl1"

    I made this Sunday for dinner. As previously stated by dwgentry, the rolls where delicious but small and not too tall. They were like big hamburger buns. I will try to make them bigger next time or just use them as rolls on the side. The chili was a rich bowl of goodness. Both items will be on my Super Bowl Sunday Party menu!! Thanks!

    Mine were like softballs – maybe our rising conditions here were better that day, for some reason… Anyway, you can definitely make six instead of eight; or double the recipe and make 12. Happy Super Bowling! PJH

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      You bet – substitute 1/4 cup milk for 1/4 cup of the water. The bread may not rise as quickly, but it should be fine in the end. Enjoy – PJH

  11. Jessica

    I’d love to make these for a dinner party. What would your recommendations be for making ahead? Can they be frozen? I’m serving 24 people so I want to do as much prep in advance as I can.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Jessica!
      If you would like to make these ahead of time, I would bake them all the way through to start. Then shortly after they cool, double-wrap them in plastic and freeze them like that. Then thaw them in the fridge overnight, the night before you would like serve them, and then you can refresh them in the oven at around 350F until thoroughly heated through (140F in the center is the ideal). You can wrap them in foil for reheating if you would like to help retain their moisture when reheating. Then core the centers, fill them with delicious chili/soup, and enjoy! Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *