Chili is one of my family's favorite dinners, and one that we love to eat as the weather cools off. My kids are both kind of spice-averse, which means that I look for recipes where I can control the level of spicy heat and where there are plenty of vegetables to balance out the subtle spices I add.
These 10 recipes all fit the bill. If you're looking for family-friendly chili recipes, here are some of the very best.
Macaroni and cheese meets a mellow chili in this one-pot recipe. This is a perfect gateway chili for kids, as the pasta is a familiar partner for the less-beloved beans and beef.
Classic chili is one of the easiest dishes to adapt if you have spice-averse children because its heat comes from just one source — chili powder — and you can use as little or as much as you like. You can also make your own chili powder and adjust the spices yourself.
This speedy chili is mild yet flavorful and is beloved by my 6-year-old. And because the jalapeños are optional and can go on top, grown-ups can enjoy this stew as spicy as they like.
Another classic chili, but one that every parent should have in their arsenal. This one serves a crowd and is one we make for Halloween guests who stop by before or after trick-or-treating.
Serve this soup with tortilla chips for dipping and you'll have a new family favorite. The only peppers in this chili are mild sweet peppers (which kids love), and you can skip both the chili powder and cayenne in this recipe as needed.
This black bean version is chock-full of mild vegetables — no meat here — and makes great use of the slow cooker.
Chili verde gets its hue from green chilis, but roasting them tempers their heat and brings a ton of sweetness to this chili. The white beans and super-savory pork broth make this a family favorite.
This is the sweetest, heartiest vegetarian chili that I know of, and it's perfect for fall. (And don't worry — this recipe uses canned pumpkin purée, so no need to roast your own.)
This mild chili is full of sweet squash and plenty of beans! Non-vegan toppings, like cheese and sour cream, are totally welcome for omnivorous eaters.
Loaded with sweet potatoes and mild turkey, your kids are really going to love this slow cooker chili. You can use black beans, as pictured here, or more traditional kidney beans if you prefer.