Sizzle Simmer Sauté Sylvania – Build a Border Battle Chili Platter for the big game

Jennifer Alexander Ruple

The Border Battle is right around the corner! When it comes to entertaining football fans for the epic meeting of The Ohio State Buckeyes and the University of Michigan Wolverines, the food should be equally impressive.

Nothing screams football louder than a heaping pot of hearty chili, with just enough spice to warm up the crowd on a crisp autumn day. Take it into overtime by building a Border Battle Chili Platter with toppings that will satisfy all the players. For extra team spirit, include foods that coordinate with scarlet and gray such as red tortilla chips, tomatoes and red onion, or with maize and blue like corn kernels, cheddar cheese and corn bread.

My classic chili recipe is loaded with ground beef or ground turkey, chopped veggies and beans. And it easily double or triples for a sold-out stadium.

Building the Platter

Begin by making the chili. When chili is finished simmering, add it to a medium size slow cooker and turn it to the warm setting. Place the slow cooker at the top of a large platter or tray. Add serving bowls and spoons to the tray.

On each team’s side, first place team napkins. Then add toppings of choice to small serving bowls and arrange them around the slow cooker and serving pieces. Fill in between the bowls with tortilla chips, oyster crackers and corn chips. Here are a few ideas for team-tailored toppings or have fun coming up with your own ideas.

Chili Toppers

Michigan – corn kernels, blue tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, corn bread cubes
Ohio State – diced tomatoes, red bell pepper, red onion, oyster crackers, Monterrey Jack cheese
Neutral Zone – sour cream, jalapenos, hot sauce, cilantro


Game Day Chili

  • 6 servings
  • 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4-ounce can green chiles
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 10 3/4-ounce can condensed tomato soup
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 28-ounce can diced tomatoes,
  • undrained or 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 or 2 cans kidney beans

In a large skillet, cook ground beef or ground turkey until it’s no longer pink. Drain.

In a large stock pot, combine all ingredients, except beans. Boil chili mixture then reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Stir in kidney beans and heat for 5 more minutes. Serve.

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