Game Day Eats Series: Episode 1 | Mini Chili Bowl Bites

Can I scream? I’m going to scream because I’m super excited about these  MINI CHILI BOWL BITES! Okay, I’m done screaming, but seriously, these are so fun and deliciously practical. They are just big enough to hold all things chili, but small enough to truly be considered pop-able. This means you don’t have to open you mouth to an unattractive size to avoid that food-spilling bite that so often happens with the failed promise of one-bite food.

Mini Chili Bowl Bites - via Bakers Royale

They also serve as my kickoff recipe for preseason football. If you are a regular reader around here, than you know Matt and I are constantly trying to one up each other with clever game day food. I’m pretty sure I have this week’s competition in the bag! But our boy’s will be the judge of that. Matt is rolling his out on Wednesday. Mini Chili Bowl Bites _ Bakers Royale

I lost the coin toss so I went first which is a total disadvantage because the kids are way too good about giving thoughts on what they would have liked or what would have made it better. Or my favorite, ” You know what would be really cool . . . ” Lucky for me I didn’t get any of that this time around. In fact they were a huge hit. But I knew they would be, chili is a family favorite and making them bite-size mini bowls on a stick got the reaction I had hoped for, “These are so fun”.

I smell a win for this round! Yay, me!

A few notes:

  • I used these pretzel bites, but almost any will do.
  • To create a well for the chili, I used an apple corer. If you run into any problems there, use a melon baller to clean out what the apple corer doesn’t extract. But definitely start with the apple corer, I only had to use the melon baller on two pretzel bites.
  • Obviously any chili will work. But if you are looking for a solid homemade recipe, my go-to is Better Homes and Garden’s Texas Red Chili, that I originally posted here If you want to keep things simple. pick up some and make your life easy.
  • You can serve these off the skewer, but the skewer helps to keep them from going topsy-turvy and just gives it that much more curb appeal. (Although Matt preferred his served in the paper bowls so he didn’t have to fuss with pulling them.)
Mini Chili Bowl Bites via Bakers Royale1 600x600

this recipe

Mini Chili Bowl Bites

Yield: Makes 24 mini bites


  • 36 pretzel balls or pretzel bites
  • 2/3 cup chili
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes


Create a well in the center of each pretzel ball by pushing an apple corer three-quarters of the way down and then pulling up to extract the center. If the center sticks, use a melon baller to create a clean well.

Fill each well with chili , then top with cheese, chives and red pepper flakes.

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  1. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonLindsay | With Salt and Pepper says

    Ok, I’m obsessed with this idea!!! I LOVE anything pretzel roll and filling them with chili is genius Naomi! Happy Monday!


  2. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonNatasha @ Salt & Lavender says

    These are seriously cute and innovative! Not surprised the kids loved them. Matt has his work cut out for him haha. We’re starting to get excited for football in my house as well!


  3. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonMary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says

    OMG! I’m screaming too Naomi! These are going to be a HUGE hit at our house for college football season! Can’t wait to try!


  4. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonTaylor @ Food Faith Fitness says

    What in the heck – this is amazing!!! Only you could do something so awesome!


  5. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonLindsay Cotter says

    I cannot wait till football now! Haha! I go to game day parties for the food anyway. Doesn’t everyone? Totally making!


  6. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonErin says

    Great idea! I don’t see a link to the pretzel bites you used…would love to find out the brand. Also, where did you find the newspaper liner, please? Thanks!


  7. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonAlice @ Hip Foodie Mom says

    I didn’t realize this was a competition between you and Matt! Just read his post! Naomi, you’ve got my vote on these mini-chili-bowl-bites!!! LOVE!


  8. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonRobyn Stone | Add a Pinch says

    Oh my gosh, these are so stinking cute! Love this idea for parties and tailgating! YUM!


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