Shhh…Readers Reveal Their Secret Chili Ingredients

In the famous words of one Chidi Anagonye, “You put the Peeps in the chili pot and makes it taste…bad.” So I generally listen to him and don’t add Peeps to my chili (although there was that one time…I don’t want to talk about it). But if not Peeps, then what is that secret chili ingredient that separates a good chili from an award-winning one? We figured you all would have some glorious ideas, so we took to X (Twitter’s permanent new alter ego) and asked you guys, “What’s your secret chili ingredient?” We said we wouldn’t tell but immediate reneged, and here we are, definitely telling the world some of your best suggestions for chili secret ingredients.

The Holy Mole!

“Chocolate. All chili needs it” —@kellsbells75162

Chocolate in chili is fantastic—the deep cocoa flavor mixed with the warm spices and the umami tomato? Ugh, now I’m hungry. Sprinkle or melt in some cocoa, and you can’t go wrong!

Read the full ranking of the best dark chocolate

The Mythical Chef Josh

“Mayonnaise” —@MythicalChef

Because of COURSE Mythical Chef Josh adds mayo.

Read the full ranking of the best mayonnaise

The Family Secret

“I will never tell the secret to my 6-24 hr chopped peppers and onions marinated in chili powder, cumin, taijin, and olive oil before sautéing, 2 bean, ground turkey (Worcestershire sauce) chili. Its a family secret. ” —@evitable_fate

You guys. I think @evitable_fate just changed our lives.

Read the full ranking of the best olive oil

The Little Italy

“Take Italian sausage out of the casing and mix it with the ground beef” —@Coach_Layton

This actually sounds so good. I will be incorporating this into my chili routine.

Read the full ranking of the best Italian sausage

The Could’ve (and Did) Had a V8

“V-8” —@blkrhino79

A great way to add more tomato-y (and other vegetable) goodness to your chili.

Read the full ranking of the best tomato juice

The Creamy Dreamy

“Cream cheese. It’s basically my secret ingredient for everything 😂.” —@ThatDudeLon

Chili and cheese? I don’t think anyone can disagree with this combo.

Read the full ranking of the best cream cheese

The Keepin’ It Spicy

“Gochujang” —@KCZ946

Chili is great, but spicy chili is even better. Plus the rich fermented flavor of the gochujang? MmmMMMmmm.

Read our review of Trader Joe’s gochujang sauce

The Worsestchesterstyle

“Worcestershire Sauce. Specifically the U.K. version NOT the US version.” —@K_Scarpetta

More like the Bestchesterstyle, amiright?

Not totally sure what Worcestershire sauce is? Read our explainer.

About the Author

Jessica Block

Jessica Block is a freelance contributor to Sporked, a comedian, a baker, a food writer, and a firm believer that Trader Joe's may just be the happiest place on earth. She loves spicy snacks, Oreos, baking bread, teeny tiny avocados, and trying new foods whenever she can. Also, if you give her a bag of Takis she will be your best friend.

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