Italian Style Game Day Chili with Quick Focaccia

Veronica Callaghan


This Italian-style chili has a rich tomato, shallot, fresh basil and oregano sauce for the base with a touch of chili paste. Roasted eggplant stands in for the more traditional beans and then it is topped with a creamy dollop of Burrata or fresh mozzarella cheese and served with quick Rosemary Focaccia.


★★★★★ 1 vote

6 servings
10 Min
1 Hr
Stove Top


  • 1 large
    eggplant, diced
  • 2 Tbsp
    plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp
    kosher salt
  • 1/2 c
    small diced shallots
  • 1 lb
    ground mild italian sausage
  • 1 lb
    ground hot italian sausage
  • 1 c
    pepperoni, diced
  • 28 oz
    crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 2 Tbsp
    tomato paste
  • 2 tsp
    chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
  • 1 tsp
    finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 c
    finely chopped fresh basil plus additional for garnish
  • 8 oz
    burrata cheese (fresh mozzarella may be substituted)

  • 2
    small prebaked pizza crusts
  • 1 Tbsp
    freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp
    freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp
    large grained sea salt
  • 1 tsp
    italian seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp
    fresh rosemary

How to Make Italian Style Game Day Chili with Quick Focaccia


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spread the eggplant in an even layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt; let sit for 10 minutes. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil over the eggplant and using your hands gently toss to coat. Roast the eggplant in the oven until lightly browned, about 12-14 minutes.
  3. In a deep heavy 2 quart saucepan heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and the remaining salt and cook just until translucent but not browned. Break apart the sausage into the pan with the shallots and cook until lightly browned. Stir in the pepperoni strips and cook for an additional minute.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste and chili paste and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the herbs and the roasted eggplant and cook an additional 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, to make the focaccia bread, arrange the pizza crusts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over each crust then sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, pepper, salt, Italian seasoning and rosemary, evenly dividing. Bake crusts in the oven until browned and bubbly.
  6. To serve divide the chili into serving bowls and top each with a portion of the cheese and garnish with additional fresh basil. Cut the focaccia into wedges and serve with the chili.

Printable Recipe Card

About Italian Style Game Day Chili with Quick Focaccia

Main Ingredient: Non-Edible or Other
Regional Style: Italian
Hashtag: #sausage

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