Chili I made for dinner party tomorrow is TOO spicy. What to do?

I made a version of vssmom's bowl of red for a crowd, but the chili powder I used was very potent and I'm afraid that most of tomorrow's dinner party guests will find it too spicy. Any suggestions for strategies to mellow the heat?



Laura_Lee October 23, 2019
I’ll add to this because I’m sitting here testing tiny batches of my too-spicy chili (not too spicy for me, but I don’t want to go near the potential diaper my 2 year old would make with this.) trying to tone it down.
(I made white bean chicken chili.)
Best result? Some lemon juice and the left over juice from the Cannellini beans I used in the chili. Given my recipe did call for cream cheese so that helped too. But the tiny little dollop of (albeit gross looking) bean juice I saved didn’t water the dish down but did tone it down. And of course the lemon helped. On that note I always drain and rinse beans but I had seen in the comments for my recipe that someone used a little of the leftover juice instead of chicken broth as to not make the dish watery. Glad I saved it!
jo January 31, 2018
I have the answer. The answer is ::: chocolate! Yep, bittersweet chocolate, you'll end up with a slightly mole- esque chili, but it works. This happened to me when I added too much spicy adobo to my chili which I entered into a chili cook-off contest which was the next day. I felt panicy, because it was too spicy and I didn't want to disappoint my family who was excited about the cook-off. But the chocolate was brilliant... and I actually won first prize :)
DeeKay December 14, 2021
How much though!??
Melissa D. January 30, 2018
how can get spice out of my chili
grace D. February 22, 2015
Instead of adding more beans and risking throwing the balance of ingredients out (or similarly adding more water and weakening other flavours) I would suggest serving with a yoghurt instead of a sour cream. Sour cream is very heavy and can often overly flavour a dish, whereas yoghurt (if you use full fat natural greek style) is very light and adds a really nice balance to your dish. If you want to flavour it I would suggest simply lemon juice, lemon zest and a little salt. To garnish: mint leaves and a little fresh tomato on top.
CookingMomTR November 19, 2011
Whenever I make a tomato based item that is too spicy for my kids, I add a bit of honey (or sugar in a pinch). it seems to heighten the tomato flavour while dampening the spice.
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I would probably make another batch (minus the chili powder) and add this second batch to the first, divide and freeze half for later in the season. I see your problem has already been solved. Glad you had an enjoyable party.

chez_mere November 16, 2011
Fat will dull the heat, so regular sour cream, yogurt or avocado are all good choices. Plus, guests can modify the chili to their personal preferences. Maybe some cornbread on the side, since carbs sometimes help ease the burn too.
Panfusine November 15, 2011
grate up some Paneer (more like finely crumbled), add it to the chili, (Paneer really does not add flavor, but does give a nice texture, ) along with the beans & tomatoes.
Fairmount_market November 14, 2011
Thanks for all of your suggestions! On the morning of the party I cooked a pot of mildly flavored beans with cumin and oregano. Then I reheated the chili and was pleasantly surprised to find that its spiciness had mellowed a little overnight. So I ended up serving the beans on the side for people to dilute into their chili as desired. It all worked out: the chili was really delicious and people appreciated being able to temper the spiciness to their tastes.
beyondcelery November 14, 2011
When mine gets too spicy, I add a bunch of yams and potatoes, diced. Cook them in the chili and they'll mellow much of the heat.
Janis F. February 22, 2015
Thanks! I have added potatoes and will also be adding beans and masa. Hope it works!
MTMitchell November 14, 2011
I grew up in a house where the mantra was that chili (or anything else with some kick, for that matter) wasn't ready to be consumed until it made you sweat and that funny vein popped out in my dad's forehead. Having said that, there were times where my mom made something that she thought actually might be too spicy for us. She used to add a potato or two, cut up. She'd fish the potato out before we ate whatever the dish was, usually. It seemed to work pretty well when I was a kid, and it has worked for me in a pinch more than a few times. Having said that, since you have a little time, the suggestions above to add beans or add more of everything except the chili powder will probably work better. The potato trick is kind of point-of-need solution.
TheWimpyVegetarian November 14, 2011
I made a black bean chili a couple years ago for a catering project and realized the night before that it was WAY too spicy. I took out one-fourth of the chili and set it aside. To the main pot I planned to serve, I added more beans (as suggested above), sour cream (also suggested above) and quite a bit of lime juice. Then I added back in just a little of the reserved chili as needed. It all worked so well the next day that people kept asking me for the recipe.
DGCook November 14, 2011
thank you all for your suggestions. I appreciate all of your help
Tasteless G. November 13, 2011
I agree with beans, tomato sauce, sour cream or even broth/ water too. I wonder if reheating the chili in a slow cooker over a longer period would help since you always have to reseason when using one.
wssmom November 13, 2011
Canned beans would definitely cut the heat; you could also stir in some Velveeta. Sour cream also takes the edge off!!
Esther P. November 13, 2011
I'd second the sour cream, and suggest a bowl of grated cheese as well! You could put a small bowl of jalapeños out, as a way of subtly finding out if anyone thinks your chilli isn't hot enough!
Sadassa_Ulna November 13, 2011
I would do something similar to what zindc suggests. I'd add beans (canned at this point to save time) and think of that as additional "meat," then I'd a little more of everything else in the recipe except the hot chili powder. Then I'd get it simmering as soon as possible so that the spiciness transfers. Maybe serve some cooling guacamole or other avocado dish on the side?
ATG117 November 13, 2011
i'd also suggest taking special note of comforting and cooling sides like a hearty bread, a crisp slaw , a green salad or other vegetable, dressed with something creamy and bright, with less acid. I'd say a creamy drink or shake would also serve as a palate cooler after the red, but serving a milk or some dairy shake at a dinner party might be odd.

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ATG117 November 13, 2011
i'd agree. Add more beans and tomato product and simmer for a while. Then, aslso as mentioned, go very generous on the sour cream. The dairy will cool the heat. But if you're really concerned, you can freeze the batch you made (it freezes well) and make a new batch,. As terrible as starting from square one sounds, if it ensures your party will be enjoyable for all involved and that you'll be less worried about everyone enjoying their food, it might be worth it.
Droplet November 13, 2011
Seems like you might just have to add in beans to save the situation, even though that too will require some time in order for the beans to be able to absorb part of the spiciness as well as the flavor and blend in unnoticably. Also, if you haven't already, get some sour cream and follow wssmom's advice to serve the chili with a generous dollop of it.
zora November 13, 2011
I don't know the recipe you used, and whether you are willing to sully your bowl of red with beans, but here's what I would do in your situation: soak some dried beans overnight, or get some canned ones. Then start a pot of tomato sauce by sauteeing onion, garlic and then blooming a good amount of ground cumin, some coriander, oregano and sweet Spanish or regular sweet paprika in the oil, frying some tomato paste in with the veg and spices before adding canned tomatoes chopped up, plus some non-bitter beer. I'd put in a couple of bay leaves and an herb bundle of celery leaf, thyme and parsley. then I'd let this simmer for an hour or two, adding a little water if needed to prevent over-reducing. Meanwhile, I'd cook the beans with a similar herb bundle until tender. Drain the beans and add to the tomato sauce (having removed both herb bundles), or add canned beans. Add the sauce and beans to your too-spicy chili, and let them cook together for a half-hour or so. Optional: add some unsweetened chocolate or cocoa for extra depth of flavor. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.
Hope this helps.
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