Chili Cheese Cups – Beef chili, topped with loads of cheese, and baked inside flaky, tender biscuits!! Perfect for game day parties and entertaining or an EASY weeknight dinner that’s ready in 30 minutes!!
Beef chili, topped with melted cheese, and baked inside flaky, tender biscuits is what you’ve got going on here.
The chili cheese cups are going to be a major hit at your next tailgating party, holiday party, or for your average Monday night dinner that needs to be easy and ready in under 30 minutes.
I made beef chili in under 10 minutes by quickly browning ground beef, adding beans, tomato paste, and liberally seasoning with dried onion, chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika.
The chili is very thick by design. A thinner chili would create soggy biscuit dough and that wouldn’t be good.
Transfer the chili into biscuit dough that you press into two standard 12-cup muffin pans. I tested two refrigerated biscuit doughs for the recipe – Trader Joe’s Buttermilk Biscuit Dough and Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers. In terms of final taste, there wasn’t a ton of difference.
In working with the raw dough however TJ’s must have more yeast because it was stretchier and also wanted to ‘spring back’ to it’s original shape. Pillsbury dough wasn’t nearly as stretchy and it was easier to mold in the muffin pan and stayed put but was easier to rip since it wasn’t as springy. Use whatever is most convenient for you to grab from the refrigerated case at your grocery store.
Don’t overfill the raw dough with chili or cheese because the biscuits rise like crazy in the oven and you don’t want a chili cheese overflow.
Midway through baking smash everything down with the back of a spoon because everything will have risen dramatically and while you’re at it, add more cheese. The more cheese the merrier is my life motto.
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- 1 pound 85% lean ground beef
- one 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- one 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 to 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- three 8-count packages of refrigerated biscuit dough (24-count in total; I used Trader Joe's Buttermilk Biscuit Dough and Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers)
- about 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese blend, divided
- finely minced fresh parsley, optional for garnishing
- Preheat oven to 400F. Spray two standard 12-cup muffin pans generously with cooking spray; set aside.
- To a large skillet, add the ground beef and cook over medium-high heat to brown. Crumble and stir with a spatula as it cooks to ensure even browning. I did not find it necessary to drain any excess water or oil; do so if you deem it necessary.
- Add the beans, tomato paste, onion flakes, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, pepper, and stir to combine.
- Cook for about 1 minute, just enough to heat the spices so they bloom and are fragrant. The chili will be very thick, this is by design; turn off the heat and set aside.
- Open the biscuit dough and take one piece of dough, lightly stretch it in your hands, and then press it into the muffin pan cavity so that it covers the base and sides. The dough will have a tendency to 'fall down' the sides and also 're-puff' at the base of the muffin cavity and you will need to keep pushing your fingers into it to encourage it to stay up the sides and flat-ish at the base. Repeat with remaining 23 pieces of dough.
- Add about 1 rounded tablespoon chili to each of the muffin cavities; do not overfill. Filling should be no higher than flush with the top of the dough/top of muffin pan cavity.
- Evenly sprinkle each cup with about 1 teaspoon (1 generous pinch) of cheese.
- Bake for 12 minutes, remove pans from oven, and using the back of a spoon, firmly press each cup back down into the muffin pan. My cups had risen dramatically and the chili and cheese appeared that it was almost 'dangling on' and everything needed to be smooshed down.
- Add another 1 teaspoon (1 generous pinch) of cheese and return pans to the oven for about 8 more minutes, or until cheese has melted, dough is set and lightly golden brown. Allow cups to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing, optionally garnishing with parsley, and serving. Cups are best warm and fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days; reheat gently as desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 118Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 147mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 9g
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