Cheesy Chili Cups
Freezer Friendly, MAIN DISHES, Meat, Recipes / / 0 COMMENTS

These Cheesy Chili Cups are going to become a family favorite recipe.

cheesy chili cup on a white plate

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Cabot Cheese and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Hello everyone! My name is Corinne Levy and I’m working with Julie to complete my internship. I am a senior studying culinary nutrition at Johnson & Wales University. I absolutely love cooking especially if the dishes I make help others feel happy and healthy! By working for Julie I’m looking forward to learning more about how I can get people excited to be in the kitchen and understand that all foods fit.

As a kid, sitting down as a family for dinner was always important, but throughout time as schedules changed it did become a bit of a challenge. Luckily, we always had some easy meals that brought us together and one of them was a classic Sloppy Joe Cup. It was a simple and fun excuse for us to play around with biscuit dough!   

In honor of it being Family Meals Month, this recipe is an upgrade to Corinne’s old family Sloppy Joe Cup recipe into Cheesy Chili Cups. The base is a simple biscuit with Cabot Habanero Cheddar folded in to give some subtle heat. Instead of sloppy joe, the filling is a one-pot turkey chili with lots of fun veggies hidden in it and topped with Cabot Pepper-Jack. This is a nice hearty and cheesy recipe that the whole family can enjoy together.

Why family meals are important

September is Family Meals Month! The goal of this initiative is to show the positive effects of eating with loved ones has on our behavior. Eating as a family usually results in more at home cooking which then leads to healthier habits. It also saves you money compared to frequently buying takeout. By sitting down and sharing a meal with the ones we care about, we are allowing ourselves to build a positive relationship not just with people but also our food.

Budget-friendly shopping strategies

  • Look at what items are on sale and what coupons are available. 
  • Try to plan meals ahead of time then make your shopping list. Sticking to a list helps prevent impulse buys from getting into your cart.
  • Stock up on frozen produce! They’re often cheaper and last a long time in the freezer.

Strategies for making quick and healthy meals

  • One-pot meals are simple, involve less clean up, and are a great opportunity to use up produce.
    One-pot meal recipe inspiration
  • Sheet pan recipes can be a breeze. Chop up some veggies, season your meat or plant-based protein, toss it all in the oven, and ta-da!
    Sheet pan recipe inspiration
  • Mise en Place: by staying organized and prepared for a recipe the process of cooking will go smoother.
  • Make what you can ahead of time. Marinade things overnight, cut veggies the night before, and store them in the fridge. That way when you’re ready to cook most of the prep is done already.
cheesy chili cup cut in half with the filling falling out on a white plate

How to make cheesy biscuits

Step One: Preheat the oven to 350℉. While that’s heating up assemble all your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) into a large bowl. Make sure the flour isn’t packed or else you’ll end up with a dense biscuit!

Step Two: Cut the butter into the dry ingredients. This is a common technique in baking where instead of totally creaming together the fat into the mix, you break the butter down into small pieces throughout the dough. This way when you bake them the butter will melt leaving nice air pockets that make the biscuit fluffy.

Step Three: Mix in the shredded cheese and milk until the dough is evenly mixed. For this recipe, we used the Cabot Habanero Cheddar to add a little heat. Cabot cheese is naturally aged cheddar that comes in a huge variety of flavors so you can customize what cheese will best suit your family dinner. Cabot’s cheese also melts nicely in the dough giving a nice rich flavor to what would normally be a simple biscuit.

Step Four: Knead and roll the dough out flat. Cut the dough out into circles (I usually end up with about 24 pieces) and place them into muffin tins or spaced out on a lined baking pan. Bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes. 

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Cheesy Chili Cups

Cheesy Chili Cups

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 24 chili cups (6-8 servings)
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American


For the Filling:
½ lb ground turkey
2 tablespoons olive oil (or canola oil)
1 medium bell pepper, small dice
½ medium onion, small dice
½ medium zucchini, shredded
1 (15 oz.) canned tomato sauce
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup Cabot pepper-jack cheddar cheese, shredded

For the Biscuit Cups:
4 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
1 ½ cups milk
1 cup Cabot habanero cheddar, shredded


  1. Starting with the filling: In a shallow pot, heat up 2 tablespoons of oil. Then add the ½ lb of ground turkey over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes until browned.
  2. Toss in all of the onion, zucchini, and pepper. Cook for about 5 more minutes until the onions are translucent
  3. Mix in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and all of the spices. Let the tomato sauce reduce for another 5 minutes to get a nice thick chili. Set aside until it’s time to fill the biscuit cups.
  4. For the Biscuit Cups: Preheat the oven to 350℉. In a medium bowl mix flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Cut the butter into the flour until the butter is in small pea-size pieces and evenly distributed throughout.  For this, you can use a pastry cutter, a fork, or even your hands.
  6. Slowly incorporate the milk and shredded cheese until a solid yet slightly sticky dough has formed.
  7. Knead the dough on a floured surface for a minute. Then, roll it out into a ¼” sheet. Cut circles out of the dough to fit into muffin tins.
  8. Fill the muffin tin with the dough circles and make sure the dough lines the wall of each tin. The goal is to make these into little cups. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes 
  9. Take the biscuits out of the oven. Then make a well in each cup with a spoon to put in the filling. Once the filling is in the cup and topped with Cabot shredded pepper jack, put them back in the oven for 5 more minutes until the cheese is melted and biscuits are finished baking.


Recipe development support by Corinne Levy, JWU culinary nutrition intern.

Keywords: chili, biscuits, Cabot cheese, cheddar cheese

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Can I use pre-made dough? 
Yes absolutely! If I’m in a time crunch Immaculate Baking or just a simple Pillsbury biscuit will do.

How long will these last in the refrigerator?
Like most leftovers, they’ll last in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Do these cheesy chili cups freeze well?
Yes, bag them up and freeze away! Just reheat them in the oven so the biscuit maintains a good texture.

How can this recipe be changed to be vegetarian?
You can switch the turkey out with a combination of beans and chopped mushrooms. The beans will be a good source of protein and the mushrooms will help get that umami flavor!

Does this recipe accommodate dairy allergies?
This is actually why Cabot cheese fits so well for this dish! Cabot cheese is naturally lactose-free thanks to its cheese-making process.