Jazz up your summer hots dogs with this delicious Hawaiian Chili, which was inspired by the famous Zippy’s Restaurant Chili in Hawaii.

Hawaiian style chili inspired by Zippy's chili

What is Zippy’s Chili

Zippy’s is a famous restaurant in Hawaii that serves a variety of local favorites. It’s similar to a Denny’s, but with a Hawaii-style flavor. And one of the menu items they are famous for is the Zippy’s Chili. It’s well known in Hawaii and even comes in a vegetarian version. Of course, it’s not the typical chili. It uses Portuguese sausage, bell peppers, and the secret weapon…mayo!

Hawaiian Chili Recipe

You may think of Chili as a fall or winter food, but in California it’s a summer food. If not for the virus situation, there would have been a bunch of chili cooks off in California starting in May through June. Hopefully, we’ll all be able to be out and about in 2021.

One of the reasons I wanted to make this chili is because my hubby’s mom used to work at Zippy’s and he loves the chili. Since we don’t live in Hawaii anymore, we have to buy frozen Zippy’s chili at our local Asian mart and it’s pretty expensive for a small box that feeds two people. So, without further ado, let’s get to the recipe!

Hawaiian Chili Ingredients

  • Ground beef – I use one pound of 80/20 ground beef.
  • Mild Portuguese sausage – Can be substituted with hot Portuguese sausage for heat, but this isn’t typical.
  • Bacon – Use thick cut or 5 – 6 slices of regular bacon.
  • Vegetables – Celery, Onion, & Bell pepper (don’t skip this)
  • Spices – Cumin, Oregano, Paprika, Bay leaf, and salt/peper
  • Bush’s Best Chili Beans with Mild Chili Sauce or substitute with your favorite Chili Beans
  • Kidney beans, undrained
  • Tomato sauce – Will need two 8 ounce cans or one 16 oz. can.
  • Powdered chicken stock
  • Water
  • Brown sugar – Will add a bit of sweetness to the chili
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Ketchup or Heinz Chili Sauce
  • Red wine vinegar (optional)
  • Mayonnaise – secret ingredient

Kitchen Tools

  • Large pot – Should be big enough to make a large serving of chili.
  • Cutting board/knife or food processor – To dice and cut the vegetables
  • Meat masher or potato masher – Used to break up hamburger and create a smooth chili texture that is similar to Zippy’s Chili.
  • Spoon – Mixing and serving.
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Can opener

What to serve with Zippy’s Chili

In Hawaii, Zippy’s chili is usually served with rice. The chili already has vegetables and protein, so there isn’t anything else that needs to be served. But if you want to have a side, I suggest trying it with Hawaiian loaded macaroni salad and possibly a Fruit Jello Mold for dessert.

How to Make Zippy’s Chili

Hawaiian Chili Zippy's Chili

Hawaiian Chili - Zippy's Inspired Recipe

Yield: 8 - 10 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Zippy's inspired chili using Portuguese sausage and vegetables for a unique chili flavor. Great over rice or on hot dogs.


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 - 10 oz. mild Portuguese sausage, finely chopped
  • 3 slices thick bacon, thinly sliced 
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup yellow or orange bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 T. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 16oz can Bush's Best Chili Beans with Mild Chili Sauce, substitute with your favorite Chili Beans (undrained)
  • 1 15.5oz. can kidney beans, undrained
  • 2 8oz. cans tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. powdered chicken stock
  • 1/2 - 1 cup water, add more water for a looser soup
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. brown sugar, to taste
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 T. ketchup or Heinz Chili Sauce
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 - 3 T. mayonnaise 


  1. Prepared Hawaiian Chili Recipe ingredients Prep all the ingredients before starting. Note: a food processor can be used to make prepping faster. Make sure to remove sausage casing before pulsing into hamburger sized bits.
  2. Mash ground beef for Hawaiian chili In a large pot over medium high heat, brown hamburger. Use a potato masher or meat masher to break the meat into fine pieces. There shouldn't be any large chunks. Drain the meat. Return pot to the heat and add Portuguese sausage and bacon. Cook just until both the sausage and bacon are heated through. If there is an excess of oil, drain. Otherwise, the oil can be used to flavor the vegetables.
  3. Add the celery, onions, and bell peppers to the pot. Cook until onions become translucent.
  4. Lower the heat to medium. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano, and paprika. Cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add in all remaining ingredients, except for the mayonnaise, into the pot. Heat for 10 minutes, occassionally stirring. Lower the heat to medium low, and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
  6. Do not skip this - Right before serving, add in the mayonnaise and serve over rice.


  • Serving sizes are with the addition of rice.
  • Do not skip the mayonnaise or Portuguese sausage. These add the unique Zippy's chili flavor. Mild Portuguese sausage can be substituted with hot if you prefer more heat.

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. Delicious recipe! the combination and flavor of the ingredients is sensational! I’m in love with peppers and it’s always great to find different recipes like this. I loved it!

  2. Just made this chili last night for my family, and it was a delicious hit. all we did was add a little extra seasoning with the seasonings it required and added spicy chili kidney beans. i will make this chili again. thanks for the recipe

  3. I’ve never heard of this chilly and I can’t believe it has mayo. My parents love chili and I think they would love this one! I’ll be sharing this recipe for sure.It’s a super pretty color too!

  4. The mayonnaise is an interesting addition. To be honest, I half expected to see pineapple in the list of ingredients (It would probably work, now that I think of it…)

  5. I had no idea that chili was a summer dish in California! This looks delicious and unlike any other chili recipe I’ve tried. Pinned.

  6. Erlene this looks so good. I never tried rice with chili but love both so why not. I pinned the recipe to try for our family. THanks for sharing and hosting this fun blog hop!