Beef Chili Pan is a sort of savory doughnut filled with a beef chili filling. It is deep fried until golden brown and crispy on the outside, a delicious play on the popular Japanese Curry Pan. This post has been sponsored by McCormick®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
If you have never heard of Curry Pan (or Kare Pan), it is a delicious Japanese curry bread, usually made with bread dough filled with Japanese curry, breaded with panko, and deep fried until crispy. These Chili Pans are a play on Curry Pan, but filled with beef chili made with McCormick® Original Chili Seasoning Mix instead!
McCormick needs no introduction. If you open your spice drawer right now, I’m sure you’ll find that you’ve already owned at least a few jars of McCormick spices. I use them a lot for holiday baking, and I’m excited to try this McCormick Original Chili Seasoning Mix, which makes putting together the chili filling for these Chili Pans a breeze.
How to make Chili Bread or Beef Chili Pockets
What you’ll need to make the chili
- Ground beef – use ground turkey if you don’t eat red meat or want to opt for a healthier version.
- Chili Seasoning Mix – I used McCormick® Original Chili Seasoning Mix to season the beef chili, you could also opt for McCormick® Chili Seasoning Mix Less Sodium version. The seasoning mix is an expertly blended combo of chili pepper, paprika, cumin, onion and garlic. And is the perfect portion for 1 lb of ground beef.
- Canned tomato – use diced canned tomato to reduce prep time.
- Onion – I like to add fresh onion for extra flavor and nutrition.
- Garlic – fresh garlic is added for extra flavor.
- Salt – add extra salt to your taste.
This is just a list of what I used to make my chili filling. If you like beans in your chili, add a can of beans. If you like corn, add a can of corn or some frozen corn. If you like bell pepper, add some diced bell pepper. You get the idea, customize it to your exact liking.
Step 1: Make the chili
The beef chili takes about 20 minutes to cook. You will need to use cold chili for the filling, so I do recommend making the chili the day before if you want to prepare ahead.
The recipe for the chili will make about 4 cups but you will only need about 1 to 1 ½ cup for the filling. But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways you can serve your leftover chili.
- Serve it hot with cheese, sour cream and some chive as an appetizer or side dish with your meal.
- Use it as a topping for hot dogs and burgers.
- Make chili cheese dip.
- Or use it as stuffing for bell peppers.
Step 2: Assemble the bread
Typically, Japanese Curry Pan is made with yeast dough, something like my milk bread dough will work here. However, for this recipe, store bought biscuit dough is a fantastic way to cut down the prep time and still give you super fluffy Chili Pan.
➤ Notes: If you’re tempted to use premade pizza dough, don’t! I tested this recipe with store bought pizza dough and it came out way too chewy. Stick with biscuit dough in the refrigerated section.
- The biscuit dough should come with 8 pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, roll it out into a circle about 5” in diameter.
- Add 2 tablespoons of cold chili in the middle. Fold it up like an empanada and pinch the edges together to seal.
- Place it on a baking sheet to rest, seam side down, and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
- Prepare egg wash in one container and add panko in another. Place them side by side to set up your dipping and coating station.
- Dip a piece of filled dough into the egg wash, coating both sides well. Then immediately cover it in panko completely.
- Place the coated dough on a lined baking sheet to rest. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Step 3: Deep fry
Heat the oil in a deep skillet or pot to 325°F over high heat and fry 2 – 3 bread at a time, flipping as you go until the bread is crispy and golden brown. It will take about 20 minutes to fry the whole batch.
➤ Notes: Use a thermometer to keep track of the temperature and adjust the heat level as needed to maintain oil temperature between 325°F – 350°F while frying. Also, use a slotted spoon or spatula to transfer the bread into the hot oil so you don’t burn yourself.
- I used to be afraid of deep frying because I don’t know how to tell when the oil is hot enough, but I find that using a thermometer to keep track of the oil temperature really helps.
- Make sure to use a slotted spoon or spatula to transfer your bread dough into the hot oil to avoid splashing or burning yourself.
- To cut down preparation time further, you could make the chili the night before, or use leftover chili from another day.
Storing and reheating
Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container. Warm cold bread in the oven at 350°F for about 7 – 10 minutes to crisp up the outside.
Give these Chili Pan a try, I hope you’ll love them just as much as I did! Be sure to use McCormick Original Chili Seasoning Mix for the delicious chili filling and stop by Albertsons for all your frying needs! You can use the Albertsons app to check out your local store weekly ad, find coupons, and create your shopping list all in one place.
More recipes using McCormick spices
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, send me a photo, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @wildwildwhisk on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!
Beef Chili Pan (Deep Fried Chili Bread)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or other cooking oil)
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 4 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 package of McCormick® Original Chili Seasoning Mix or McCormick® Less Sodium Chili Seasoning Mix
- 1 can diced tomatoes (14 ½ ounces, undrained)
- 1 teaspoon salt (optional, to taste)
- 1 can refrigerated biscuit dough (8 biscuits)
- 1 large egg (for egg wash)
- 1 cup of panko
- 1 quart canola oil (or any flavorless oil for deep frying)
Make the chili
- Add oil to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat until oil is hot. Add diced onion and cook until translucent, about 2 - 3 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Add ground beef, break it up with a wooden spoon and brown for about 4 - 5 minutes.
- Stir in McCormick Original Chili Seasoning Mix along with the diced tomato and all the juice. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. Season to taste with salt.
- Measure 1-1 ½ cup (328 g) of chili for the filling and refrigerate until ready to use. Serve the leftover chili with a meal.
Make the bread
- Open the package of biscuit dough per the direction on the packaging. There should be 8 pre-portioned biscuits per package.
- Roll each piece of biscuit dough to about 5” in diameter. Add about 2 tablespoons of chili in the middle and fold it up like an empanada. Pinch the edges together to seal, fold and tuck the seam over itself like you would folding up an open chip bag to make sure the seal doesn’t open up. Place it on a baking sheet to rest, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
- Once all 8 pieces are filled with chili, beat an egg and pour it into a shallow dish or container. Add 1 cup of panko to another shallow dish or container. Place these side by side.
- Dip each piece of filled dough into the beaten egg, make sure to coat both sides. Transfer it to the panko container, with the dry hand, sprinkle panko on top and gently roll the dough around to cover it in panko completely. Place the coated filled dough back on the lined baking sheet to rest. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Discard any remaining egg mixture and panko.
Fry the bread
- Heat oil in a deep skillet or pot to 325°F over high heat, reduce heat to medium when you start frying. Use a thermometer to keep track of the temperature as you will need to adjust the heat level during the process to maintain temperature between 325°F - 350°F.
- Prepare a wire rack for drying the bread by placing it on top of a baking sheet with some paper towel lined underneath to absorb excess oil.
- Place a piece of dough on a slotted spoon or spatula, transfer the dough into the hot oil and slide it into the pot gently to avoid splashing. Only fry 2 - 3 bread at a time, use a tong to turn the bread to brown evenly. This will take about 5 minutes per bread.
- Once the bread is done cooking, lift it out of the hot oil with a tong, let excess oil drip back into the pot and place it on the prepared wire rack.
- Serve hot or at room temperature.
- To cut down preparation time, you could make the chili the night before, or use leftover chili from another day.
- The recipe makes 4 cups of chili but you'll only need 1 - 1 ½ cups for the filling.
- Use leftover as toppings for hot dogs and burgers, as stuffing for bell peppers, make chili cheese dip or simply serve it with cheese, sour cream and chive as an appetizer or side dish with your meal.
- I fry the bread in a 10” cast iron skillet and it fits 3 pieces comfortably.
- Use a slotted spoon or spatula to transfer the bread to the hot oil for safety.
- Use a thermometer while frying to keep track of the oil temperature.
- Reheat leftover bread in the oven at 350°F for about 7 - 10 minutes to crisp up the outside.
- Use a yeasted bread dough like my milk bread if you want to try the more typical way of making these.
- Want to make a double batch? Double the bread ingredients (except the frying oil) to make 16 chili breads.