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Bison Chili Hand Pies in Smoked Paprika Dough & Remember the Titans

With autumn comes many reasons to celebrate: back-to-school, film festivals, sweater weather, and football season.

With the football season kicking off this Thursday, it’s time to get those game day recipes out from hibernation. One game-day favorite that is quick to throw together is this bison chili, which is loaded with flavor, veggies, and spices.

This chili is excellent, but it’s so much more fun when it’s stuffed into football-shaped hand pies. But not just any hand pie. These hand pies are made with smoked paprika dough! The smoked paprika is subtle when added into this buttery dough, and it enhances it in both flavorful and visual ways.

You’ll want to work quickly so that the dough doesn’t get too sticky from being out in room temperature. These football-shaped hand pies are a great addition to your Sunday, and they’re easy to eat, which is the point when you’re trying to focus on the game. The dough is flaky but holds together well so you can take a bite and stop to watch a play without worrying about chili spilling onto your jersey.

These hand pies are inspired by the classic football movie Remember the Titans, a sports film based on the true story of an African-American coach, Herman Boone, who works to lead and integrate a high school football team in 1971. While exploring topics such as racism, discrimination, and athletics, this film is known for being uplifting and inspirational. If you can’t wait until Thursday to watch some good football, put this movie on.

Whoever you are rooting for this season, there’s no doubt that you’ll be rooting for these at every game day.

Bison Chili Hand Pies in Smoked Paprika Dough inspired by 'Remember the Titans'

  • Servings: 8-10 hand pies
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2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1¼ teaspoons salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), cold, cubed
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
½ – 1 cup ice cold water


1. Mix flour, sugar, salt, and paprika in a bowl of a stand mixer.

2. Mix the ingredients on the lowest level with a paddle attachment, and add the cubed butter until the mixture becomes coarse.

3. When the mixture resembles peas, slowly drizzle the ice cold water into the bowl. As soon as the dough comes together, stop pouring water in.

4. Remove the dough from the stand mixer bowl and knead on a floured surface, folding the sides over each other a few times to create layers.

5. Once the dough is smooth, cover it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for 1-2 hours.


2 pounds of ground bison
1 onion, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
¾ cup celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1¾ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons ground chili powder
2 cups chicken stock
1½ cups crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can dark red kidney beans


1. In a large pot, add the bison over medium heat until fully cooked.

2. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and bell pepper to the same pot. Cook until the onions are translucent and the vegetables are almost soft, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the salt, cumin, smoked paprika, and chili powder. Mix until everything is combined.

4. Add chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste to the pot. Mix together and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

5. Add the kidney beans and cook for another 5 minutes.

6. If you’re not using leftover chili and want to create the hand pies right away, cool the chili down by spreading it out on a large sheet tray. Once spread out, let the chili cool for 20 minutes.


1. Once the chili is cooled, you’re ready to start assembly of the football-shaped hand pies! Heat the oven to 350°F. Cover a baking sheet tray with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Remove the dough from the fridge. Flour your dough surface. Using a rolling pin, pound the dough until it becomes flat and you can roll it out. Roll the dough out until it is ¼ inch thick. If you don’t have a football cookie cutter, you can cut one out of cardboard (and wrap in aluminum foil for sanitary purposes).

3. Cut out footballs from the dough using a knife.

4. Place a spoonful of chili in the middle of the footballs. Top the bottom side with a cut-out football and, using a fork, seal the edges.

5. Create slits in the top of the hand pies (I made football stitches in mine). Brush the tops with egg wash (1 egg, lightly beaten).

6. Bake the hand pies for roughly 30 minutes (until golden brown). Serve for game day!

© A Dash of Cinema

P.S. Another great football movie with a delicious game day recipe!


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