Juniors Winnipeg Famous Chili recipe

“Fat Boy Chili” Recipe


“Like” Junior’s Chili in Winnipeg

My mom worked at Junior’s on Henderson Highway from the day they opened their doors in the  late ’70s and for several years thereafter, and we lived just across Henderson on Martin Avenue. I used to sit in Junior’s after school, doing my homework as I waited for her to finish her shift. I grew up eating this stuff. The two Greek cooks – Billy and Savas – were very fond of me, and would always insist on feeding me.  I remember there was a big scandal going on behind the scenes when a former employee at Junior’s and good friend of the owner left, taking the chili recipe with him,  and started his own burger joint (I think it was George’s, but I could be mistaken, this was decades ago) serving up the secret Fat Boy recipe and the same thick cut fries. I remember talk of a law suit, but I’m not sure where any of that ever went.  Many years later- quite  a number of years back now – I stumbled upon this “copycat” Fat Boy Chili Recipe from Juniors in the Winnipeg Free Press.  Hope this recipe helps to satisfy the cravings of former (or present) Winnipeggers who need their Fat Boy fix and are searching for the  Juniors Fat Boy Chili recipe! If you happen to be one of them, leave a comment below and let me know you stopped by!

Courtesy of  who wrote:

Since I can’t be in Winnipeg to get a picture of the best burgers in the world I have linked to a foodie blogger in Winnipeg…For years since we moved to White Rock from Winnipeg, one of the things I have missed most is the food. And one of the ones I missed most was hamburgers and fries with chili from a couple of my favorite burger joints. Junior’s, The Whip on Marion, and the Red Top on St. Mary’s Rd. are just a few of my old stomping grounds. This chili was put on hamburgers, hot dogs, and french fries…and in some cases pasta. It is more like a sauce then a chili. It took me years to find and perfect this Junior’s Chili recipe, and now I share it with you…This recipe makes a huge batch, but it freezes wonderfully!



30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
2 yellow onions, finely minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 kg (2 lbs) lean ground beef
30 ml (2 tbsp) chili powder
15 ml (1 tbsp) ground cumin
15 ml (1 tbsp) dried oregano leaves
10 ml (2 tsp) unsweetened cocoa powder
10 ml (2 tsp) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) celery seeds
5 ml (1 tsp) turmeric
5 ml (1 tsp) cinnamon
2 ml (1/2 tsp) hot red pepper flakes
500 ml (2 cups) tomato juice
500 ml (2 cups) canned beef broth
60 ml (1/4 cup) cornmeal

Heat oil in Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Combine chili powder with ground cumin, oregano, cocoa, salt, celery seeds, turmeric, cinnamon and hot red pepper flakes and add to the pot!

Add ground beef. Don’t “brown’ it…

Add tomato juice and broth and mix it all up.

Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced by 1/3, about 1 1/2 hours. Add cornmeal and stir for 2 minutes.

Can be prepared ahead. Cool slightly, then cover and freeze in airtight container up to 2 months or refrigerate up to 3 days. Warm over medium-low heat.

If you’re from Winnipeg, share your thoughts on Juniors Fat Boy Chili in the comments (scroll down!)  And if you try the recipe, let me know what you think!  I’d love to hear how the chili turned out for you – enjoy 🙂

Hey there! If you'd like to leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you - please scroll a little further down for the comment box. And thanks so much for visiting!


  • joe

    As being from Winnipeg and moving to victoria BC I can say the one thing I miss most is the Fatboy burger def gonna use this and make me some

    • Clever Cook

      Hi Wayne,

      Sorry for the short delay in replying. When it says ‘do not brown’ it means cook the beef only til its cooked through and no longer pink, as opposed to really browning it up well. Hope this helps. Thanks for stopping by and let me know how the chili works out! (I also have the Salisbury House CHili recipe if your’re from Winnipeg and a fan of Sal’s). 🙂

  • Wayne

    Lynne..finally got around to making this today. Followed the recipe to a T and the results were bang on. Can wait to smother my burger and fries with it at supper tonight.


      • Lou

        First time I made this, we thought it had too much cinnamon. Second time, cut cinnamon by half. It’s perfect! Thank you so much for posting as we are now in Alberta and can’t find a burger with chili on it anywhere. Didn’t realize this was a Winnipeg thing. Even checked out Greek restaurants…

  • Tracy

    OMG cannot wait to try this out…Born and raised for 40 years in the Peg and moved to Fraser Valley 7 years ago…every time I go back I have to get my Fatboy burger and Gondola pizza fix…also Salisbury breaky burger…Thank you for the recipe…

  • Wayne

    My phone not suggestion would be to do away with the salt..or at least half it. Mine is all gone..freezes well..Going to make my second batch today:)

  • Real

    Tried out the chili recipe the other day. Apart from having used a chili powder that was a little too hot the chili turned out perfect.
    I bought a milder chili powder to try for next time.

    • Dawn

      As a former Winnipeger living in the US, I miss Junior’s chili. This recipe is spot on and I make large batches of it. My American friends are all now converts and put this on both burgers and fries at our place! Thank you for posting and sharing!

  • Kim

    Left winnipeg in 85 and everytime I go back my first meal is a fatboy burger !!! I cant wait to try it drooling as we speak lol
    Thank you !

  • Darren

    The one thing I miss about Winnipeg is the chili the city’s greasy spoons serve on fries, burgers and hot dogs. I tried the recipe above a couple of years back and it was good, but not the same.

    Thankfully, the folks at the Red Top in Winnipeg have provided us with the chili recipe that’s essentially the same served around town. It’s so simple you won’t believe it!

    All you do is fry minced beef, and add chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Here’s the video where I learned the recipe:



  • Justin

    A Fatboy is a wonderful thing. I grew up in a small rural area a few hours north of Winnipeg. Growing up and visiting the “BIG” city was an experience in it’s self. The first time I had a Fatboy, I was in heaven. After Graduation I moved into Winnipeg for work. We would take our lunch brakes at New York Burger every chance we could. My favorite Burger joint in the city.

    Fast forward 20 years, and I find myself back in the small town that I grew up in. and…. DAMN I miss my Fatboys.

    My family and I are catering a meal at a Snowmobile warm up shack for a Poker Derby this weekend. We’re having Burgers, Dogs and fries. So naturally I am making some Chile too. I think I’ll try this recipe.

    Thanks Eh!

    • Clever Cook

      Hey Justin,

      Sorry for the late reply to your comment about the Fat Boy Chili recipe. I’d love to know if you did make it for your Poker Derby, and how did it turn out? At least you’re just a few hours away from The ‘Peg, so if you really get a hankering for a Fatboy, just jump in the car and DRIVE! In the meantime, enjoy the recipe until you can make it back to the big city!

      • Justin

        Actually, I cheated and made a tomato based chili instead. I will make this style, but I didn’t want to experiment on a bunch of strangers.

        I made a spicy medium and a mild no bean chili… it was awesome! My secret ingredient is Refried beans.

  • Richard Bell

    I was back visiting my mom a few weeks ago and we went to Juniors on St. Mary’s. I couldn’t believe how much i missed a fat boy. I live in Calgary now, and you can’t find anything like that. They rave about Peter’s Drive Inn here, but it does not compare.

    • Clever Cook

      Great that you were able to get a Fat Boy fix on your recent trip back. Next time you get a craving, try out the recipe 🙂 THanks for stopping by!

  • Nicki

    I’ve lived in Calgary for about 11 years now and when I come home to Winnipeg for the summer I always go to juniors for a fat boy! Peter’s Drive Inn here is a complete joke! They have no toppings and the burgers taste like sawdust. If anyone in Calgary wants a real hamburger, go to Boogies! But, nothing compares to a fat boy.

  • LouW

    Made the chili tonight and followed the recipe exactly. We found there was too much cinnamon … you shouldn’t be able to identify that it’s cinnamon; you should be left wondering what that elusive flavour is. Other than that, the recipe is really good. Will cut the cinnamon down to 1/2 tsp for next time. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  • Jay

    I was in Winnipeg last week and had Dairy whip!! Love it. It’s chili but it’s not chili. At least not any chili I can find. I’m gonna make some to try and make my life better out here 4 hours from Dairy whip or Juniors or Mrs. Mike’s on Tache. Thank you

  • Keith

    Made this chili for second time changed by half tea spoon of black pepper and table spoon of allspice I found it was better .but both way just as good thank you for recipe .Finally found what.i was looking for.yum on burger and hotdogs.

  • Christopher Rafuse

    Dude – you are a prince among men! thx so much for the recipe. just completed my first batch, it turned out pretty darn perfect. 🙂

    like many other posters i’m a born & raised wpg’er, lived all over the world the last twenty yrs, and still the two best burgers in the world: a fat boy & a cheese nip, from wpg. 🙂

    btw just spent the afternoon in my kitchen watching the jets vs flyers while cooking up this batch. what a perfect & lovely couple of hours…

    LOVED the menage of spices. a couple i haven’t cooked with before. just the aroma of all of them mixed together was a dilerious experience.

    per the recipe itself, i think next time i’ll ratchet back on the chili, from 2 tbsp to 1 tbsp.

    (as an aside, any chance you have a recipe for Sal’s Sauce? i haven’t been able to find one… 🙁 )

    • Clever Cook

      Hey Christopher! So glad to know how much you enjoyed the recipe!! Sounds like a wonderful afternoon indeed – in the kitchen whipping up the recipe for Fat Boy Chili, while watching The Jets game! A tried and true Winnipegger!

      And, why yes, my friend, I do indeed have the Sals chili sauce recipe – enjoy! (and be sure to come back and leave a comment on the recipe to let me know how it worked out!): http://www.cookingtobeclever.com/salisbury-house-chili-recipe/

  • laurie

    my families new fave, made first time and have adjusted by reducing the cinnamon and adding a few tbsp tomato paste .
    i think not prefrying the beef is an awesome step and have now been doing that with my homemade spaghetti sauce adding the raw veal into the tomatoes and juice.

  • Amber

    I just made this Sunday. WOW so GOOD.. I have lived in Winnipeg my entire life and love fat boys. Now I have some chilli frozen in my freezer for summer BBQs….droooooooooooooooooool 🙂 Thanks!

  • Dawn

    I live in Texas now and I always have a supply of this in my freezer to remind me of home. I’ve introduced friends to it here and they love it. I never fail to get a Fat Boy and fries every time I visit Winnioeg.

  • John Friesen

    Made some and the family loved it! Thanks for the recipe. I have been trying to prefect a Greek chili recipe for a while now. I grew up in Winnipeg and went to Glenlawn collegiate right across from Juniors. Love that Greek style chili that made fatboys famous. Trying to work out something close to George’s as well. Take care

  • Cindy

    This recipe was wonderful. I picked up some burgers from the whip on Marion to compare with this recipe and it was bang on. Thank you so much for sharing

  • Rob

    Originally from Winnipeg. Moved to White Rock BC in 1991. Made this recipe. It is amazing!Thank you so much for sharing. My husband and I felt we were back in the Peg. Many, many thanks and many good memories. People from Winnipeg are the best! Thank you.

  • Lori

    Had some of this in the freezer. Took it out for the toppings bar for bbq for my sons birthday this past weekend. I had a lot of happy guests.

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