Award Winning Chili



This past weekend, the Valley concluded its annual fall celebration of Cattle Call.  I was bummed not to make it out this year, as Cattle Call is my one of my favorite Valley traditions.  From the Friday night Bell Game, to the parade, to the conclusion of it with the rodeo.

One of my favorite activities that take place every year is the annual Chili Cook-off.  It’s a time for cooks to come out and compete against one another while everyone else can come out and taste test all the different chili’s, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t enjoy being a taste tester?

While I may have not been around this year to enter the Chili Cook-Off, and whose to say if I would have won or not, I would like to think that I would have had a pretty great shot, especially since I have already won using this recipe.

Yep, that’s right, the following chili recipe is one that I used and was entered into a family friendly contest last year at a rivalry football game of the Packers vs. the Steelers.  It’s been my go-to recipe ever since.  I serve it up with some honey cornbread and man do I have a quality meal for the evening.

The following is the recipe I use when making chili:
1 large red onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 medium yellow bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
1 lb. beer soaked Italian sausage, removed from casing
1 tablespoon chili powder, add more if needed based on taste
1-tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 4oz. can tomato paste
1 12oz beer, (I used a blue moon)
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can pinto beans drained and rinsed
2 tsp. cinnamon!! (This is my secret ingredient)

1). Cook up the Italian sausage and ground beef/ground turkey in a skillet.  Feel free to season with some salt and pepper and any of the other seasonings in the recipe.

2). Add all ingredients including the meat to a crock-pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until seasonings have blended in well.

A little cooking note when I make chili, I tend to check on the chili about once every hour and do a taste test to see how well the spices is setting in.  This gives me a gauge to be able to add any that I may need to.

This recipe makes a lot, and I mean A LOT of chili.  I recommend making this when you have a group of people coming over to feed, or making some and freezing it to eat later.

Chili and cornbread is the perfect meal to eat as you cozy up on the couch or by the fire on a cold winter’s evening.  While it has still been relatively warm and nice in Colorado, I am looking forward to it cooling down and making this soon.

Only a few more weeks until Thanksgiving so you can bet I will be cooking up a storm of pumpkin themed treats for you to try!



  1. Recipe sounds good, except for one thing. When you add beans, any type of beans, it is no longer chili, but chili and beans, and should be called such. Nothing more upsetting than going into a restaurant and asking for chili or seeing chili on the menu, ordering it and when it’s served it’s chili and beans. Bah Humbug.

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