Fall Harvest Chili

The pumpkin, butternut squash, and apple in this chili recipe give the perfect amount of fall flavors without too much sweetness.  This is a hearty, thick chili that is perfect for Halloween night and any fall potluck.  However, I’ll definitely be making this recipe through fall and winter.  It’s that good!

Heather shared this recipe a few years ago and it’s a new favorite.  This batch is bigger batch than the original recipe, so  I added a can of tomato sauce so it won’t get too dry.


3 jars Trader Joe’s Fall Harvest Salsa

2.5 – 3 pounds of ground turkey

2 cups chopped white onion

8 ozs. tomato sauce

2 cans canellini beans, rinsed and drained

Brown the turkey and drain off the excess fat.  Put all of the ingredients in a crockpot on low for two to three hours.  Or you can simmer on the stove on low for 20 – 30 minutes.

Serve with a side of sour cream and corn scoops, tortilla chips, or cornbread.  I’ve tried it with all three!  Now you’re ready for potluck time!

Cream of Celery Soup


When your neighbor gives you several bunches of celery, what do you do?  Make Cream of Celery Soup, of course!  The celery, celery seed, and onion make this soup a healthy choice, while the potatoes and milk give it a heartiness that balances it all out.

With the New Year upon us and everyone focusing on health goals, this soup is a good choice for your next potluck, especially during the winter months.  And, it’s gluten-free!

This recipe comes from the Moosewood Cookbook, which is still one of my favorite go-to’s, especially for vegetarian recipes.


2 medium-sized russet potatoes, peeled and diced

4 cups chopped celery (in 1 inch chunks)

1 cup minced celery

3 cups water

1 1/4 tsp. salt + more to taste later

2 T. butter

1 cup packed finely minced onion

1 cup packed finely minced celery

1 tsp. celery seed

1 cup milk (regular or low fat)

White pepper, to taste

5 T. heavy cream or half and half

Minced chives

Bring the potatoes, 4 cups chopped celery, water, and salt to a boil in a large stock pot.  Turn the heat on low or medium low and simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes until everything is soft.  Take off heat and let cool.

Next, melt the butter in a skillet and sauté the onions, 1 cup minced celery, and celery seed until the vegetables are tender.  Add to the stock pot and puree until smooth, using either a hand blender, regular blender, or food processor.

Reheat the soup on low until warm.  Add in the milk, white pepper, half and half or cream, and salt, to taste.

Serve warm.  Top with minced chives for garnish.


Chipotle Bean Chili

Chipotle Bean Chili

You won’t miss the meat in this chili recipe!  The smokey chipotle peppers and spices combined with beans, tomatoes, corn, and cilantro make this a hearty and healthy chili with just the right amount of heat.  This recipe can also easily be made gluten free.*


28 ozs. diced tomatoes

2 T. vegetable oil

3 medium onions, minced

8 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup chili powder

2 T. cumin

1/4 tsp. salt

1 can pinto beans, drained

1 can black beans, drained

2 cans kidney beans, drained

2 chipotle peppers and 3 T. adobo sauce (from can)

4 tsp. sugar

2 cups frozen white corn, thawed

1/2 cup cilantro, minced

Put the tomatoes in a food processor and pulse until slightly chunky.  Set aside.

Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt.  Cook until the onions are soft.

Turn off the heat.  Add the tomatoes and stir well.  Add the tomato and onion mixture to the slow cooker.  Stir in the beans, chipotle, and sugar.

Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.  Add the corn and cilantro and cook for another five minutes.  Turn the slow cooker on the warm setting and you’re ready for potluck time!  It’s extra good served with sour cream and cornbread on the side.

* Note: Most of the ingredients in this recipe are typically gluten-free, but make sure to double check all of your labels, to be safe!

Chili Cookoff Recipe

Chili Cookoff Winner

This is my famous Chili Cookoff winning recipe!  The key ingredient is the Italian sausage which adds the extra flavor that can’t be matched.  On a few occasions, I have used ground beef instead of sausage, but it only yielded a 2nd or 3rd place ranking.  If you do decide to use ground beef, I recommend using 1 1/2 or 2 chili seasoning packets.


2 lbs. ground Italian sausage

1 chili seasoning packet

1 sweet onion, chopped

28 ozs. crushed tomatoes

8 ozs. tomato sauce

10 ozs. diced tomatoes with green chiles

2 – 15 oz. cans kidney beans, drained

Chili powder, to taste

Brown the sausage and onion in a skillet.  Drain off excess fat.  Put all of the ingredients in your crockpot and stir well.  I prefer to make this the night before and store the crock in the refrigerator (it gives the chili a thicker consistency), but you can do it either way.

The next morning, I put the crock back into the base, turn it on low, and cook for 7 to 8 hours.  Add extra chili powder, to taste during cooking, if needed.

Serve with mini corn muffins, sour cream, and grated cheese on the side.  Whether you’re entering a chili cookoff or bringing this to a potluck, you’ll be a winner either way!

Cannellini Bean Chili

Cannellini Bean Chili

Cannellini Bean Chili is the perfect alternative to the traditional chili and will warm up any potluck!  The combination of chile and spices make this an especially savory chili.  For a large crowd, you definitely want to double the recipe as it will go quick and definitely warrants a trip back to the potluck table for seconds.

Thank you, Mara, for sharing this wonderful recipe!


2 T. olive oil

2 lbs. boneless chicken meat, cubed

1/2 cup white onions, chopped

2 cup chicken broth

2 – 4 oz. cans chopped green chiles

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. oregano leaves

1 tsp. dried or 4 T. fresh, chopped cilantro

1/2 tsp. ground red pepper

2 cans cannellini beans and their liquid (white kidney beans or white beans are fine too)

Shredded jack cheese

Green onion

Heat olive oil in a stock pan.  Add chicken and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until cooked completely.  Remove from pan.  Cover and keep warm.

Add onion to pan and cook 2 minutes.  Stir in chicken broth, green chiles, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, cilantro, and red pepper.  Simmer 30 minutes.  Stir in the chicken and beans with liquid and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Transfer to a crockpot on the warm setting for potluck time.  Serve with extra jack cheese and green onions for garnish.  It’s also great with tortilla chips.  And don’t forget the paper bowls and spoons!

Quick Bean Soup

Quick Bean Soup

Warm up your potluck with this Quick Bean Soup!  It’s hearty and flavorful, with just the right amount of heat, and is perfect for any fall or winter potluck.  It’s quick and easy to make and only 5 ingredients are needed.

This recipe is from an old cookbook of mine called “Just a Matter of Thyme.”  Every recipe that I have ever tried from this book has been fantastic.


1 1/2 lbs. ground beef

1 onion, chopped

3 – 10 oz. cans minestrone soup

2 – 10 oz. cans Rotel tomatoes and chiles

2 – 15 oz. cans Ranch Style Beans

Brown the beef with the onion and drain off the fat.  Combine in a stock pot with the other ingredients and simmer for 1 hour.  Put it in a crockpot on the warm setting and you’re ready for potluck time.  And don’t forget the paper bowls and spoons!

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

This pumpkin soup is great for any Fall potluck!  The combination of pumpkin and cream cheese give it a rich, creamy texture and the cinnamon, ginger, and brown sugar provide just the right amount of sweetness.  The original inspiration for this soup came from The Joy of Cooking cookbook.  I omitted the ham and added a bar of cream cheese.


1 T. butter or olive oil

1 cup minced onion

1/2 cup minced celery

3 cups canned pumpkin

3 cups scalded milk

1 bar of cream cheese

2 T. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

Heat the butter or olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and celery and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes.  Stir in the pumpkin, milk, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.

Heat through, but do not boil.  Use an immersion blender, or a regular blender, to puree the soup.

You can make this soup the day before your potluck.  Reheat the soup on low and then transfer to a crockpot for potluck time.  You can also serve it with a side of toasted pumpkin seeds or croutons for toppings!

3 Can Chili

3 Can Chili

This is one of the easiest, quickest, and yummy chili recipes ever.  Thank you Joyce for sharing this one!


1 lb. hamburger, browned

2 tsp chili powder

1 small onion, chopped and sauteed

1 can tomato pieces

1 can kidney beans, drained

1 can chili beans

Mix it all together and let it simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.