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!

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!

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.

Chili Cream Cheese Dip

Chili Cream Cheese Dip

You can’t go wrong with chili, cheese, and lots of cream cheese in this dip!  Ridiculously easy to make and eat, it’s great served with tortilla chips.  And if you make this for a bbq potluck, you can steal some to make an amazing topping for your burgers and hot dogs!

Thank you to Jamie G. for sharing this great, go-to potluck dip recipe!


2 packages of cream cheese

3 cups shredded cheddar/monterey jack cheese

4 oz. jar of diced, green chiles

1 can Hormel chili with beans

1 can Hormel chili with NO beans

Dash of hot sauce

1 bag of tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13″ pan with PAM.  Take the 2 boxes of cream cheese and break into 1 to 2 inch pieces with your fingers until the entire pan has a layer of cream cheese.  In a bowl, mix together the chili, green chiles, and hot sauce.  Pour over the cream cheese.  Top with the shredded cheese.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until the dip is bubbling.  Serve with tortilla chips!

Chili Sauce Cream Cheese Appetizer

Chili Sauce and Cream Cheese Appetizer

This is an easy, yummy appetizer that always gets devoured at the potluck.  When I was a child, this was one of my favorites and now it is one of my son’s favorites too!


1 package of cream cheese

1 jar of chili sauce (found in the supermarket ketchup section)

1 box of crackers (my first choice is a woven wheat cracker like Triscuits)

Put the bar of cream cheese on a plate.  Pour the chili sauce on top.  Serve with crackers!