3rd Annual Chili Contest: Entry #2 – Maui Chili


I’m so confused by my Illini. Yes, we played a non-BCS over the weekend…but we beat the snot out of them. My feeling on Saturday must be what it’s like for Alabama or USC each Saturday. Pummeling other teams is kind of…fun. There was no bore factor to touchdown after touchdown. None at all.

There was also no bore factor with last week’s chili contest recipe. The name alone, “Maui Chili”, piqued my interest. Moving along to the ingredient list you know it will either end in complete horror or bliss — pineapple (!), 1/2 cup chili powder (!), honey (!), cornmeal (!)!! Without a doubt, hands down, this ingredient list is the most eclectic I’ve ever cooked with. I felt like I was on Master Chef and given a box of the most odd ball ingredients and yet the result was fan-flipping-tastic.


I was talking to my mom on Friday before making the trip to Chicago and we pow-wow’ed on what she had on hand, what I would bring, and what she needed to buy.Of course I remembered to bring only half of what I had committed to. I have the memory of a tadpole. Good thing the grocery store is walking distance and it was beautiful weather.

The ingredient list is long, but it’s so incredibly healthy, flavorful, and unique. You won’t regret the effort involved in this one. Promise. It’s just a lot of chopping, so have everything ready to go before you fire up the stock pot.


My parents had their neighbors over to partake (hi, Laurie!), and my brother was sent home with a few dips to try. My brother texted, “AWESOME chili!!!!! :)” and the neighbors both went back for seconds. Me, too!

This bean-free chili is not for the weak, however. Go easy on the cayenne and jalapenos if you’re weary of the heat. This chili certainly offered up plenty of warmth! Yet the pineapple and honey work against that heat just a bit. Trying something totally new like this recipe is reason #1232190 I love chili contests :)



Maui Chili submitted by Kathryn, adapted from here

3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapenos, minced
1 Tbsp ginger, grated
1/4 large pineapple, cut into chunks
1/2 bottle amber beer*
2-3 oz water
1/2 cup fresh basil, minced
1/4 cup fresh oregano, minced
2 Tbsp thyme leaves, minced
1/2 cup chili powder
1 tsp cayenne powder
2 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
8 oz can tomato sauce
15 oz stewed (chopped) tomatoes
4 oz tomato paste
1/4 cup honey
2-3 bay leaves
1/3 cup corn meal


Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in stockpot. Brown chicken until no longer pink. Remove from pot and set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil; add onion, bell peppers, carrot and celery and cook until start to soften, 3-5 minutes. Stir in garlic, jalapenos, ginger and pineapple. Cook 1 minute.

And beer and water to deglaze bottom of pan. Stir in all of the fresh herbs and spices. Stir in cooked chicken. Add soy sauce, honey, all tomato products and bay leaves. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add in corn meal and simmer an additional 30 minutes.

Yield: ~10 cups.

Nutrition Information (per cup): 238 calories; 5.9 g. fat; 33 mg. cholesterol; 345 mg. sodium; 27.3 g. carbohydrate; 6.2 g. fiber; 19.0 g. protein

*use gluten-free beer to make recipe gluten-free

Result: Sweet, spicy, and everything nice…this is one unique and fabulous chili recipe. If you’re up for something totally new – give this recipe a go. You won’t regret it! :)


Q&A tomorrow! :)

Be well,


  1. says

    I think the pineapple + chili + honey + cornmeal combo sounds divine! Plus, at 238 calories per cup this is ridiculously healthy. I’ll pass it along to my carnivore bf to see if he wants to make it sometime. I think he will and it will be a hit when he brings his leftovers in to work!

  2. Laurie Craig says

    This chili was deee-lish! And my lips (and cheeks) had lots of color from the spices and hot peppers – no lipstick required for the rest of the night! All kidding aside, this was super-tasty and I would make this one at home. Thanks for the treat, Nicole!

  3. says

    Holy shizz – 1/2 a cup of chili powder – yowza! Love that it turned out – it would have been awful if you did all that work and it tasted like ass!

  4. says

    So the little guy’s birthday party is October 6. We’re doing a hot dog bar and I’m going to make chili as a topping option. I realized this week you won’t have the winner for the contest by then!

    • Nicole, RD says

      Joy: Absolutely! I think either would be wonderful. I would either cube the tofu and bake so that it holds together a bit or use a northern bean. YUM!

  5. ElleB says

    Just made this recipe tonight for our church’s “Fire & Ice” (Homemade Chili, Ice cream and Cornbread) competition and I won 1st Place in the “Hot” chili category. I had so many compliments on it. I didn’t put the beer in and I varied slightly on some of the spice amounts, but it was a hit. My husband thought it was great and had just the right amount of heat, I thought it was really spicy but I loved the sweet with the spicy. So I just wanted to say thanks for sharing this!

  6. Becky says

    I plan on making this for an upcoming Halloween Chili Cookoff. How do you think this will fare if I keep it warm (low setting) in a crockpot until judging?


  1. […] 5. Hawaiian Chili Don’t be intimidated by the long and eclectic list of ingredients in this recipe from Prevention RD! The end result is sweet, spicy and absolutely unique, with pineapple and honey balancing out the chili powder and jalapenos. If the spice is a little too hot to handle, we suggest stirring in some Tillamook Mozzarella Shredded Cheese to tone down the heat. […]

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