Home Β» 3rd Annual Chili Contest Round-Up & Winner!

3rd Annual Chili Contest Round-Up & Winner!

Wow, another year of chili contests in the books. It was a good one, as usual. The Illinois football season, however, was not. You win some, you lose some…and you look forward to the college basketball season!

We had to sit down and review each of the chilis. Because so many of the chilis were incredibly unique, they were easy to remember and compare. What I will note is that everyone has different preferences and so I describe the chilis in an effort to gear those who love certain flavors and temperatures in the direction that best suits their likes and dislikes. Without further adieu….the round-up!


Healthy Turkey Chili submitted by Hezzi-D Books and Cooks was a chili full of tomato and taco flavors. This is your traditional chili with a few American touches!


Maui Chili from Kathryn was a true pleasure and quite the surprise of the night to the guests we shared it with. Who knew honey and pineapple would make for one killer, spicy chili? This was beyond unique and one-of-a-kind…a definite contender for the title.


Kara’s Chili was submitted by its creator, Kara! I’ve unsuccessfully added pumpkin to chili in the past, but not so in this recipe. The pumpkin added a very subtle flavor with a creamy, rich consistency to the chili base. Otherwise, this chili recipe uses traditional ingredients and proportions for a chili anyone would love!


Veggie Chili was created and submitted by Lauren of A Seat at the Table. I was sold with corn and zucchini in this entry. I also love the vegetarian “beef” crumbles that can be found in the frozen foods aisle. So versatile. This chili will thrill even the carnivore in your life!


Spicy Black Bean and Veggie Burger Chili was submitted by Athena. This vegetarian chili packed in the chili flavors with loads of chili powder and cumin and plenty of heat with a can of one of my favorite weapons: Rotel! Quick and easy to make, too!


Moroccan Lamb and Butternut Squash Chili was created and submitted by Cara of Cara’s Cravings. This was my second time cooking with lamb and it came out beautifully in this recipe. I loved the chickpeas and squash and I have been missing out on the glory that is ras al hanout for way too many years…that spice blend is heavenly! This chili makes a ton, takes awhile, and would wow the socks off a crowd!


Mexican Style Pork and Chorizo Chili was submitted by Christine of Christine’s Kitchen Chronicles and was adapted originally from Cook’s Illustrated, The Best Make Ahead Recipe. I could’ve been happy with just the pork itself — so flavorful! To take such a beautifully seasoned and cooked piece of meat and add it to a chili full of chorizo and hominy was quite the delight. This is a bit less traditional, but full of flavor…and perfect for the meat lover!


Sweet Georgia Brown Chili from Stacey McSweeney used the foundations of ground turkey breast, black beans, and tomatoes and went over the top with the dried ancho chiles, whiskey, brown sugar…and chocolate!

 And for comparison’s sake, information on the nutritional make-up of each chili compared cup-to-cup.

calories fat fiber sodium
#1 172 2.4 5.6 992
#2 238 5.9 6.2 345
#3 231 8.1 6.5 336
#4 185 2.9 9.3 339
#5 223 5 11.8 647
#6 251 6.3 5.4 270
#7 234 7.8 4.5 692
#8 254 5.4 8.9 903

For the second time in 3 years, I am happy to announce Stacey McSweeney’s chili is this year’s winner! Her Sweet Georgia Brown Chili was such a unique blend of bold, balanced flavors that captured “chili” and so much more. Bite after bite I was blown away by the depth of flavors and creativity of the entire recipes. Stacey, send me your address…you have won the grand prize — a $100 Visa giftcard!!

Thanks for following along this year…now, get to chili making!

Be well,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. November 27, 2012 / 8:11 am

    Another amazing year of chili! I can’t imagine how hard it must be to pick a winner each year because they all sound fabulous. I like the nutritional comparison grid that you added this year.

    Congratulations Stacey! I can’t wait to give your recipe a try. Some of the ingredients are reminiscent of my beloved Cincinnati chili and Nicole has vetted it so I’m sure it will be a hit!

  2. November 27, 2012 / 8:29 am

    They do all sound fabulous. And I’ve been lucky enough to have been eating Lauren’s veggie chili for years, so I know they all must be good if they can stand alongside that πŸ™‚

  3. November 27, 2012 / 8:38 am

    I actually made the Sweet Georgia Brown chili this weekend. I liked it a lot! It kinda reminded me of sweet chili heat Doritos.

  4. Stacey
    November 27, 2012 / 10:29 am

    So glad you loved it Nicole (and Samantha)!!

  5. November 27, 2012 / 12:03 pm

    Hooray to the winner! I am sold – this is going on my lunch menu next week. Actually, all told, other than some high sodium counts, the calories aren’t too bad!!

  6. November 27, 2012 / 2:55 pm

    2nd time winner!! I Defintely must make her chili!
    It sounds fabulous!! A big congrats to her!

  7. November 27, 2012 / 4:59 pm

    Yay!! Congratulations, Stacey! I can’t wait to try the winning recipe (and I have also bookmarked others to try as well!)!!

  8. November 27, 2012 / 8:12 pm

    Wow! These all look fantastic! Thanks for sharing all of them and congrats to the winner. I know what I’ll be making next week…all I need is a huge slab of cornbread!

  9. November 27, 2012 / 11:09 pm

    I can’t wait to try Stacy’s chili! We have a white chili on the menu for next week already.

  10. November 28, 2012 / 8:28 am

    Congrats, Stacy! Thanks for inviting me to participate, Nicole πŸ™‚

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