Home ยป Chili Contest: Entry 1

Chili Contest: Entry 1

Happy Labor Day! I hope everyone is enjoying a day off work doing whatever makes them happy!

Have I mentioned how our new surroundings make me happy? How could they not?! City girl gone country? A lil bit, I reckon! 😉

This weekend my parents and brother visited from Chicago — we had a blast! We went for walks, went to a Greek festival, enjoyed wine and bonfires, watched football & movies, went shopping, and just relaxed & enjoyed good company. 😀 Seeing as this was the first weekend for college football, it was the first weekend for my Prevention Chili Contest!

This recipe comes from Amanda of Our Italian Kitchen. As I read this recipe I really questioned the outcome. It sounded…bizzare, but unique. I knew it would either turn out really good…or really bad. Luckily, it turned out REALLY good — everyone loved it! I don’t know how else to describe this chili other than “American chili meets Italy”. It was a hit…a huge hit! This chili turned out spicy, but not too spicy. So I’m glad I scaled back the heat by eliminating and decreasing the pepper quantity. It will be hard to even compare this recipe to other chili recipes because it is so different, but we’ll do our best 😉 Week 1 definitely leaves big shoes to fill for the upcoming 11 chili recipes, however! Thanks, Amanda!

A few modifications:

  • I couldn’t find finger peppers or long, hot peppers so I used 1 serrano pepper
  • I think I would sub cannellini beans for black beans to keep with the Italian theme
  • I used half the recommended number of dried chilies…16 just seemed like a LOT
  • I removed all seeds and membranes from the peppers
  • I used deer instead of ground beef
  • Halve the recipe unless you’re cooking for a TON of people — it makes a lot. I fed 5 people for 2 meals and had 5+ servings of leftovers.

Six-Pack Pepper Chili slightly adapted from Our Italian Kitchen

3 large onions, diced
2 whole bulbs of garlic (not cloves…bulbs!), diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
2 green, long hot peppers 1 serrano pepper, diced
6 finger hot peppers
16 8 dried hot chilies, chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, diced
10 8 cherry peppers, diced
2 lbs of hot Italian sausage
2 lbs ground beef deer
(3) 28 oz cans of plum (whole) tomatoes
(2) 14.5 oz cans of fire roasted tomatoes
(1) 10 oz can of diced tomatoes and green chilies (Rotel)
2 cans of black beans
2 cans of red beans
2 eggs
¾ can of regular American beer (I used Michelob Ultra)
3/4 cup bread crumbs
3 Tbs fresh chives, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


Sauté 3 onions, 2 whole bulbs of garlic, 2 green bell peppers, and 1 yellow bell pepper in oil with salt until soft.

Combine 2 pounds of hot Italian sausage (uncased), 2 pounds ground beef deer, 2 eggs, and bread crumbs in a bowl. Shape into meatballs. Brown in a frying pan and then add to chili.

Chop and add 2 green, long hot peppers, 6 finger hot peppers, 1 serrano pepper, 16 8 dried hot chilies, 2 jalapeño peppers, and 10 8 cherry peppers. Add 2 tablespoons paprika and 2 tablespoons chili powder. Add three (3) 28 ounce cans of whole tomatoes, two (2) 14.5 ounce cans of Fire Roasted tomatoes, and one (1) 10 ounce can of diced tomatoes and green chilies (e.g. Rotel).

Strain, rinse, and add 2 cans of black beans and 2 cans of red beans. Let chili simmer for 1½ hours.

Add ¾ can of regular American beer, 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, and 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary. Let chili simmer for 1 hour before serving. Serves 18 (about 1 1/2 cups per serving).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 414 calories; 17.7 g. fat; 93 mg. cholesterol; 1086 mg. sodium*; 35.4 g. carbohydrate; 7.6 g. fiber; 27 g. protein

Lighten it up: I wanted to use turkey Italian sausage to cut a lot of calories and saturated fat, but in fairness to contestants, I wanted to closely mimic their recipes. By using turkey Italian sausage the recipes would drop to 359 calories per serving and 11 grams of fat per serving — HUGE difference without sacrificing much flavor at all! The sodium* content is also deceivingly high after I plugged it into my nutrient analysis simply because all the beans were rinsed and drained. I think the sodium content is more like 836 mg. per serving — not low, but a lot lower…about 20% lower. When you used canned beans and tomatoes it’s just hard to cut the sodium, but by adjusting other meals, a higher sodium meal can fit into most any healthy diet.

Question: Do you like meatballs?

I used to not like’em…but now I love them! It takes a life-changing meatball to bring people to the other side. But once a meatball lover, always a meatball lover!

P.S. Check in tomorrow to see how I did on the 101 Days of Summer challenge!

Happy Labor Day,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. September 6, 2010 / 10:58 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen meatballs in chili before! Sounds great!! And very spicy, yummmmm!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. September 6, 2010 / 10:58 am

    That looks very delicious,love spicy food….and nice to know you had a great time with your family

  3. September 6, 2010 / 11:19 am

    I love that you’re doing a chilli contest!
    I like turkey meatballs ๐Ÿ™‚
    Happy Labor Day!

  4. September 6, 2010 / 8:43 pm

    Wow! I’ve never heard of anything like this before. How creative! I’m betting it was fabulous. ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. September 6, 2010 / 11:27 pm

    Very creative–I would be interested in watching a football game with that in front of me.

  6. September 7, 2010 / 7:30 am

    Love meatballs but have never seen them in chili. Glad you’re doing chili every week as it’s the thing I like to make the most..ok it’s the easiest too ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. September 7, 2010 / 10:35 am

    Thanks for including my recipe in your chili contest! Can’t wait to see the rest of the recipes!

  8. September 7, 2010 / 11:12 am

    Wowee that chili sounds intense–so many good ingredients in it!

  9. September 7, 2010 / 6:25 pm

    That chili is gorgeous! I love meatballs and I think they must be a fantastic addition to chili!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get my newest recipes
Follow Me