Home ยป Chili Contest: Entry #2 – Chili

Chili Contest: Entry #2 – Chili

Another fall Saturday here, more football and great food to be had.

But I must admit this Saturday will not be spent posted up with chili and football, as I will be at work. See, my new teaching gig is great (loving it)…but it has me away from the dialysis unit on Tuesdays and Thursdays and my patients that have treatment Tues, Thurs, Sat vs. Mon, Wed, Fri need to be seen. Hence, to work on a Saturday I go. {Grumbling.}

Before I have you off to grab tissues for me (let’s pretend you cared), I have chili in the crock pot ready to go for after work. And maybe…juuuust maybe, that husband of mine will pause the game and wait for me to get home to watch. Here’s hoping.

It will be interesting to see how today’s chili recipe and the remaining recipes stack up to this one. This chili recipe was unique and sweet and just hit the spot. Before you write off sugar in chili like I nearly did…give this recipe a shot. It won’t disappoint! The parental unit and best friend, Kristen, agree.


Chili very slightly adapted from Christine’s Kitchen Chronicles

1 1/2 lbs 96% lean ground beef
1 green pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 can Bush’s chili beans in sauce
1 (14 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes with no added salt
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1/2 packet chili seasoning
1/4 cup sugar
black pepper, to taste
1 tsp hot sauce
Shredded cheddar cheese, optional*


In a large cooking pot over high heat brown hamburger meat with chopped onion. Drain grease.

Add diced green peppers and chili beans with sauce. Then add salt, sugar, pepper to taste, hot sauce to taste, and chili seasoning.

Add cans of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, including juice. Add tomato paste and then fill paste can with water and add 1 can (6 oz) water.

Bring ingredients to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for about an hour.

Serve hot and sprinkle with cheddar cheese, if desired. Yield: 10 cups.

Nutrition Information (per cup): 182 calories; 3 g. fat; 39 mg. cholesterol; 785 mg. sodium; 22 g. carbohydrate; 5.8 g. fiber; 18.3 g. protein

Result: This was a most unique, SWEET chili. Though you could certainly add more hot sauce, I was desperately trying to keep the sodium content down (I also cut out the salt in the recipe all together). This was my first time trying chili with sugar in it and I can add chili to the list of Things Made Better with Sugar…yum! I’m going to go out on a limb and say this recipe will be hard to beat! Enjoy!


I hope that you are all 1) not at work and 2) enjoying better weather than Ohio. It is COLD and wet and dreary here. I yawned my way through yesterday and I have a feeling today will be more of the same. I was very glad I talked forced myself to workout yesterday morning. By 7am, I was done with my workout and as challenging as those 3 miles were, it was worth it. I think what worked for that particular morning was sleeping in my workout clothes and having socks by the bed to put on as soon as I got up. Whatever works, right? Now I can guiltlessly enjoy a rest day today…and my chili and football!

Question: How does sugar in chili sound to you?

Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it…mmm!

Go Illini,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. Gina (The Candid RD)
    October 1, 2011 / 7:30 am

    Well I’m certainly sad for you, but I work EVERY Saturday, so talk about SAD! Yeah, the first game I got to watch this season was one that we LOST (and the only reason I watched it was because I brought my work home with me).

    The chili sounds great (and of course I’m stumbling it!) but I would say no sugar, but do cinnamon instead! Or maybe half sugar half cin. I love cinnamon in chili! BTW, Market Districit is having a chili cook-off today and I didn’t even think to tell you about it. Next year you NEED to submit a recipe (or five!). You would win ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Hezzi-D
    October 1, 2011 / 7:45 am

    I’ve had brown sugar in soups before so I think it would be good in chili. This sounds like a great recipe and it looks delicious!

  3. Juliet
    October 1, 2011 / 7:46 am

    Hi! So, I just found your blog from Dr. Yoni Freedhoff’s Weighty Matters blog and, I have to admit, I am completely inspired by your story. It’s beautiful! Maintaining weight loss can be such a tricky thing sometimes and I don’t believe anyone ever REALLY ‘masters’ it. Just from reading your about me page and looking through your pictures, it seems you have a completely level headed perspective and I very much look forward to reading more.

    Happy Saturday and good luck at work!

    • Nicole
      October 1, 2011 / 7:48 am

      Juliet, thank you! You’re right, NO ONE “masters” it…I couldn’t agree more. Myself included. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Lena
    October 1, 2011 / 9:02 am

    Sugar is always awesome ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Joanne
    October 1, 2011 / 9:39 am

    My parents put a pinch of sugar in tomato sauce and it really takes the acidic edge off the tomato sauce…so I could see it really pairing well with the spice in chili!

    Aww so sorry you have to work, love! Hope you have a great day nonetheless!

  6. Andrea@WellnessNotes
    October 1, 2011 / 9:51 am

    Sorry you have to work today, but your chili sounds good! I’ve never put sugar in chili, but I can totally see it working.

  7. Heather
    October 1, 2011 / 1:03 pm

    I would never have thought to add sugar to chili but I love the savory-sweet combo!

    Sounds delicious!

  8. Biz
    October 1, 2011 / 1:05 pm

    I worked til 1:00 in the morning last night, so I feel you on having to work today. Wow, 1/4 cup of sugar? Although I do say, I love the stats per cup – I’d probably add more hot sauce to balance the sweet and savory though.

    Hope work goes by fast – Illinois is playing Northwestern today, right? I think they were up 7-0 last time I looked. ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. how many calories are in
    October 1, 2011 / 6:02 pm

    I like my chili hot!

  10. Holly
    October 2, 2011 / 6:19 pm

    Sugar in chili??? Sign me up!!! I added this to my menu so I’ll be making it in the next couple of weeks!!!

  11. Christine @ Christine's Kitchen Chronicles
    October 3, 2011 / 7:32 pm

    Hi Nicole! I’m so glad that you enjoyed my Mother-in-Law’s chili recipe and will let her know that you approve :). I actually just had some tonight, too (leftovers that my husband cooked ALL BY HIMSELF(!) from last week). I honestly had no idea that sugar wasn’t a normal chili ingredient! I guess this recipe is all I’ve ever really known! We Midwesterners put all softs of crazy stuff in our chili, though! Most noteably cinnamon and chocolate in Cincinnati-style haha.

    I love Hezzi-D’s idea of brown sugar…I might try that instead on my next batch!

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  15. Bridget
    September 12, 2012 / 9:23 pm

    Hi Nicole! Just had to stop by to let you know how much we loved this dish, again! I am so glad that I gave it a shot…based solely from your “verdict” part of the post. I’ve always enjoyed everything I’ve made from your blog…and our tastes seem pretty similar. This will be our “go-to” recipe in the future.

    • Nicole, RD
      September 12, 2012 / 9:51 pm

      Bridget, you’re sweet. Your comment made my day! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Chelai
    October 23, 2013 / 3:41 pm

    I am not a chili fan, at all. but after seeing some of you posts for your recent contest, I decided I wanted chili. I settled on this recipe. I loved it. My soup loving 5 year old liked it so much so that she wanted it for lunch (rare request for leftovers for lunch). It was so good. Next time, I will double it so we can all have leftovers b/c one batch wasn’t enough for 3 people plus leftovers for lunch. Making this again for sure!

  17. John Ellison
    September 17, 2015 / 11:40 pm

    Wow! Only a half of packet of chilli season and a quarter of a cup of SUGAR! Why not just eat a bowl of pure sugar?

    • Nicole Morrissey
      September 18, 2015 / 2:30 pm

      John, you did see that the recipe makes 10 servings, correct? My blog focuses on balance and all things in moderation. It is not void of processed foods or sugars. Perhaps there’s a better fit on the www for you to find recipes.

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