This year’s special recipe category in the challenge was Champion Chili. Barb Schindler won with her Best Chili Ever recipe, which lived up to its name.

Coming in second place was Lolly Pop’s Tongue-Burning Chili from Jan Lindsay.

Both dishes proved to be a good fit for a nice warm supper on a cold day.

Best Chili Ever


1/2 pound bacon

1 pound ground sausage

1 pound lean ground beef

1 large Spanish onion, cut into chunks

1 bell pepper, chopped

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons chili peppers

1 cup dry red wine

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 tablespoon cumin

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons pepper

4 tablespoons sugar (sugar to taste)

8 cups crushed tomatoes

1 quart tomato juice

2-12-ounce cans tomato paste

1-15-ounce can pinto beans

2- 15-ounce cans kidney beans


Brown bacon in chili pot, drain, crumble and set aside. Brown sausage and ground beef. Pour excess fat from pot leaving only a film, set aside the meats. Cook onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili peppers over low heat for 2-3 minutes, add meats, stir in wine, Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, celery seeds, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper and simmer 20 minutes. Mash the tomatoes and add to the liquids, meats and onion mixture. Add in tomato paste and tomato juice.

Add in sugar to taste. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add beans, heating to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Serves 10-12.

Barbara Schindler, Napoleon


Lolly Pop’s Tongue-Burning Chili


5 pounds link sausage

1 pound lean ground beef

1 large onion

1 large green pepper

2-28 ounce cans chopped tomatoes

1-30 ounce can hot chili beans

1-4 ounce can sliced mushrooms, optional

1-11 ounce can cheddar cheese soup

1 -6 ounce can tomato paste

1-8 ounce can tomato sauce

2 cups tomato juice

1/4 cup sliced jalapeno pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2-4 tablespoons hot sauce

3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese


Cook sausage in a large, heavy skillet until browned, turning often, and drain. Then cut sausage into 1/2-inch slices and set aside. Cook ground beef, onion and green pepper until meat is browned, stirring to crumble meat and drain. Combine sausage and beef mixture along with remaking ingredients except for cheese, into a large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 1 1/2—2 hours, stirring occasionally. Top each serving with shredded cheese. Yield 6 quarts.

Make sure to have cold milk or other beverages on hand to cool your tongue.

You can make the chili as hot as you’d like by increasing the hot sauce and the jalapeños.

Jan Lindsay, Archbold


Family Fun

Night Chili


1 1/2 pounds ground round

1 pound sausage

1 cup diced celery

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced green pepper.

2-28 ounce cans diced tomatoes

2-10 ounce cans Rotel tomatoes

2 cups tomato juice

1 cup water

1 can green chiles

1-15 ounce can pinto beans

1-15 ounce can navy beans

1-40-ounce can kidney beans

1 package taco seasoning

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon dried cilantro

1 teaspoon granulated onion

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper


Cook meat thoroughly, adding celery, onions, and green pepper for last 3-5 minutes of cooking. Drain. Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot. Simmer for 3-5 hours, stirring periodically. Serves 12-15. Optional garnish can be shredded cheddar, sour cream or crushed tortilla chips.

Cheryl Buchhop, Defiance


Taco Chili


1 pound hamburger

1 medium onion, chopped

1-14.5 ounce can beef broth

1 package taco seasoning

3 cans refried beans

2-16 ounce cans tomato sauce

1-16-ounce jar regular salsa (choose which heat you like)

Chili powder, salt and pepper to taste


In large pan, cook hamburger and onion, drain grease and add beef broth, taco seasoning and rest of ingredients. Cook until refried beans are tender. Top with sour cream, cheese, etc. Can be eaten with corn chips. Serves 6.

Mary Jo Schwab, Holgate


Oh So Healthy Vegetarian Chili


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion (chopped)

6 cloves garlic (minced)

3 cups tomato juice

1 cup water

2 cups chunky salsa

1- 4 ounce can mild diced green chiles

1- 15 ounce can whole kernel sweet corn with liquid

1- 15 ounce can dark red kidney beans with liquid

1 -15 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1-15 ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup quick pearled barley

1 tablespoon cumin

2 tablespoons chili seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt


In a 4-quart dutch oven pan heat oil, add onion and garlic. Saute 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Serves 6-8. Serve with crackers.

Linda Hanawalt, Defiance


Feed the

Church Chili


8 pounds ground beef, cooked and drained

1 medium onion chopped

2- 30 oz. cans diced tomatoes

2- 46-ounce cans tomato juice

1- 20 oz. can dark kidney beans

1- 20 oz. can light kidney beans

1- 31 oz. can chili beans

1 jar medium salsa, plus 1 jar water

1 small can diced green chilies

1 package taco seasoning mix

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon celery salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Directions: Heat all ingredients in a roaster. Serves 30.

Jane Nice, Paulding


Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili


1 1/2 chicken breasts

15 ounce canned white navy beans, drained and rinsed

14.5 oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes, drained

4 cups chicken broth

1/4 — 1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce

1 package ranch dressing mix

2 cups frozen corn kernels

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 ounces cream cheese

Toppings: Blue cheese crumbles, cilantro, tortilla chips optional


Add all ingredients except cream cheese and toppings to a large slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Shred chicken with two forks. Add cream cheese and stir to incorporate.

Add additional wing sauce if desired. Ladle into bowls and add toppings as desired.

Traci Flory, Defiance


Butternut Squash & Quinoa Chili


4 cups cubed butternut squash

1 medium onion, diced

1 -15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

A 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (any variety)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons taco seasoning

1 teaspoon salt

32 ounce box of vegetable broth

1 cup frozen corn (add at the end)

Fresh, chopped cilantro and avocado slices for garnish. To make it spicier, add jalapeño pepper slices.


Place all ingredients except corn into crock pot. Cook 6 hours on high or all day on low. Add corn about 30 minutes before serving. INSTANTPOT Directions: Place all ingredients in the Instantpot and stir. Cook on high pressure on manual for 15 minutes. Reduce the broth to 2 cups.

When finished, stir in corn and rest of broth. Can garnish with cilantro, jalapeño slices and avocado. Serves 8.

Angela Ballard, Defiance


Turkey Taco Chili


1 pound ground turkey, browned and drained

1 can sweet corn, drained

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 large and 1 small cans mild chili beans

1 can hot chili beans

1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained

1 packet taco seasoning, mild or hot

1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning


Combine all ingredients in a crockpot, stirring well. Cook on low for 10-12 hours or on high for 6-8 hours. Stir occasionally. Top with sour cream and cheddar cheese. Save with cornbread. Serves 8.

Kacie Postema, Defiance


Crockpot Italian Chicken Sausage Chili


1 tablespoon olive oil

12 ounce-package link chicken sausage

4- 15 1/2 ounce cans cannelloni beans, rinsed

1 medium green pepper, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 tablespoons pesto (I use Classico brand)

1 tablespoon chili powder

32-ounce can of chicken broth

2 cups water

1 cup fresh spinach

1-8 ounce block cream cheese, cubed.

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon salt


Brown sausage along with onion and green pepper in olive oil in skillet. Put in crockpot along with beans, chicken broth, water, salt, pepper, chili powder and pesto. Cook on low for 6 hours, then add cream cheese and spinach. Cover and cook for 2 more hours or until spinach is cooked and cheese is melted. Add a dollop of Greek yogurt to each bowl of soup. Serve with warm Italian bread. Serves 8.

Janis Price, Defiance



Sweet Chili


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 medium yellow onion

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 jalapeno, seeded and diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

2 teaspoons coriander

2 cups vegetable broth or stock

2 - 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 - 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (do not drain)

Juice from half a lime

1/4 cup cilantro

1/2 teaspoon salt


Heat oil in a Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato, red pepper, jalapeno and onion, stirring often until the onion begins to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, chili powder and salt. Cook for 1 minute until spices are fragrant, stirring constantly. Add vegetable stock and bring to a simmer, then cover for 10 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Add black beans, canned tomatoes, and lime juice; increase heat to high and bring to a simmer, stirring often.

Reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add more salt as needed. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Serve with your favorite chili toppings. Serves. 4-6.

Abigail Stehulak, Defiance


Simplistic Chili


1 pound hamburger browned with 1/2 cup chopped onion

1 can baked beans

1 can chili beans

1 can kidney beans

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 quarts tomato juice

1 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 can whole tomatoes (optional)


Mix all ingredients in saucepan, bring to a boil. Serve with sour cream, cheddar cheese, oyster crackers or fresh chives. Serves 10-12.

Jill Hatcher, Cecil

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