Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sausage, Squash and Apple Chili

Yes, I said Apple and Chili. I like my chili sweet. It's no secret in my house that I'm a fan of the spicy/sweet combination, and chili is no different. I usually add a tablespoon of brown sugar or honey and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Some people even put in grape jelly, or so I've heard.

Well, when I went into my kitchen yesterday morning there in my fruit basket were apples, tomatoes and chili peppers. See, on the way out from my friend Ann's awesome Oktoberfest party, I noticed her garden. I was shocked by what I saw - fresh ripe peppers and tomatoes - because it's been cold, it's been warm, it's been dry, I thought the season was over. I couldn't help myself. I had to have some. 

The apples are left over from our orchard excursion, and most are marked for more applesauce and muffins (scroll down a bit if you missed them - you're gonna want to make some, trust me!) but I figured one could go to a good cause. I had to use them together. I was entranced by the idea of making something amazing with them. I wasn't sure where to go with the ingredients, though. I looked in my fridge for some protein and didn't have a lot to work with. But the spicy Jimmy Dean pork sausage on the bottom shelf spoke to me, and it wasn't talking breakfast. That was when the Sausage, Squash and Apple Chili was born.

Sausage, Squash and Apple Chili

You Will Need:
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Baking Sheet
  • Crockpot
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Cheese Grater
  • Fork (I use a fork instead of a spoon - you can use it to mash, stir and flip)
  • 4 Tomatoes  (I used Roma from the garden or use 1 can of whole/halved crushed)
  • 1 Small Can of Tomato Paste
  • 1 Pound Spicy Pork (Or ground beef or make it vegetarian and use red kidney beans)
  • 2 Cups Corn (I had corn off the cob in my freezer from the CSA or use 1/2 package frozen)
  • 1 Apple
  • 1/4 Butternut Squash
  • 2 Chili Peppers
  • 1 Bell Pepper (I'd go yellow, orange or red)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion
  • 4 Strips Bacon (omit if going the veggie route - it would seriously be good without meat!)
  • 1 Beef Bouillon Cube (again, just leave out and maybe put in some salt and pepper instead)
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice (or lemon or vinegar)
  • 2 Cups Water
  • Sour Cream 
  • Gouda Cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees for the bacon
  2. Start by putting the sausage in the bottom of the crockpot, flip and cook thoroughly with the onion, garlic and cinnamon sprinkled on top
  3. Put bacon on a foil wrapped cookie sheet and sprinkle with brown sugar and red pepper flakes, cook for 15 minutes,chop into pieces and add to crockpot 
  4. Wash and chop all the vegetables (the hardest part is peeling and gutting the squash) into small chunks (I went super small in fear that my kids would recognize something and flip out) and don't forget to de-seed your peppers!
  5. Wash and cut tomatoes and mash a bit if using fresh
  6. Add all to crockpot with beef bouillon cube, water and tomato paste
  7. Stir in spices and lime juice
  8. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, top with sour cream and gouda
This is a perfect Autumn Chili. I picked gouda cheese because of the apples - if you've never had a gouda and apple grilled cheese, make yourself one! I promise you will be happy you did. If you're up for something a little bit different, but still comfort food, give this chili a try!


  1. Oh my goodness, does that sound delicious!!!!!! Saving to make soon!

  2. We are on the same wave length. I am totally making chili this weekend. And yes, bacon in chili is required, even if it's vegetarian. Yum-E!

  3. Thanks, Jen! I needed something different. I think I got a bit burnt out on chili last fall. I made all kinds and made it once a week. I'd start in the morning and just add stuff all day sneaking bites... I couldn't help myself when I saw the peppers, tomatoes and apples all in that bowl, though! And Tammy, bacon is good and how I make my husband eat soup/stew/chili. Lol.

  4. Apple Chili....can't believe we've never tried that. It sounds really good!