halloween chili dinner


Halloween is a marathon day consisting of school costume parades, parties and endless trick or treating. Getting everyone to sit down to eat a good dinner in between rounds of trick or treating and parties is a challenge…most kids would rather be out stalking the neighbors for candy as if their life depended on it.  It’s days like Halloween, when I don’t know when we’ll be sitting down to dinner, that I whip out the slow cooker to make sure we have a meal ready and waiting come dinner time…whenever that may be.  It was a tradition in my husband’s family to have chili for dinner on Halloween night, and I love a tradition so even though the weather in LA doesn’t typically warrant a steaming bowl of anything, I still love cooking and sharing it with family!

Here is our version of a white bean turkey chili that trick or treaters of all ages will love:


  • 1 white onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 lb of a mild turkey or chicken sausage (we used 1 package of Jennie-0’s turkey breakfast sausage)
  • 1 jalepenjo, seeded and minced (for a mild chili remove all the seeds, for a little more kick add 1/4 of the seeds)
  • 3 cans of Cannellini beans
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn
  • 3 Tbsp corn meal
  • 3 Tbsp fresh minced oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 4 Bread bowls
  • Garnish ideas: sour cream, limes, cilantro, shredded cheese, diced onions or anything else you like!


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or the insert to your slow cooker (my slow cooker has a removable insert, which can be used over the stove for sautéing veggies or browning meat).  Sauté the onions and garlic over medium heat until the onions are translucent.  Add the cumin and jalepenjo and stir until the onions are coated with the cumin.  Add the sausage and cook it through.  Remove the skillet from the stove and place the mixture into your slow cooker (or in my case, remove the insert from the stove and place it into the slow cooker).  Add the beans, corn, chicken stock, corn meal, oregano, salt and pepper and mix completely. Cover the pot and cook the chili on low for 6-8 hours (or on high for 4 hours).


When you’re ready to eat, prepare the bread bowls by cutting 1.5″ – 2″ off the top of the bread and scooping out the middle. Serve the chili in the bread bowls (save the bread tops, their great for dipping!) and let everyone pick their garnish. This dish goes very nicely with a chilled Corona and a lime wedge…I’ll definitely be having at least one of those!


Halloween is about spending time with family and watching your little monsters run door to door, not standing in the kitchen preparing dinner…hopefully this recipe will help you do just that!



One thought on “halloween chili dinner

  1. I just made chili for a pumpkin carving party I hosted last weekend. Wish I had this delicious recipe to try then. Can’t wait to make it this weekend!!

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