spicy sausage & vegetable chili with cornbread croutons.

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This chili is… fabulous!  It is very different and “out of the box” but I think it was a huge success.  I used a hot Italian poultry sausage for the ground meat, carrots, cabbage, red cabbage, kale and black beans for the vegetables, and made a spicy tomato-y chili base.  To top it off, literally, I added CORNBREAD CROUTONS!  First off, croutons make everything better.  Second, cornbread is the SH**.  I could eat it everyday.  I decided to make croutons because you can control how much you put on top.  They’re crispy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside.  What could be better than that?

RECIPE: (serves 4-6)

for the chili:

  • 3 links hot Italian poultry sausage (meat removed from casing)
  • 1 container cole slaw mix (this one I bought from whole foods – it contained carrots, kale, cabbage, and red cabbage)
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 vidalia onion, diced
  • 2 large beefsteak tomatoes, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • pepper to taste (I did not add any salt – the chili powder contains salt and the sausage contains a good amount of sodium, but add it to your taste!)
  • olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1 teaspoon very cold water


  • heat a large pot or dutch oven pot to medium-high heat
  • add olive oil, sausage, garlic, and onions
  • cook for about 8-10 minutes until onions are translucent and sausage is browned nicely
  • add carrots, cole slaw mix, chili powder, and cayenne pepper
  • cook for another 10 minutes until slaw mix is wilted, stir occasionally
  • add crushed tomatoes and chicken broth
  • mix and lower heat to low so it’s lightly simmering
  • cover and cook for about 20-30 minutes until vegetables are tender
  • add cornstarch and cold water and stir – chili should thicken (you don’t necessarily have to do this, depends how thick you like your chili)


for the croutons:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill cornbread mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 & 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup oil (I used coconut oil)


  • make cornbread according to instructions (all these ingredients can be found on the back of the bag of cornbread mix!)
  • bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes in a 9 x 13 pan
  • let cornbread cool
  • cut into 1 inch thick cubes
  • place on baking sheet
  • bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until cornbread cubes are browned and crispy on the outside
  • serve chili with plain Siggi’s, avocado, and CORNBREAD CROUTONS! 🙂 enjoy

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