Amazing Apple Chili with Sweet and Spicy Sausage

"This delectable apple-infused chili is the perfect combination of flavors and textures that will tantalize your taste buds. Succulent bites of sweet and spicy sausage harmonize with the crisp sweetness of apples, elevated by the aromatic essence of fresh rosemary. A velvety touch of Dijon mustard adds a subtle zing, while the dish is finished with a generous sprinkle of aged Gouda cheese and golden pretzel bites. Each spoonful is a journey through layers of savory, sweetness and heat, perfectly paired with the fruit undertones and complexity of Pinot Noir."

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

45 minutes

Paired With

Main Protein



Mild Italian sausage 1 pound, crumbled, 1 pound, crumbled, 4 cups, diced, 1/2 cup, 1/4 cup, 5 tablespoons, divided, 4 cups, chopped, 2 tablespoons, chopped, 1/4 cup, 4 cups, 3 cups, cubed, 1 teaspoon, 1 1/2 cups, grated or shaved
Spicy Italian sausage
Red onion
Dijon mustard
Unsalted butter
Apples (any tart variety)
Rosemary, fresh
Chicken broth
Pretzel bread or buns
Kosher salt
Aged Gouda cheese


Add mild Italian sausage, spicy Italian sausage and red onion to a large Dutch oven. Cook on medium high heat, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or until sausage and onions are browned. Cover and reduce heat to low.

Stir Dijon mustard and honey together in a small bowl. Set aside. 

In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter, then add the apples. Cook on medium high heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until apples are slightly soft and browned on the edges. Remove from heat and stir in the Dijon mustard and honey mixture, coating all apple pieces thoroughly. Sprinkle with the rosemary. Add this mixture to the sausage and onions, stirring to combine. 

Turn heat to medium and add the flour. Thoroughly incorporate the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. 

In a large skillet, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and add the cubed pretzel bread, stirring to coat with the butter. Turn heat to medium high and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until all cubes are toasted light golden brown. Sprinkle with the salt and pour onto a paper towel lined plate. 

To serve, ladle into bowls and top with the aged gouda and pretzel croutons. Pair with Black Box Wines Pinot Noir.

Note:  The chili can be served immediately or simmered on low heat, covered, for up to 3 hours to allow the flavors to continue to develop.