Riunite Ultimate Chili Challenge + Meatless Mexican Street Corn Chili Recipe

August 20, 2018

Hey, y’all!


My best friend Katie was in town this past weekend.

While I am enjoying every last bit of summer, I couldn’t help but to confess that I am more than ready for fall: pumpkin-flavored everything, comfy sweaters, and of course, comfort foods.

One of my favorite comforting meals to make is chili — it’s delicious, easy, and provides several leftover meals at a low cost!

After this conversation, I couldn’t calm my craving; thus, we loaded up and headed to the supermarket. I decided to make last year’s winning recipe from the Riunite Tailgate – Midwest Division; let me tell y’all, it was finger-lickin’ good!


Before we hop into my virtual kitchen, do you think you have a chili recipe that is competition-worthy? We all have different variations of chili; thus, if you are passionate about it, you should enter the 2018 Riunite Ultimate Chili Challenge! This fall, Riunite is once again looking for the Ultimate Chili Champion. I know that my readers are some of the best cooks out there; thus, why couldn’t it be one of y’all?

The premise of the competition is simple: you enter your recipe for judges to score, they choose the top 5 per region, and then the finalists participate in a series of live cook-offs for a chance to win $1,000. It’s that easy — and fun!

I’m so excited to see who wins my division this year; I’m even more excited to try the recipe!

Now, the winning recipe from last year – full credit goes to Ultimate Chili Champion Michele Kusma:


Meatless Mexican Street Corn Chili


  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 c. frozen roasted corn, thawed
  • 1-2 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 c. finely crumbled cotija cheese, plus additional for garnishing
  • 1-2 c. sour cream
  • 1 small bunch cilantro or parsley
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


  1. Place diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and sugar into a deep saucepan
  2. Cook over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved
  3. Add chili powder, garlic powder, salt, lime juice, kidney beans, black beans, roasted corn, 1 c. vegetable broth, and 1 c. cotija cheese
  4. Stir until well-blended and bring to a simmer
  5. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, and adding additional broth as needed
  6. Serve chili with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of additional cotija cheese, a pinch of chopped cilantro or parsley leaves, and a wedge of lime.

Mexican street corn is one of my favorite foods; why not have it in soup form?

I love that the cotija cheese is both infused in the chili + used as a garnish. Cotija has a salty, fresh flavor that is so delicious!

All recipes that involve tomato should have a dash of sugar; I was taught that in the kitchen by my grandmother and I fully believe it to be true.


This recipe is also vegetarian, which makes it perfect to make for a group of individuals with different dietary patterns!

My final thought is that the infusion of fresh lime juice in the soup really sends it over the edge. I fully believe that a dash of acid is often the difference between a good recipe and a great recipe.


After making this chili, it was clear as to why Michele topped the Midwest Division last year.

That trusty chili recipe that you have in your cookbook? Yes, the one that has served your smiling family a plethora of times… enter it this year! I believe in all y’all and I’d love to see a JCP Eats reader take home the prize!

To enter your recipe, visit here and scroll to the bottom of the page. It’s so easy and quick to enter; I’m expecting big things, y’all!

If you have any questions about the competition, feel free to reach out to me.

As always, Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,


FTC: This is a commissioned post; however, all opinions are my own.


  • Reply
    August 22, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    That’s so exciting! I had no idea that this competition existed, but now I’m kind of interested in entering! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Lindsay Latimer
    August 22, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    I am so ready for chili season! And you had me at meatless…

  • Reply
    August 22, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    This looks SO delish! And I cannot wait for Fall either!

  • Reply
    Maya Griffin
    August 22, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    Omg I’m 100% making this!!

  • Reply
    August 22, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    I’m ready for the sweaters too! Chili looks awesome!

  • Reply
    August 22, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    Chili! Is it fall yet?! I’ll have to try this recipe, though I have one I might be willing to compete with!

  • Reply
    Della Preston
    August 23, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    This looks absolutely amazing! Chili is my favorite comfort food for cooler weather!

  • Reply
    Anna kate
    August 24, 2018 at 1:14 am

    omg that looks.incredible. love mexican street corn!

  • Reply
    August 24, 2018 at 2:26 am

    This looks absolutely delicious!!

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