Slow-Cooker Garden Chili and Cinnamon Rolls

I think that a lot of people may find this combination to be rather odd, but cinnamon rolls and chili were a very usual meal for me during my teenage years (my high school cafeteria served it regularly). Many people from my hometown claim that this meal is unique to that particular city, so I would love to know if anyone else out there has tried it before.


Odd as it may seem, cinnamon rolls really are the perfect accompaniment to chili. The cinnamon complements the spices in a red chili perfectly, and the sweet and savory components of the meal balance each other very nicely. It is rather fun to watch how people approach this combo. Some take the dessert-first approach, and eat the cinnamon rolls before the chili. Others eat the chili first, saving the cinnamon rolls for dessert. I personally like them together. I even sometimes dip pieces of cinnamon roll in the chili broth. I know, it sounds crazy, but try it and you will see. It’s amazing!


Oh, by the way, the cinnamon rolls are made with agave nectar and coconut sugar. You can use all whole grain flour if you want, I was a bit naughty and used half white flour to make them fluffier…

Garden Chili (slow-cooker)

3 Texas sweet onions, diced

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 1 /2 tablespoon chili powder

2 ½ tablespoons ground cumin

30 ounces canned, diced tomatoes

2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced

10 ounces corn kernels (frozen or fresh)

Salt to taste

3 zucchinis, cubed

1 yellow summer squash, cubed


  1. Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat in a medium sized skillet. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until tender.
  2. Add the pepper, chili powder and cumin to the onions and garlic. Continue to sauté over medium heat until fragrant. Transfer to a 6 quart slow-cooker.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients except the zucchini and squash to the slow-cooker. Cook on low for 5 hours.
  4. Add the zucchini and squash, continue cooking on low for an additional hour.


Unbelievably Healthy Cinnamon Rolls


1 cup non-dairy milk, warmed

½ cup raw agave nectar

2 tablespoon fresh active dry yeast

½ cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons melted vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

2 cups sifted, unbleached white spelt flour

2-3 cups whole grain spelt flour

  1. Stir the agave nectar and warm milk together. Add the yeast, stir gently and set in a warm place until the mixture doubles in volume.
  2. While the yeast mixture is rising combine the oil, melted butter, salt and applesauce in an electric mixer. When the yeast mixture is ready, add it and mix on the lowest setting.
  3. Add the white spelt flour to the mixer, one cup at a time.
  4. Using a dough hook, mix in the whole grain spelt flour. Stop adding flour when the dough pulls away from the edges. It will be soft and slightly sticky.


  1. Transfer the dough to an oiled, large mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise until the dough doubles in volume.


1/3 cup vegan butter, at room temperature (such as Earth Balance)

¼ cup raw agave nectar

½ cup coconut sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon


  1. Turn out the raised dough onto a floured surface. Roll it out into a rectangle, about ½ inch thick.
  2. Now you get to get messy 😉 Spread the softened butter evenly over the surface of the dough (I use my hands to do this). Drizzle the agave over the whole surface of the dough.
  3. Evenly sprinkle the coconut sugar and cinnamon all over the dough.


  1. Gently roll the dough away from you. It will be rather soft and the agave may ooze out, but don’t worry, it is going to be amazing.


  1. Using a very sharp knife, cut the dough into 12 pieces.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  2. Place the cinnamon rolls in two 8 inch cake pans, which have been sprayed with non-stick spray.
  3. Put the rolls in a warm place to raise, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350˚ F.
  5. Bake cinnamon rolls for 20 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.


  1. Turn the rolls out onto a plate.


  1. The cinnamon rolls should pull apart easily to serve. I found them to be prettier if I turned them back over, but they are equally delicious whether upside down or right side up. 🙂




  1. Oh wow it looks delicious!!

    Liked by 1 person

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