Tail Gating from Your Couch – a Paleo Party with Pumpkin Chocolate Chili, Cornbread, Apple Pie Bars

Tail Gating from Your Couch Trio on PaleoParents

It’s interesting, but the first thing I thought of when Matt first made this Pumpkin Chocolate Chili for me (sans nightshades!) was that these two accompanying recipes would go great with it! You see, in 2011 we posted a “dinner party” for new years eve and had a blast coordinating a menu with other friends in the paleo blogging community. So I a few weeks ago I e-mailed Merit and Fork and Our Paleo Life and asked them if they wanted to come up with a fun Game Day Menu using these 3 recipes together. They graciously agreed and then Matt spiffiy-ed up the name to something that made me laugh out loud. If you’re confused, don’t be. Make all these things together today in prep for helping your lazy Sunday continue! -Stacy


When I was first learning to cook, one of my very favorite recipes to make was this one. Apparently, this is a chili that is famous for being served at tailgates for Purdue football games. These days, I wouldn’t at all be able to make a dish with that many beans nor enjoy those corn chips, plus Stacy and Finn avoid nightshades! But if there’s one thing I still love, it’s making chili on a cold autumn day. So today, I’m going to share with you a special nightshade-free chili featuring pumpkin and chocolate and then we can make it a great meal for tailgating on the couch with our friends Merit and Fork and Our Paleo Life!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chili for Tailgating for Your Couch by PaleoParents

So first of all, this chili is nightshade-free. The are no peppers of any kind and thus don’t expect it to be spicy, it’s not intended to be spicy. However, despite the pumpkin and chocolate, it’s not sweet either. It’s a perfect savory bite, warming from the inside with a rich spice blend, that we know you’ll love.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chili for Tailgating for Your Couch on PaleoParents

Pumpkin Chocolate Chili


  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 C pumpkin puree (or about one 14 oz can)
  • 1 C hard cider
  • 1 C beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  1. In a medium pot, brown the ground beef over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and saute until translucent.
  3. Pour in the pumpkin, cider, and broth and stir to incorporate.
  4. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to low and stir in remaining ingredients.
  6. Simmer for twenty minutes before serving with cornbread.

Make it a Meal!

The inspiration for asking Kendra from Our Paleo Life and Nicole from Merit and Fork to contribute to this couch-gating party is simple: our kids LOVED these recipes. Nicole brought both of them to our home for varying events, and each time the kids have asked us after if we could make them again ourselves. We figure, if our kids love something enough to want to make it again – we should share it with you!

This Paleo Corn Bread Minus the Corn is called “No Joke No Corn-Bread” in our home. We were all scarfing our cornbread and chili like it was made of wool. Not only is the texture spot-on, but the slightly sweet taste is just perfection. Paired with our savory Pumpkin Chocolate Chili we think this will bring out memories of traditional chili and cornbread for you and is certainly worthy of serving to non-paleo friends on any game day! GET THE ORIGINAL RECIPE HERE.


And if you’re not avoiding nightshades and want to spice up this non-traditional chili, try her variation of Bacon Jalapeno Cornbread for her version of this Tailgating from the Couch SEE THE RECIPE AND POST HERE!

Let’s not stop there. Oh no.


These Apple Pie Bars are incredible! And any “bar” or other finger food is perfect for you just can’t step away from the TV for fear of missing something (or, you know, any reason at all). When we tasted these, we were hooked! I immediately asked Nicole how she’d created such a perfect gooey center and crunch topping and am convinced this is the perfect autumnal finish to a wonderful fall-inspired game day menu. Plus, our boys especially loved them. Like, ate them all loved them. I promise, that’s saying something since they’ve eaten a lot of paleo food – it’s not easy to impress them! They’re like a twist on classic with flaky, lard-based pie crust (♥), sweet & gooey, tart apple filling, with a crumbly, cinnamon-streusel topping. Americana in a bite-sized bar. GET THE RECIPE HERE.


Eating these will top off you couchgating party, for sure! Of course, they’d be fantastic just for lazy day in PJs playing board games too. In fact… that’s what I wish I were doing right now! Have an awesome Sunday Funday!

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