Dishing Details on the 46th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off!

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Did I go home with the million dollar prize in the 46th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest tonight?!

pillsbury  the whole group

Surely my recipe for Spicy Beef and Sweet Potato Samosas won, right? Well, sadly, no. After a busy week capped off by a sidewalk face plant and trip to the emergency room, I headed out to Las Vegas to battle it off bake-off style with 99 other amazingly creative and talented home cooks. I tasted so many of these dishes, by the end of the day, I thought I might pop! In the end, a recipe for Loaded Potato Pinwheels won the top prize – yum!

Spicy Beef and Sweet Potato Samosas

My finalist entry into the Pillsbury BakeOff – Spicy Beef & Sweet Potato Samosas

jen by pillsbury recipe sign

The Bake-Off day started with the “grand march” of contestants – we all showed off our spirit as we paraded around the floor to the beat of a kitchen pots and pans band! Check out the video!

I couldn’t resist the urge to squeeze and hug the Dough Boy – who can?!

jen and dough boy

We had 3.5 hours to make our recipe up to 3 times and submit the best to the judges. I wasn’t nervous at all until I realized my oven wasn’t heating up properly. The oven people had to come over and check it out and time was slipping away while the problem was diagnosed! Now in a near panic, I threw my second batch in the oven, set the timer and left to visit the other contestants work stations (the majority of people were done by now)! After sampling my way through a couple of dozen delicious dishes, my sixth sense kicked in and said “get back to your oven.” Although there was 30 seconds left on the timer, I was pretty sure they’d be under cooked like the first batch – but (insert harks and angels singing), they were perfectly browned – the batched turned out even better than I could have expected!

at my station pillsbury

Top Chef host, Padma Lakshmi, lead the celebration night dinner. Pillsbury treated us like celebrities; we walked the “blue carpet” and posed with the golden doughboy before our fancy dinner at the Aria Resort!


Beef & Sweet Potato Samosas with Sriracha Orange Sauce

  • ½ lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup pico de gallo salsa
  • 1 cup refrigerated mashed sweet potatoes or canned sweet potatoes, mashed
  • 1 box Pillsbury™ refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
  • 1 jar (12 oz) orange marmalad

Heat oven to 375°F. In 10-inch skillet, cook ground beef over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the chile powder, the cumin and pico de gallo; cook 1 minute longer. Remove from heat. Stir in sweet potatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

Unroll pie crusts; cut each into 6 triangles. Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons beef mixture in center of each triangle. Brush edges with water. Bring corners of dough together over filling; pinch seams to seal. Place on large nonstick cookie sheet.

Bake 28 to 35 minutes or until light golden brown.

Meanwhile, in medium microwavable bowl, microwave preserves on High 30 to 60 seconds, stirring once, until hot. Stir in remaining 1 to 2 teaspoons chile powder. Serve warm with samosas.

27 thoughts on “Dishing Details on the 46th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off!

    • Lisa, it was so much fun and I have been wanting to do it forever, plus I met a ton of neat people – so it was a triple win!

    • Thanks Jody, it was really fun! All the recipes were excellent and it must have been so hard to pick the winner! I was just happy to be there and make memories!

    • Kim, thanks — it was such a talented group of creative home cooks! So inspired by their recipe ideas and figuring out ways to health -ify some of them 😉

    • Marjorie – the dough boy was so sweet and his costume was really squishy . . . . I never got to see who was actually under the suit, be he sure got A LOT of love over the weekend!

    • Tiffany — it was a blast and something I wanted to do for so long! I honestly don’t know how they picked a winner, everything was excellent in it’s own way — but like comparing apples to oranges, ya know?!

    • Linsay — omg the samples . . . . . thought I was going to bust . . . and I probably only got to try about 15 – 20 of the 100!

    • Aw Vena, thanks — I felt so self-conscience because I had those nasty stitches on my chin from a fall earlier in the week! So many good recipes out there . . . . lots of inspiration for my Litehouse work 🙂

  1. Awesome job Jenn! Even though you didn’t win, it looks like it was an amazing time and an amazing experience. I hope you’ll make me your special dish one day 😉 Congrats on getting the chance to compete! xo

    • Thanks Jesica — it was fun, especially out on the bake off floor with all the media milling about asking about the recipes 🙂

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  3. Enjoyed meeting you at the Bake-Off in Vegas! Stumbled onto your blog looking for Bake-Off pics. Nice! Keep entering The PBO and maybe we’ll meet again in Nashville! Craig P.

    • Craig — great to meet you too! See you in Nashville 😉 and in the meantime please overnight me a pan of that peanut butter malted milk ball yumminess!

  4. What a cool experience! I can’t believe you were a contestant! I saw some of the feeds from Instagram and it took me awhile to figure out what was going on. Your dish looks amazing and I am sure they tasted amazing!

    • It was so much fun and something I’ve wanted to do for a long time! Too bad I didn’t win the million dollars — I though the woman who did was going to pass out on stage!

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