“The Good Stuff” Turkey Chili

Who doesn’t love a big bowl of chili on a frosty day when the weather is terrible and its a blustery 24 degrees outside?

Everyone I know pretty much loves chili. It simple to make, gets better after a day or two and is incredibly satisfying. But… it can be loaded with fat, sodium and carbs. If you go too heavy on the beef, cheese and sour cream it can pack a wallop in the calorie department. My version is an award winning recipe that you can add to your weekend dinner plans and not feel guilty about eating it. I use ground turkey, not beef, tons of fresh veggies and a flavorful spice blend that takes seconds to mix together. My daughter and one of her roommates, made this while at The University of Washington and it won the best chili award. The judges were Washington rowers and coaches- so I’ll brag about pleasing that hungry crowd any day.

I use two varieties of tomatoes for depth of flavor and tons of spices

Serve this chili with my Southern cornbread and dinner is ready in under an hour. This is also a great recipe for a crock pot. Honestly, the best thing about having this food blog is now when my kids ask me for recipes, which they do all the time, I can just send them to my blog. They ask for this particular recipe over and over again. So, here it is, my award winning turkey chili. Just don’t tell your family it’s healthy. Shhh! Enjoy!

Spice spice baby

The "Good Stuff" Turkey chili

  • 1 TBSP olive oil
    1 pound of ground turkey

  • 10 oz can chopped tomatoes with green chilis

  • 14.5 oz can chopped fire roasted tomatoes

  • 15 oz can tomato sauce ( do not rinse- save the can)

  • 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

  • 15 oz can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 cup chopped green pepper

  • 1 cup chopped red pepper

  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped

  • 2 heaping tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp garlic salt

  • 1 tsp chili powder- add 1/2 tsp at a time

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes

  • 1 TBSP fresh oregano, chopped

  • Toppings:

  • avocado slices

  • lime wedges

  • Full fat Greek yogurt or sour cream

  • grated sharp white cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

A simple spice blend of pantry staples

Method: Serves 6-8 Prep time- 30 minutes, cooking time:30 minutes

  • In a small bowl, combine all spices: garlic salt, cumin, half of the chili powder, salt, pepper, chili powder and red pepper flakes. Reserve some of the chili powder for later.
  • In a large dutch oven, heat 1 TBSP of olive oil . Over high heat, brown the ground turkey. Do not use turkey breast meat- it has almost no flavor and little fat, if any. Add in green and red peppers and onions. Sauté until fragrant and translucent. Add in the garlic. Stir in the spice blend and sauté reducing heat to low. Add in oregano. Stir in on low heat until well combined.
  • Pour both cans of tomatoes and tomato sauce into turkey mixture. Fill the tomato sauce can with water and reserve for later. Finally, add in the beans. Cover and let simmer over low heat stirring occasionally to combine and keep chili form sticking. Let simmer for 30 minutes. Remove cover. Check for seasonings and add more salt and chili powder if desired. If chili is too thick add in the can of reserved tomato sauce/water. If chili is fine, just save the tomato water for tomorrow to help thin out the chili if serving leftovers. .
  • To serve: prepare avocado slices, lime wedges, grate cheese and serve buffet style letting guests top their own bowls. Serve with my corn bread recipe which you can find here.

I top my chili with greek yogurt nowadays because I always have it in the fridge and it is so much healthier for you than sour cream. Also, I really love sharp white cheddar on this chili. Find a nice sharp tasting cheese and use it. Cojita works very well if you want a true Tex-Mex flavor. If it were up to me, I would add in double the amount beans- lots of fiber and I just love beans. But hunky hubbie is a beef guy so feel free to double the amount of turkey if you have a super hungry crowd that wants a really hearty chili. Speaking of beef, don’t tell your guests its ground turkey. They’ll never know.

Use any kind of bean you prefer, but I love pintos and dark red kidney beans
Brown the turkey in a big ole pot
You know its going to taste good with this colorful mixture
fire roasted tomatoes mixed with tomatoes and chilis add so much flavor
Greek yogurt, a squeeze of lime and avocado make for healthier toppings… but I do sneak in a bit of cheese.
Yum… and it will tastes even better tomorrow.

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