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Flavor From Scratch: Hearty Turkey Chili


Hearty Turkey Chili

Chili is one of my favorite quick and healthy meals that fills your belly on a cool day. It's like comfort food but without the added fat that a lot of comfort foods have. Plus, *bonus* that turkey also tastes delicious in this dish. There are so many beautiful flavors that you will not miss the beef at all. Promise.

You can also take this recipe and run with it. I don't mean literally. **Disclaimer: Do not run with chili. You are bound to get burnt.** No, I mean take this recipe and make it yours! Add your favorite beans, veggies, or spices. Have some red beans? No worries. Add those. Green beans...go for it! You love chocolate. Add some cocoa powder. Why not?? One time I even snuck some kale into the chili. I swear you couldn't notice but I think my husband described it as "stringy." It's still up for debate.

This is one of those dishes that is good on day like today in Michigan where it is cold and drizzling and you don't want to leave the couch. But it's also Halloween today so I will probably leave the couch to pass out candy to those brave enough to venture out into the rainy cold. Maybe they'll even get a few extra pieces of candy for being so brave.

Oh, I remember a few times my sister and I went trick-or-treating in ponchos and/or large jackets. It was so sad to cover up one of my favorite Minnie Mouse costumes with a poncho /sigh/ but you gotta do what you gotta do to get candy. It's serious business out there.

Whether you are out in the cold and need something to warm your belly or it's just a day to cuddle up and do nothing, this chili is the perfect solution to a "chilly" day. Get it?? Chilly. Chili. Yeah, I'm cool.

prep time: 5 minutes, cook time: 35 minutes
serves: 6 servings

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (28 ounce cans), or approximately 6 cups of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans black beans (15 ounce cans)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste

  1. Brown the turkey in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once browned, remove any excess oil from the pan. 
  2. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, bell peppers, and jalapeño to the pot and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, beans, and spices (chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, cinnamon, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper). Simmer covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the chili reaches your desired thickness.
  5. Remove the bay leaves prior to serving.

You can reduce or increase how spicy this chili is by reducing or increasing the cayenne and jalapeño. This chili has a little kick to so try it with less first if you are unsure and add more to taste. I typically serve mine over mashed potatoes or french fries with a little cheddar cheese on top (yum!) but it's also delicious on its own!

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