Southwestern Turkey Chili

The Columbus weather makes me feel right at home with all the seasonal fake-outs (all my North Carolinians know about that life). Today was a glorious sunny day that topped out at 55 degrees and tomorrow its going to snow. Which is kind of a bummer because one of my dear friends, my roommate in FA training, is coming to visit and I wanted to show her all the parks and beautiful outdoor things Columbus has to offer. But no worries here! It gives me great excuse to hop on the comfort food train in preparation for the wintery mix.

Of all the comfort foods out there my ride-or-die is chili. This dish is not only easy to throw together and could feed an army, but is totally versatile to your personal preferences and dietary needs! This can be as healthy, spicy, sweet-y, meaty, or veggie filled as you want. We do a lot of chili in our house…of all types… all year round (I’ve been known to just crank up the AC in the summer to justify a pot of chili), and nothing sounded better on a cold wet day than a nice healthy and spicy pot of pepper chili to go along with catching up with a dear friend.

I like my chili to be filled with hearty meats, colorful veggies, and vibrant flavors. And it’s often different ratios depending on the style of chili. Today I went very heavy on the Southwestern influences and peppers, but feel free to make this chili your own! Half the meat, add other veggies, add more or less spices. The wonderful thing about chili is how subjective it is. You really can not mess it up!

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Some people cook the meat first, but I prefer to cook my hearty veggies for about five minutes. Let them express their flavors and oils and then add the meat with the spices to cook all of it together and let the meat absorb the flavors.

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Let this baby simmer for at least 45 minutes before serving or storing. The longer it sits the better the flavors get! “Ages like a fine chili” really needs to be a thing.

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What you’ll need:

  • 2 lbs ground turkey (93% fat-free)
  • 1 orange bell pepper chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 jalapeño chopped, seeded, and deveined
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 28oz can of diced tomato
  • 1 can of diced tomato and green chilies
  • 1 can of corn (drained)
  • 2 cans kidney beans (drained)
  • 4 T chili powder
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt (maybe a little more to taste)
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Lets get started!

  1. Chop your onion and bell peppers and mince your garlic.
  2. Add olive oil to pot on med-high heat.
  3. Add peppers and garlic, stir, and let cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add all turkey and spices. Mix everything together so your meat will cook and absorb all these wonderful flavors.
  5. Add all your canned goods! tomatoes, corn, and beans.
  6. THAT’S IT! Let all this wonderful food come to a boil then turn to simmer for about 45 minutes.

Serve immediately, later, or even freeze it! Top with plain non-fat greek yogurt in place of sour cream, cheese, cilantro, avocado, more jalapeño (if you dare), or whatever your heart desires. I hope you love this as much as we do! Let me know what you think!

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