There’s nothing like a warm bowl of chili on a relatively cold day in December. Knowing that Chicago is currently not even reaching 20° and expecting even lower temps, I feel weak admitting that I am still finding 50° to be quite chilly.
Loaded Turkey Chili is a nicely balanced meal in one bowl. Lean turkey, garbanzos, and black beans provide a heavy dose of protein. Loads of vegetables pack in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help boost immunity during what has already been a tough cold/flu season for my family.
To keep myself up and running all week, I make this chili for dinner on Monday, then eat the leftovers for lunch all week. Just to up the nutritional value even more, I serve a ladle of it over a couple cups of raw baby spinach. For everyone else, I serve it over a bowl of rice. Topping possibilities are endless. My perfect bowl has diced fresh tomatoes, avocado, a tiny bit of cheese, and jalapeños. My son loads his up with sour cream, cheese, and crushed tortilla chips.
I don’t deserve kids that eat the way mine do. When I was young, my parents would set aside a small pot of chili for me that was only meat. No beans or vegetables, and I would eat it over plain white rice with nothing on top. I have come a loooooong way.
When we lived in PA, I shopped at a grocery store called Wegman’s. I brought home a bowl of their Turkey Chili Soup from the soup bar for lunch one day. It was so good that I looked online for the recipe. One of the ingredients they use that I never would have thought of putting in chili is cloves. Just a little gives it a completely different dimension of flavor that I never would have been able to pinpoint. It is definitely not an ingredient to leave out.
I browned all the ingredients in a dutch oven and then baked it in a low oven for the rest of the day. If you’re a slow cooker or crock pot person, that works too. This is an easy weeknight dinner. Just throw it all together and let it cook- it’s ready when you are.
I just checked the temperature here. It’s 58° and the sun is shining. Why am I wearing Uggs and my son’s fleece? How did I go so soft so quick? I am a disgrace to Chicago. Time to curl up with a hot bowl of chili to warm up.
- 1 lb lean ground turkey (at least 93%)
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 oz can green chilies
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp corn meal
- 15 oz diced tomatoes
- 2 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
- 14 oz garbanzo/chick peas
- 14 oz black beans
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- In a large dutch oven, drizzle olive oil and saute onions until soft.
- Remove onion and add the red pepper, green pepper, carrot and celery. Cook until starting to soften.
- Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat and add mixture to reserved onion.
- In the same pot, add a little more oil and brown turkey.
- Add reserved vegetables, spices, chilies, and cornmeal. Cook for a couple minutes.
- Add stock and tomatoes. Heat through and add beans. Optional to add diced jalapeño for desired heat level.
- Either cook over super low heat or bake in 200° oven for at least 2 hours. I baked this in the oven for 6 hours.
- Just before serving, stir in corn and cilantro. Adjust seasoning and add salt to taste.