Culinary Crisis and a Turkey Chili Recipe!

Over the weekend, the sous chef and I ran into a serious culinary crisis. We both decided that we could not stand the thought of eating chicken. The idea made him sick, and I wasn’t much better. The idea of eating cereal for dinner was much more appetizing than grilling the organic chicken breast we had in the refrigerator.  We didn’t know what to do with ourselves! Our plan had been chicken, brown rice and steamed or grilled vegetables (summer squash, zucchini, etc). 

On Saturday evening we fixed our “problem” by going out to dinner – where we both ordered fish. I had the most amazing broiled haddock with Cajun seasoning and the best spinach and rice pilaf on the side. I loved this dinner! 

On Sunday night we were running into the same problem! The chicken breast was trying to call our name from the fridge but both of us did not want to make the chicken. I offered to cook it in the crock pot with some chicken stock, which is one of the ways we really love chicken. No go. Grilled chicken breast? Nope. Not feeling it. So on our second walk of the day we both decided on ordering pizza for dinner – something we rarely do!  I made a salad to go with the pizza, and it was a great dinner. 

While at work on Monday, I texted the sous chef asking what he thought of turkey chili for dinner. Thankfully he agreed that it sounded great. It might be August, the height of summer time in New England, but our house had the aroma of a cool autumn evening Monday night as I was cooking chili on the stove!  By now my turkey chili “recipe” is just in my head. But that night my sister asked me to write it down so she could make it too. So here it is:

Turkey Chili:


Olive Oil

1 pound Organic Ground Turkey, 94% lean

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 red pepper, chopped

1 can 14 ounce fire roasted tomatoes

1 28 can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes

1/2 cup water

1 can black beans (rinsed – I’ve been using the not salt added Whole Foods brand)

1 can pinto beans (same – use the no salt added Whole Foods brand – that way you can feel free to season the chili the way you want – and don’t have to worry about all of the sodium from your canned beans!) 

1 Tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 T paprika

1 Tablespoon Chili seasoning (make sure there is no salt in your chili seasoning – I use the Whole Foods generic brand)

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Pinch of kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

Avocado, chopped

Scallions, chopped

0% Plain Greek yogurt



 Heat up olive oil in your large pot. Add 1 pound of ground turkey, breaking it up as you add it to the pot with your wooden spoon.  Brown the turkey. 

Add the chopped onion (chopped into 1/2 inch pieces)   Add 1/2 teaspoon (or a small pinch) of kosher salt. This helps the onion cook, and seasons the turkey. After the onion starts to become translucent, add your smashed and minced garlic. Stir often once you’ve added the garlic – garlic burns easily, and you can’t get the taste of burned garlic out of your food – so stir often to avoid this problem! 

Add the red pepper.

Cook these ingredients for five minutes… stirring frequently

Add ground cumin, chili seasoning, paprika 

Add can of fire roasted tomatoes

Add 1/2 C water

Stir it all together!

Add San Marzano crushed tomatoes

Bring to a low boil.  Cook for a minute or two. Turn burner to LOW and cook the chili for 30 minutes, chili should be cooking at a low simmer. I like to cover my pot partially with the lid to my pot so all of the liquid does not evaporate. 

Rise black beans and add to pot. Rinse pinto beans and add to pot. Continue to cook, stir occasionally. Once everything is heated, chili is ready to serve – but you can also continue to cook on low for another 20 – 30 min. The longer it cooks, the more the flavors will develop! 

I had fun getting my garnishes together on Monday night. 

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These three ingredients really make your chili something special! 

I worked on my knife skills while I cut the scallions: 

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The end product was amazing. The sous chef was so happy when he got home from work later that night and did not smell chicken!  I prepared our bowls of chili and added some 2% cheddar cheese in addition to all of the additional toppings. 

Image 1


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Delicious! I highly recommend making this chili – even if it is summer time where you live. This chili is perfect year round. Happy eating, blog readers! 


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