This chili is the perfect alternative to all of those appetizer-laden holiday parties and cookies at every turn. It’s healthy and tasty and makes great leftovers.
In other news, I got a new job! It’s been keeping me busy…it’s totally different from what I was doing before, and I love it. Anyway, back to the food!
The original recipe called for a half pound of ground turkey and a zucchini. I subbed in a whole pound of ground turkey because I didn’t have the zucchini and it’s pretty out of season in my neck of the woods, and the turkey was on sale big time. You could definitely use a half pound of ground turkey and sub in some other veggies. Carrots or a frozen mix of veggies might be a good option at this time of year. The original recipe also called for a whole cup of quinoa, but I thought that would make the chili too thick for my liking, so I only used a half cup. Feel free to increase the amount of quinoa if you want a thicker chili.
Turkey Quinoa Chili
- 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2-2 1/2 cups water, divided
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
- 1 tbsp adobo sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- Cilantro, cheddar cheese, scallions, avocado, or any toppings of your choice
In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa and 3/4 to 1 cup of water to a boil (I use less water in my quinoa because I like it a little chewier, but for a softer texture, use the full cup, or just cook according to the package directions). Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a separate large saucepan/soup pot, brown the turkey with the onion, red pepper and garlic until meat is cooked and vegetables are tender. Drain the mixture if there is excess grease – my turkey was very lean, and I didn’t need to do this. Stir in the chili powder, cumin and cinnamon; cook for 2 more minutes.
Add the black beans (you can also use a mixture of beans – I used one can of black and one can of garbanzo beans because it’s what I had in my pantry), tomatoes, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, bay leaf, oregano, salt pepper and remaining water. You could also use low-sodium chicken broth here for a flavor boost. You would probably want to eliminate the excess salt if you choose to do that.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in corn and quinoa and heat through. Discard the bay leaf before serving. Spoon chili into bowls and add toppings of your choice. Enjoy!
Source: Slightly adapted from Taste of Home Healthy Cooking 2012 cookbook
- Quinoa: $0.80
- 1 lb turkey: $1
- Onion: $0.70
- Red pepper: $0.69
- Garlic: $0.40
- Beans: $2.00
- Tomatoes: $1.00
- Chipotle pepper: $0.67
- Corn: $0.25
We really enjoyed this recipe with some cornbread for dinner and again for lunches throughout the week. Soups and chilis are also easy to make in big batches, put in the freezer and pull out on a busy night when you want a home cooked meal.
I also recently went to a soup swap with some of my friends, which was an awesome idea for stocking the freezer with homemade soup for the winter. We all walked away with 5 new quarts of soup and 5 new recipes! I had a few favorites that we ate promptly after the soup swap – they barely had time to get frosty in the freezer.