Chili Days of Winter

Monday, January 23, 2012

I love me a nice hot bowl of chili on a really cold and gray winter day. 
Yet I just can't bring myself to eat a whole bowl of ground meat with sauce and feel good about it. Too  'meaty' for me. So here I add in veggies and use ground turkey instead of red meat. You get the flavor without the heaviness. 

And if my husband likes the healthier version, you know it's gotta be good. He actually said this was the best chili he's ever had... Yay me! 

So here you go; a nice big bowl of meat, veggies, beans, and sauce to help keep you warm this winter.

Or maybe to spice up your Super Bowl party? (Go Pats!) 

The bonus, I added a little cheddar crisp. It gives a little crunch and a little cheese; and who doesn't need more cheese?  

1lb of lean ground turkey
1 red, yellow, or orange pepper, chopped
1 zucchini or summer squash, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 (14.5 ounce) can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup or so of grated cheddar cheese
1 (14.5 ounce) can of tomato sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin 
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne 
1 tablespoon chili powder 
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 
red pepper flake to taste

Chop all veggies into a small dice. Rinse and drain your beans. Set aside. 
In a heavy bottom pan heat 1 tablespoon of oil on medium-high heat. Once oil is hot add in ground turkey cook, breaking up with a fork. Season with salt and pepper. Once turkey is just about done remove the meat and place on a plate. 
With the juice and oil still remaining in the pot add in onion, garlic, and the rest of the veggies. Saute until soft (about 7 minutes). Season with a little more salt. 
Add meat back into the pot and add beans and spices. Mix. 
Pour in sauce and stir until everything is well incorporated. 
Cook on low for at least 30 minutes. Taste and adjust flavor if necessary. 

Right before serving heat oven to 425. 
Grate some fresh cheddar cheese (about 1/4 cup). 
On a parchment lined baking sheet spread a teaspoon of cheese into a thin layer. 
Repeat with remaining cheese to make desired amount of cheese crisps. 
Bake in oven until cheese is melted and crispy. About 5 minutes. 
Break up the cheese and place on top a big bowl of chili.  



  1. I agree with my son in law. This was the best chili ever and a healthy alternative using ground turkey !! I can not wait to make this with cheeddar crisps

  2. Love your chili and the cheddar crisp! Such a great idea. Love your blog too. I'm glad I found it. :)

  3. Um, can I just eat that cheese crips first. I loooove cheese!
    And that chili looks delicious!

  4. Haha you absolutely can eat the cheese crisp first!
    Thanks for stopping by!

    : ))

  5. I was sold as soon as I saw that cheese crisp! Now, if only the weather here would get a bit colder so I could indulge in warming soups, stews and chilis... :)

    1. Right? It was 50 here today. Unheard of for January!

      : ))

  6. This is perfect timing! I have a whole-wheat cornbread recipe that I've been wanting to try, so I wanted to find a good turkey chili recipe to go with it. Thanks! And yes, this would be a good dish for the Superbowl...but I don't think I can wait that long to make it. LOL

    1. Thank you! Whole-wheat cornbread?!? Sounds delicious!!

      : ))

  7. Looks delicious! I love a thick, hearty chili, especially with all the fun toppings. My fiance likes his chili completely dry: no cheese, onions, sour cream, etc. Mine is always the opposite!

    1. I am a toppings girl too. Too tempting to pass up cheese and sour cream !
      Thanks for stopping by.

      : ))

  8. LOVE the addition of squash. This is perfect!

  9. I love the melty crispy cheese as a crouton-ish thing! So smart and tasty!


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