Turkey Bean Chili {Stovetop or Crock Pot}

Turkey Chili

This fall semester is–woohoo!!–my last semester of classes for my nutrition program. I’m currently enrolled in one semi-blowoff online class (I have to take it to cross off a checklist), and Anatomy and Physiology in person. Taking A & P has been truly awesome so far. As a person of faith, every lecture and lab is a chance to marvel at God’s incredible attention to detail in creating our bodies, and how every little piece of them is orchestrated for our benefit. (Latest meditation: isn’t it amazing that we have butts? I mean, to sit on? Like, what would we do if we had a pointy, metallic triangle there instead of a nice, fleshy cushion? THERE WOULD BE PROBLEMS.) So I have been altogether enjoying this class. When I leave lecture on Thursday, I think, I can’t believe I have to wait until Tuesday to do this again. The only problem is…….those Tuesdays. I happen to have a break of about an hour and a half between my lecture and the corresponding lab, meaning I generally rush home and try to get stuff done AND shove some lunch down my throat before heading back to campus again. Which is what happened this week.

Having ridden my bike to school, I was naturally sweaty and disgusting by the time I got home. So in the hour I had at home, I knew I had to 1.) Shower, 2.) Study for my upcoming lab exam, and 3.) Get dinner pre-made for my family. (It was a craaaaazy afternoon and evening, so there was no time later.) Mmmm, yeah, that’s a lot to get done in an hour. Thankfully, I had this chili recipe to rely on! In 15 minutes, this went from a hodgepodge of ingredients to rocking it in the Crock Pot. I’ve made this recipe several times before, so I knew–or at least hoped–that that’s about all the time it would take. Annnnd success! I stripped off my sweaty biking clothes and made this in my underwear (don’t tell my family) before hopping in the shower. There was even time to do a little anatomy and physiology studying. And that evening, when we were pressed for time, I didn’t have to worry about how to get dinner on the table. Turkey bean chili for the win!

Turkey Chili

While we’re on the subject, let’s also just establish the point that everybody knows how they like their chili, and it’s probably a little different for every person. Well, every American, probably. I’m not sure if, say, Pakistanis or the French are real particular about their chili. I know I am very persnickety about what I look for in the perfect chili. Here’s how I like mine: more like a stew, with enough liquid to savor, plenty of spices, and more beans than meat. That’s what you’ll find in this bad boy. But whether you crank it together on the stovetop or let it simmer for hours in a slow cooker, I think everyone can find something to enjoy about this recipe–if only the fact that it’s so quick and easy to prepare. As cooler weather (hopefully) and tailgating season (inevitably) are upon us, I hope you’ll agree this chili is the one to beat!

Turkey Chili

Turkey Bean Chili
(Adapted from Real Simple)

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb. ground turkey
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 heaping tsp. cumin
2 heaping tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
pinch paprika
pinch ground red pepper
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1 15-oz. can kidney beans
1 15-oz. can black beans
shredded cheddar and/or sour cream for serving

Stovetop Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4-6 minutes.
  2. Add the turkey and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and all spices (cumin through black pepper) and cook an additional 1 minute.
  3. Add tomatoes and their juices, broth, and beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 12-15 minutes. Garnish with shredded cheese and sour cream, if desired, and serve.

Crock Pot Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4-6 minutes.
  2. Add the turkey and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and all spices (cumin through black pepper) and cook an additional 1 minute.
  3. While turkey cooks, pour tomatoes and their juices, broth, and beans into Crock Pot. Add turkey-onion mixture to Crock Pot and stir to combine.
  4. Cook on Low about 6 hours or High about 3 hours. Garnish with shredded cheese and sour cream, if desired, and serve.

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