Hearty Turkey Chili

Warm, hearty and astonishingly simple.

Have you noticed the crummy weather lately? Drizzly, cold, death for those of us with allergies–if none of this sounds familiar, I envy you and the paradise you evidently live in! For the past couple of weeks it has been difficult to think of something satisfying and healthy(-ish) to make after long work days spent trekking under downpours and overcast skies.

There are few better ways to feel warm and satisfied on a dreary weeknight than to cozy up with a bowl of chili, a glass of wine and a backlog of TV shows in the PVR queue.

I’ve got to say, I am super proud of myself for imagining this up. It only took four hours, but it was worth it!

Hearty Turkey Chili
*Note: this can be made with any ground meat or vegetarian.

Serves 4-6

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1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium bell peppers, diced (any colour, though green might add bitterness)
2 carrots, sliced into thin medallions
2 medium orange, not yellow, sweet potatoes (a.k.a. orange yams), diced
1 serrano pepper, minced with seeds (optional)
1 package ground turkey
5.5-oz. can tomato paste
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. paprika
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15-oz. can red kidney beans (drained, rinsed)
1 15-oz. chickpeas (drained, rinsed)
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt and pepper (or to taste)
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar (or balsamic if you have it on hand)


  1. Soak quinoa for 15 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

    Colour, glorious colour.

  2. Heat oil and sauté onions, garlic, peppers, carrots, yams, and serrano pepper until softened, about 8 minutes. Add turkey and sauté until no longer pink, just a few minutes more.

    Cooking this down will soften up the carrots & yams perfectly.

  3. Add tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, oregano, bay leaf, paprika, salt and pepper, and heat through, about 1 minute. Add beans, crushed tomatoes, water, and quinoa.

    They didn't come up with smell-o-vision yet, right?

  4. Simmer on med-low heat for 25-35 minutes. Add the vinegar during the last 10 minutes of simmering. Serve topped with sour cream and old cheddar, sliced avocado, cornbread, or nothing at all. Bask in its complex, comforting flavour!

Great tip: freeze some of the chili in an airtight container or in Ziploc bags for single servings. It will keep for three to six months if double-bagged, and tastes exactly like the first day you made it.

1 Comment

Filed under Food

One response to “Hearty Turkey Chili

  1. Pingback: Quick and easy chicken soup | Young, Hungry & Listless

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