Hearty Turkey Chili - When winter happens in May!

We are enduring a major cold snap in Ottawa right now. Like wearing your winter coat, snow in some areas, freezing cold! This motivated a craving I had for chili and while I would rather be making a more summery meal, this chili really hit the spot and warmed my icy soul.

Chili is one thing you should learn to make, anyone can do it, I swear. You chop some shit up, you throw it in a pot, add some spices, meat and beans.... that's it!

Chili itself is super versatile; you can make it with any meat you like, or go vegetarian. Make it spicy, make it bland (if you're spicy, you and I can definitely be friends). You can use up any veggies you have on hand before they go to waste and use that can of beans that's been sitting in your pantry since forever.

Also, once you have made the chili, it can be used in various ways. I like to make a HUGE batch and obviously eat it as is but you can also:
  • Cook some pasta, like penne or egg noodles and use the chili as sauce.
  • Modify the above and make a casserole (baking dish + pasta + chili + shredded cheese = dinner!). See how I did it below.
  • Add it to nachos
  • Make chili dogs
  • Chili poutine
  • Roll up in a tortilla for a filling burrito
  • Make Sloppy Joe sandwiches
  • Freeze some of your batch to use for a fast meal on a day where you are not having that kitchen vibe. Future you will thank you!
The uses are only limited by your imagination.

I have been making this chili recipe for years and have come up with variations of it. I have omitted the meat to make it vegetarian, used ground lamb, changed up the veggies, added triple the beans - use with caution, you know what I am talking about. I have included spinach, added tons of chopped cilantro and I have also been known to replace the brown sugar with this chocolate bar - seriously different and seriously amazing!

But this, I would say, is the "basic" version of this recipe. Try it out and make it your own!

Below, is one of the version 2.0 uses for the chili I mentioned above. All I did here was cook a package of egg noodles for about 5 minutes in salted boiling water. Placed the noodles in a baking dish, spooned the leftover chili on top, mixed it together then sprinkled shredded cheddar cheese and bread crumbs on top. Bake at 400 F for 15 mins - broiled for the last 3 mins. And there you have dinner in 20 mins!

Also, if you are ever in the mood to buy the Wal-Mart brand of cheese, DON'T!

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Hearty Turkey Chili
I have been making this chili recipe for years and have come up with variations of it. Try it out for yourself and add your own twist!
  • 1 large Onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup Carrots (peeled & chopped)
  • 1 large Jalapeno (minced, remove seeds for less heat)
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup or more to taste Red wine
  • 2 Tbsp Worchestershire
  • 1 large jar Plain tomato sauce
  • 1 large can Diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Brown sugar
  • 2 packages Ground turkey (you can substitute ground beef or lamb)
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1 large can Black beans (drained and rinsed)
- Heat a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and allow to heat. - Add the onion, carrots and jalapenos. Allow to cook for 2 mins- Add all of the spices, stir with the veggies to coat them thoroughly- Meanwhile, in a large skillet or pan over medium heat, cook the ground turkey (or which ever meat you used) and break it up with your spoon while cooking. Alternatively, you can cook the meat in the same pot before adding the onions etc, I just like doing it this way in case I need to drain extra liquid- Add the red wine. Stir and allow to cook with the veggies and spiced one minute- Add the jar of tomato sauce, can of diced tomatoes, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Turn the heat up to medium-high and stir. - Add the cooked ground turkey and the beans. Stir and bring to a gentle boil. Turn down the heat and allow to simmer for at least 20 mins, longer if possible.-Serve with shredded cheese, chopped cilantro or sour cream
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6-8

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