Healthy, filling, and easy to whip up, turkey chili makes a great weekend meal when you just want to kick back and relax in front of the game. This simple recipe is how I’ve been making chili for years. You can use red kidney beans or a mixture of red and white (cannellini) for some variety. Cornbread can be made from scratch although I discovered that the Jiffy brand variety tastes just as good as homemade and I can usually find a box of it for a dollar or less, so why make life more complicated than it needs to be?
For the chili:
1-2 T olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 lb. ground turkey
2 T chili powder
1 28 ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes
2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, sliced avocado, and chopped green onions for garnish
For the cornbread:
1 package of Jiffy corn muffin mix
1/3 cup milk
To make the chili:
In a large pot with a lid, add a tablespoon of olive oil and the onion and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the ground turkey and cook until browned, adding more oil if the turkey starts sticking. Drain any excess fat, using a colander in the sink, and return onion and turkey mixture to the pot. Mix in the chili powder and the tomatoes, reheating on low-medium heat.
Next, drain the kidney beans in the colander and rinse to remove excess starch and sodium. Add the beans to the other ingredients. Then, add one cup of the chicken stock. Cover with the lid, turn the heat to low and let the chili simmer for about an hour, adding more chicken stock as it thickens. Alternatively, you can pour chili into a crockpot and set the heat to low, allowing it to simmer for up to 4 hours. This is a nice option if you want to make it ahead of time, are having people over, or need to run around doing errands and don’t want to keep watching the stove.
Before serving, taste the chili and add salt and pepper to your liking. Some chili powders have a lot of salt in them, so I suggest waiting until just before serving, after the flavors have simmered for a while, before adding extra seasoning.
To make the cornbread, preheat oven per package instructions. Mix together muffin mix, the egg, and the milk. Pour into a greased 8” skillet or pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Serve warm alongside the chili and garnishes.
Note: Both the chili and cornbread serve six people.
Safety tip: Before opening the cans of tomatoes and beans, be sure to rinse the tops off with soap and warm water to avoid getting any bacteria that might be on the tops of the cans into your food.
Leftover idea: Chili Quesadillas
Spoon leftover chili into a flour tortilla, top with shredded cheese and cover with another tortilla. Heat in a lightly greased skillet until tortilla is golden brown, flip and brown the other side. Slice into triangles and serve with a salad for an easy mid-week dinner.