This past weekend was Super Bowl Sunday. We were invited to a friends house to watch the game and enjoy some dinner. All invitees were asked to bring a side dish or appetizer to share with the group. I decided to bring my crock pot turkey chili with corn chips for dipping. Chili always seems to be a crowd favorite and I hoping my recipe would fall nothing short of that.
Chili, by nature, is not really an unhealthy dish. Sure chili can be made unhealthy by using certain ground meats, adding butter (yes some recipes do!), topping with bacon or including cheese. But by pulling back on adding these ingredients and just having the spices do the talking, chili can be an amazingly healthy dish.
This chili recipe can be made without meat or by using a meat substitute. Thankfully most grocery stores carry a wide variety of meatless ground “beef” options. Anyone of the meatless ground “beefs” would work in replacement of the ground turkey just fine. You can also replace the meat part of the recipe with using additional beans, either by adding more kidney beans or using black beans. If you would like to make it without any meat, meat substitute or additional beans just be sure to either decrease the amount of water used or increase the amount of masa flour.
A crock pot is not completely necessary for this turkey chili recipe. If you do not have a crock pot or do not have the time allotted to make it you can cook the chili on the stove. I have included non-crock pot instructions at the end of the recipe. The stove top chili version will not have the same depth of flavor as the crock pot chili but it is certainly a great, quick alternative!
Healthy Crock Pot Turkey Chili (with Vegetarian Option)
1 1/2 pounds ground lean turkey (or meatless ground “beef” or an 8 ounce can of drained and rinsed black beans)
8 ounces of canned tomato sauce (look for a no sugar or low sugar option)
16 ounces of water
16 ounces (1 can) of red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (add more or less depending on your heat level preference)
2 tablespoons masa flour (use less if you want a more soupy chili or more if you want a thicker chili)
3 teaspoons salt
a dash of stevia extract (or 1 teaspoon of brown sugar) – optional
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, brown the ground turkey. Drain the ground turkey once it is finished cooking. Set crock pot to the low cooking setting. Add all of the ingredients (including the ground turkey) to the crock pot. Stir to combine and cover. Let the chili slowly cook in the crock pot for about 4 hours. The more time you let the chili cook the thicker it will get and the flavor will become stronger. Occasionally stir the chili to make sure it is not sticking to the crock pot and to distribute the heat. Finished chili can be served as is, or with corn chips, poured over rice, pasta or potatoes. Store leftover chili in the refrigerator.
A crock pot is not completely necessary for this turkey chili recipe. If you do not have a crock pot or do not have the time allotted to make it you can cook the chili on the stove. Just brown the turkey in a large saucepan, stir in the spices and remaining ingredients; mix well. Bring to chili mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer the chili for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The stove top chili version will not have the same depth of flavor as the crock pot chili but it is certainly a great, quick alternative!