Turkey & Pinto Bean Chili

I’ve got happy news to break to y’all – chili season is upon us in a big way!  I think it arrived with all that wild wind we had earlier in the week.  I’m all right with it, actually.  Chili is simple to make, it’s a frugal girl’s friend, and my punks love it!  Plus, it makes the house smell fab’.

I’d never made this recipe before the other day, so it’s a new one for me.  The whole DamFam really, really liked it though — except for you-know-who, but of course we’ve come to expect that from him.  Anything these kiddos can top with shredded cheese, sour cream, and chips seems to go over pretty well; hopefully your punks will dig it too!

I put it over hot basmati rice for something a little different – you could skip this if you want, but I liked it this way.  I recommend using a BIG ol’ pot, because this recipe makes a TON!  Even after we had it for dinner and I had a bowl for lunch, there was still enough to freeze for another meal.  Like most soups and stews, the flavors improved (and it got much thicker) as the chili sat in the fridge overnight.

Don’t be afraid of the chocolate; it doesn’t make the chili sweet – it just give it more of a Mexican mole flavor.  I added about half of the amount the recipe calls for.  Have fun with all of the toppings – I loved mine with a hefty dose of hot sauce (my favorite is Frontera brand, yum!).



Serves:  6-8

Source:  adapted from epicurious.com

  • 1 T. vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 lbs. ground turkey (on sale)
  • 3 T. chili powder
  • 1 ½ t. cumin
  • 1 ½ t. dried oregano
  • 3 – 15 oz. cans pinto beans, drained
  • 2 – 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes (try the sale fire-roasted Hunts tomatoes)
  • 3 c. chicken broth (Imagine Organic broth is on sale)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro to taste (I probably used 2 T.)
  • 1 oz. semisweet chocolate, grated with a microplane or regular grater
  • Hot cooked basmati rice
  • Tortilla Chips and Shredded Cheese
  • Sour Cream and Hot Sauce
  • Sliced scallions and cilantro sprigs for garnish if desired

Place a very large stock pot over medium high heat.  Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.  Add the onions, peppers, and garlic and sauté over medium-high heat until vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes.  Add turkey and sauté until no longer pink, breaking up large pieces with the back of a wooden spoon, about 7 minutes (I drained off all of the grease at this point).  Mix in chili powder, cumin, and oregano and stir one minute.  Add beans, tomatoes with their juices, broth, and grated chocolate.  Bring chili to a boil (it will not look pretty at this point).  Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until chili thickens, about an hour.  Add chopped fresh cilantro; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place hot cooked rice in the bottom of individual serving bowls.  Top with chili and serve with assorted toppings.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | September 30th, 2009