Monday, October 3, 2011

Crockpot Turkey Chili

Even though fall is here and it was 90+ degrees last week (now it's suddenly chilly and the smell of rain is in the air), I have been craving something warm and slow cooked. Slow cooking is my best friend. After a long hard day, the best thing ever to have a warm meal ready to you. If you don't have a slow cooker, go pick one up. You can find a decent one for a good price - usually under $40 (hello Costco!)- and once you do, I'm sure you'll be addicted to using yours too. 

I've made chili in the crock pot before with super super lean beef, but this time I wanted to try something a little different with ground turkey. Now, when you are shopping for ground turkey, be careful. Regular 'ol ground turkey can be just as high in fat at ground beef. When you are in your local grocery store check to see if they have lean ground turkey. If you can't find it, ask the butcher behind the meat counter and they will be able to direct you to it. Most stores have it and this will lower the fat content of your recipe and trust me, you'll never know the difference. Promise!

This chili recipe is one where you dump everything in the crock pot, give it a good stir, set it on low and walk away. Well, you do need to brown the meat before, but that only takes a couple of minutes. Other then that you'll need onion, garlic, bell pepper, two cans of your favorite beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili seasoning and water. Easy peasy. I set this before I went to bed and when I woke up, the whole house smelled like chili. Maybe not the scent you want to smell right when you wake up, but it was exactly what I wanted to have for lunch that day!

this chili kit is the best - look for it in your supermarket

chopped veggies

browning the turkey

mix in the veggies

pre cook

thick and rich after 8 hours of cooking

Crock Pot Turkey Chili 

 2 pounds lean ground turkey
1 box Carroll Shelby's Original Texas chili seasoning
2 cans beans (I used one can pinto and one can black), drained and rinsed.
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped (or more to taste)
1 can tomato sauce (small can)
1 can diced tomatoes (regular or large - I used regular)
Cheese, guacamole, green onions, sour cream (for toppings)
2 cups water

Brown ground turkey in a large skillet until cooked through. Once cooked, drain liquid and any excess fat and place browned turkey into the crock pot. Drain and rinse the two cans of beans and place in the crock pot with 2 cups water. Add in the garlic, green bell pepper onion, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Add in the seasoning packets from the chili seasoning box - do not add the salt. Also, there is a hot seasoning packet in the box. It's not too spicy if you add the whole thing but, keep in mind that you can always add more, but you can't take it away! Once the spices and seasonings are added, stir to combine all the ingredients. Put the lid on, set the crock pot to low and cook for 8 hours. Serve with your favorite toppings such as sour cream, avocado, green onion, cheese and more!

When I first tried this recipe the day it was cooked, I was not thrilled with the flavors. It did not taste like the one I made with ground beef. I took that back a few days later. This chili gets better with age and is perfect a day or two after it has been made. This is also great to keep in the freezer in single serving containers so you can pull them out when you want them. This is great on it's own, but it's also great on baked potatoes with broccoli - one of my favorite ways to have chili!

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