There is just something about a bowl of hot chili that always feels like home. It is so versatile, and nearly impossible to screw up. I know people may think this recipe seems a little blasphemous to die hard chili enthusiasts, but around here we are all about getting the most bang for our buck, and that means adding things to make it as filling as possible while offering a little oomph to the flavor. For me, the beans and carrots are such a hearty filler and I love the softness they add to each bite. The carrots offer a subtle sweetness when they get all soft and cooked down and my family can’t get enough of it. Seriously, my husband has brought leftover chili to work for breakfast every day this week and we are having some on chili dogs for dinner tonight! That’s 2 dinners and 3 breakfasts from one pot!
Here’s what we used:
*2 lb ground turkey ( I know this is a 3lb pack, I’ll get to that later)
*1 can tomato paste
*2 cans diced tomatoes
*2 cans kidney beans (I do light and dark red, one of each)
*1 large can tomato puree
*1 onion, diced
*1 green bell pepper, diced
*3 carrots, diced
*1 tsp minced garlic
*shredded cheddar, hot sauce, and sour cream to finish at the end (optional)
First, give your veggies a nice dice. This cooks down for quite a while so I try to keep it from being chopped too small. I don’t want to lose all those little bits in the pot.
Heat up some oil over medium heat in a large stock pot. Toss in your diced veggies and give them a good stir. I let these cook down for a bit, until they are nice and soft. A couple of my smaller pieces started to brown, but it’s ok you can save it! All of those brown bits on the bottom will add to the flavor later. When you notice the veggies getting nice and soft, add your minced garlic and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes.
Once my veggies tender and the garlic is nice and fragrant, add the small can of tomato paste. I like to stir it around and get the veggies nice and coated in it. Cook for 1-2 minutes longer, making sure to mix it and not let the tomato paste burn to the bottom of your pot.
While that is cooking down, I start browning my turkey meat. I went ahead and browned the whole 3 lb package, and reserved about a pound to put in the fridge for an easy spaghetti sauce filler later in the week. Anything I can do to make life easier on myself later, I’m all about that!
You will also want to give your beans a good rinse. I just dump them into my colander with the cold water running over them and give them a good swish with my hands until the water runs clear off of them.
Once your meat is browned and your beans are rinsed, you can go ahead and add them both to the pot. Give it a good stir and make sure it all gets coated with that veggie/tomato paste mixture. It should start smelling REALLY amazing in your kitchen about now.
Now add in your 2 cans of diced tomatoes and your large can of tomato puree. I always add my seasoning at this point, and I would love to tell you how much that is. Honestly though, I just sprinkle-sprinkle-sprinkle until the Chili Gods tell me ‘that’s good, just like that’.
Now you have some time on your hands! I let my chili cook over medium low for at least 2 hours. Keep coming back to stir it and waft in that warm chili smell, but mostly you can leave it covered and let it do it’s thing while you scroll Instagram and decide to make some homemade chocolate pudding for desert (Does anyone else LOVE Jennifer Garners #PretendCookingShow?!)
And there you have it. A hearty bowl of happiness. I love to top mine with shredded cheddar, sour cream, and some dashes of hot sauce. And it is heavenly. Let me know how you love yours!