Today, I’m bringing you one of my favorite comfort food classics. It’s healthy, hearty, and oh so comforting. This Healthy Slow Cooker Turkey Chili is very reminiscent of my childhood.
As a child, my aunt would make a big pot of chili and would invite the whole family over. The chili toppings included grated cheddar cheese, diced white onions, crackers, and hot sauce. My cousins and I would put on a really good movie and grab a bunch of blankets while eating our bowl of chili. There was nothing like enjoying a big bowl of warm chili on a really cold night with my family. While we watched our movie, played games and laughed, the adults were in the kitchen talking about old-times and laughing amongst themselves. We had a ball.
I love cooking dishes that take me back to my childhood and the fun times I shared with my cousins. Looking back, I can’t believe how the time has passed. We try to get together whenever we can, but it’s difficult now seeing that we now live in different areas.
This Healthy Slow Cooker Turkey Chili was ready just in time for dinner. I placed the following ingredients in my lovely slow cooker :
- Dried black beans
- Dried red beans
- Chicken broth instead of water for more flavor
- Tomato sauce
- Tomato paste
- Chili seasoning
When the beans were nearly done, I browned turkey meat in a skillet and added the turkey meat to the slow cooker so all the flavors could incorporate nicely. I can’t even begin to tell you about the wonderful aroma that lurked around the house. You can feel free to add ground beef if you’d like or no meat at all. If you prefer to make vegetarian chili, you can substitute the chicken broth for water or vegetable broth. I’ve never tried using vegetable broth, but I thought I would suggest it as an alternative.
If you like this recipe, please check out my Slow Cooked Black Beans recipe.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1/2 lb dried red beans
- 1/2 lb dried black beans
- 1/2 green bell pepper diced
- 1/4 cup onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp chili seasoning plus more if needed
- 1 tbsp kosher salt plus more if needed
- 1 tsp oregano plus more if needed
- 1 tsp chopped basil leaves plus more if needed
- 1 tsp cumin plus more if needed
- 1 tsp black pepper plus more if needed
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 5 - 1/2 cups chicken broth
- Add all ingredients to slow cooker except for turkey meat. Pick through and wash beans thoroughly and add to slow cooker. Also add in vegetables, seasoning, tomato sauce, tomato paste and chicken broth. Give a good stir and cook on high for approximately 4 hours and 45 minutes. Check beans for tenderness around the 4 hour mark and add more seasoning if needed.
- In a skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When oil is hot, add in turkey meat, season with salt and pepper and brown. Add browned turkey meat to slow cooker early on or store properly and add in when the beans are nearly done.
I tend to add the browned turkey meat to the slow cooker when the beans are nearly done. Since turkey meat is naturally lean, I do not drain the turkey meat after the browning process.