Warm Up to Turkey Chili

Turkey is lower in calories than beef -- as long as you buy lean ground turkey breast. This recipe also uses low-calorie vegetables for additional flavor (and fiber).

Turkey Chili

  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon light olive or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sweet chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, trimmed, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 15-ounce can pinto beans
  • Your choice of toppings

Sprinkle the turkey with salt. Heat a large stockpot on high heat and add the oil. When hot, add the turkey, but don't stir it. (Allowing it to brown in the pan for two to three minutes adds savory flavor without needing higher quantities of fat and salt.) Flip to brown on the other side for one minute and then start to break it up with a spatula. Sprinkle with the cumin, chili powder and rosemary.

Add onions, carrots and celery. Cook two to three minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, broth and beans. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Yield: 6 ample servings

Serve with assorted toppings according to your taste. Some suggestions: Vary the usual cheddar cheese with a tablespoon of grated Spanish manchego. Add more zest and lower the calories of sour cream by choosing a low-fat version and mixing in chopped chipotles. Fresh chopped cilantro or thyme leaves also make a tasty garnish.

More information

If you'd like to skip the canned beans and make yours from dried beans, the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has details for cooking dried beans from scratch.

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