Posted by: Hallie | February 12, 2009

Stolen Crock Pots Make Excellent Chili

For San Diego standards, it’s been on the cooler side. I know it’s nothing compared to….pretty much 99% of the rest of the country, but still. I knew I wanted a warm, comforting dinner, and I turned to my trusty chili recipe. I think the secret to the chili is using the dried beans. The texture and flavor is just so much better than canned.

I used “my” trusty crock pot for my chili (of course, you could make it on the stovetop too, but I can’t vouch for the flavor). I once asked my mom if I could have her crock pot and she said no. She used it once within the past…oh ten years, but she always thinks one of these days she’ll get the desire to cook. I said, “Ok how about this. Why don’t you lend me the crock pot, and whenever you want it back I’ll return it.” That was a good three years ago. (Although if she reads this…visions of brisket might dance in her head and she’ll want it back. Shoot.)

The recipe is adapted from here.

Healthy Twist Recipe: Spicy Turkey Chili

  • 1.25 lbs ground turkey
  • 1.5 cups dried beans
  • 1 (16 ounce) can tomatoes (fire-roasted if you have ‘em)
  • 6 ounces tomato paste (one small can)
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2-2 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1.5-2 cups broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
  • 1 fresh tomato
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (optional…I guess)
  • Toppings: cheese, chopped onion, sour cream, etc.
  1. Soak beans overnight.
  2. Process the fresh tomatoes, garlic, cumin, oregano, paprika, chili powder, cayenne and jalapeno in the food processor; place in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. Brown the ground turkey in a pan and place in crock pot.
  4. Add the beans, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, bell peppers, broth, and tomato spice puree.
  5. Stir to mix and let cook for 10-12 hours on low or 5-6 on high
  6. Serve as desired with toppings. Makes 6 servings or so. Leftovers freeze very well!

Healthy Twists:

  • Used less ground turkey than the recipe called for. I think I also used more beans, but that was sorta by accident because Mitch doesn’t like too many beans in his chili. Sorry babe!
  • Omitted the beer and bacon from the original recipe. It’s flavored enough.
  • No added salt.
  • Healthy garnishes help too: low fat cheese/sour cream, baked chips, etc.

I browned the turkey and chopped all the veggies last night (that nasty-looking baggie is the spice mixture.

night before

The next morning, I mixed everything in the crock pot and let it cook on low all day (I actually had to add more broth but the recipe above lists the correct amount).
before chili

And the finished result. Not beautiful, but mighty yummy nonetheless. (Despite its appearance, the crock pot is easy to clean. Rinse it off, soak it overnight in soapy water, and the next morning everything will come right off.)

after chili

And my finished bowl, topped with lots of chopped onion and baked tortilla chips.

turkey chili 
I’m going to freeze the rest for us to have later.

I can’t wait for the three-day weekend. I may get the rainy days I’ve been hoping for. Of course, I’m running in a virtual 5k this weekend, so I may have to hit the treadmill. Honestly, I don’t care about my time, I just want to do it. I’m also planning a fun V-Day breakfast (umm…for one since Mitch doesn’t think he’ll like what I want to make) and a “date night in” Saturday night. Less than 24 hours to go!



  1. Haha, my roommate has THREE crockpots and I’ve never seen her use any of them!!

    That looks like a mean chili recipe. And I agree, there’s no beating dried beans!

  2. yum! your crockpot recipe looks amazing! now i want some chili 🙂

  3. […] Here are a few recipes I’ve made with jalapeños: vegan curry and turkey chili. […]

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