Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Turkey and Soy-Rizo Chili

This turkey chili is yet another staple in our home. I almost always have a good amount stashed away in the freezer when a craving for it may arise. 

It is so simple to make, and much quicker than most chili I've made in the past- it doesn't need a lot of time to simmer on the stove to fuse the flavors, and comes together in about 35 minutes. 

Making creative dishes from leftover chili (and there will be a LOT - this recipe makes a huge batch) is foolproof. 

Tacos, Cheesy Chili Mac, Frito Pie - you can really have a lot of fun with it, and not much revamping is required to make more tasty meals out of this rad chili. 


1 tbsp canola oil
2 small onions or 1 large onion, chopped
2 med - lg yellow and/or orange pepper, chopped
1.25 - 1.5 lb lean ground turkey*
1 12 oz package soy chorizo sausage**
2 15 oz can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can low sodium kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 14.5 oz cans organic unsalted diced tomatoes
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves minced garlic

Add oil to a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Saute onions for 5 minutes, then add peppers and cook for 5 more. Add the ground turkey and stir well to break apart the meat. You can use an old school potato masher here to make short work of this. When the turkey is nearly cooked (5-7 minutes), remove the soy chorizo from its casing (since this is inedible) and add it to the pot. Mix well and let cook for 2 minutes. 

Add the spices and garlic, add a fat pinch of salt, and stir well. Add the canned diced tomatoes and combine well. Fill one of the cans 1/2 to 3/4 of the way up (depending on how thick you like your chili) and add to pot. Add the black and kidney beans. Mix well and let cook on medium low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Presto, chili!

Serve with a dollop of fat free Greek yogurt, your favorite cheese (I like a nice crumbly queso fresco or melty queso quesadilla here), avocado, and cilantro. A sprinkle of smoked paprika on the yogurt is a very yummy and aesthetic finish.


Chili Tacos:
For super rad tacos, heat up some corn tortillas on a burner (that is right, straight on your burner to get that nice char!) and spread with as much fat free greek yogurt as you like. Sprinkle on a bit of cheese, add your piping hot chili and top with your favorite hot sauce (we love Cholula original in our house) and cilantro.

Cheesy Chili Mac:
Concoct a super tasty and proper cheese sauce by melting 2 tbsp butter then add 2 tbsp flour and stir it up into a golden roux in a sauce pan over medium heat. Slowly add 2 cups of cold milk (fat content up to you, but skim is not recommended here). Increase heat to medium high and whisk well and often to prevent flour from burning on the bottom, till it has thickened a bit; about 5 minutes. Add 2 tsp dijon or English style mustard and whisk well. Turn off the heat. Add 2 cups of a good quality shredded cheese (try to shred at home to avoid unwanted chemicals in your cheese!), such as sharp cheddar, monterey or pepper jack, or queso quesadilla. Cook up a 1/2 lb of your favorite short pasta (macaroni, orzo, ziti, whatever!). Combine cooked pasta with your deliciously ooey gooey cheese sauce with 1 - 2 cups (depending on how chili-y do you want your chili mac) of prepared turkey soy-rizo chili that has been heated through, and serve!

* you do not want to use anything more than 93% lean ground turkey. Some fat is essential here, so that the turkey isn't super dry and it can absorb all of the tasty flavors it gets to simmer with.
** I use Trader Joe's brand soy chorizo, because it is simply the best I've come across so far. It has unique and yummy pungent flavor, and it is the reason I don't add any jalapeno or cayenne pepper here - it is quite spicy and has a good amount of heat. It has a nice complexity considering it is a soy based product, which makes it ideal for this recipe. This is why you don't have to simmer it forever - the deep flavors of the chili are provided by this yummy soy-rizo.


For a vegetarian option, instead of using ground turkey, simply add 2 heaping cups of cooked barley to the cooked peppers and onions and heat through before adding the spices. For a completely vegan dish, simply use avocado and cilantro as a garnish to the reconstructed veggie soy-rizo chili.


  1. I don't think you said when to add the beans!

    I have made turkey chili for years, but never cooked the ingredients in this particular order before. This way, I got nice tender and juicy turkey and perfectly cooked onions/peppers.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Gah! You're right - fixed it. Thanks for letting me know! This is one of those recipes I've made for a long time, but this was the first time I ever wrote it down - at least I didn't forget to mention the turkey! Glad it turned out well for you, and that you remembered to add the beans!