There’s something about the beginnings of fall that always make me crave chili. When football season starts, this turkey chili recipe is in my crockpot on a regular basis – it’s the ultimate game day food. I love leftovers, and this chili has that too. With minimal effort. And not many calories.
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Let’s Talk Flavor.
I used to add ground beef as the meat in this recipe. I switched to turkey because it’s cheaper and lower in cholesterol. For awhile I liked my turkey chili recipe, but wasn’t fully satisfied. One day I added a beef bullion cube on a whim. That was the trick and is now my secret ingredient.
The amount of enchilada sauce in this chili isn’t a standard amount, like an 8 oz can. That makes me crazy in recipes. To cope, I buy giant cans of it and freeze it in ice cube trays. Then I always have some on hand, and end up throwing a couple of cubes in lots of stuff. My ice cube trays hold about 1.25 tablespoons in each well. I use 4 cubes of enchilada sauce. You could substitute tomato sauce, but I like the extra flavor kick enchilada sauce brings to the party.
The Last Step.
The cornstarch slurry might seem unnecessary. But it thickens your turkey chili. Make sure to smooth out any cornstarch lumps (a fork works well) so that you don’t end up with a strange chunk in the chili. The starch needs a half hour or so to work its magicscience. Heating the starch allows it to trap more water between molecules and thus increases the viscosity of the chili.
Brown ground turkey in a skillet. Towards the end of cooking, add some hot sauce. I like Tabasco’s Smoked Chipotle.
While turkey is browning, add beans, enchilada sauce, spices, & jalapeno to a slow cooker.
Add browned turkey to slow cooker. Top with water and stir. Cook on high for ~4 hours.
Once beans are tender, dish some chili liquid only into a small glass/bowl. Mix in 3 tablespoons of corn starch to make a slurry. Add slurry to slow cooker and cook for another 30 min or until chili has thickened some.
Be sure kidney beans are boiled for at least 10 minutes. Raw kidney beans contain the toxin phytohemagglutinin which causes bad stomach issues.
Spices are way cheaper in bulk. Plus then its easier to make your own chili seasoning. If you have the room at the back of a cabinet or bottom of your pantry to store the large containers, its worth it. Just fill up the small jars in your spice rack as needed. My grocery store doesn’t have large containers of all the spices for chili, but Amazon does! These are the ones I can’t find larger containers of very easily:
Chili is pretty healthy.
Chili is one of those dishes that seems like it’d be terrible for you. Its not. This is really a guilt free game food. The beans are filling, but low in calories. Ground turkey is the same. Almost everything that adds flavor doesn’t have any calories. Thanks giant pile of chili seasoning. An entire slow cooker full of chili is only 1300 calories before cheese. Add cheese [and Fritos] and you’re only around 400 calories for a serving. That leaves more calories for beer!