Unexpected? Sure. But FULL of strong chili flavor.
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Here I present my favorite chili. It is true. Is it a traditional chili? Not for nothing. It matters to me? No, no, I don’t. ‘Cause what it is, it is charming from start to finish, thanks to a balance of sweet butternut squash, hearty black beans, tender ground turkey, and smoky chili flavor. It’s rich enough not to scream “turkey” at all, and a secret little ingredient provides a depth of flavor that usually requires a long boil to reach. (Spoiler alert: it doesn’t.) It’s fast, it’s healthy, it’s filling, but most of all it’s really good.
As I mentioned, ground turkey is the base here, but that’s not really the case. taste like turkey chili. It is much richer and has a meaty flavor in a way that the usual turkey chili does not. Then brown a little in a little oil…
…And then add some onion and garlic.
As with most chili peppers, the topping mix is probably the biggest factor here and here’s what you’re doing:
Chilli powder. Three spoons. Sounds like a lot, but give it a try. Cumin. A spoon. And my secret weapon: cocoa powder. No, it doesn’t taste sweet (but be sure to use sugarfree, obviously). It adds a certain depth of flavor. I don’t know quoi and I use it in every chili I make. Don’t call until you try it and please try it at least once. Once this is done, I doubt you will return.
Add some tomato paste and cook long enough for the spice flavors to flourish, then add the diced squash, crushed tomatoes, black beans, and broth.
Can you use previously peeled and chopped pumpkin? Of course he can. This makes life even easier! You don’t like or don’t have pumpkin? Sweet potatoes are a great substitute here and give you the same balance of flavors, more or less.
Simmer for about twenty minutes until the liquid has reduced to your liking and has thickened. This is ground turkey, after all, so you don’t need a long simmering session to tenderize tougher cuts of meat.
It’s turkey, winter squash, black beans, sure, but it still tastes great with all your usual favorite toppings like tortilla chips, sour cream, cilantro, or green onions. In other words, not traditional, but still satisfies any chili craving.
When the weather starts to cool down, I always make it on a lazy Sunday and then eat it for lunch all week. Sometimes I switch the beans, sometimes I add a different winter squash or a sweet potato, but I always stick with that heavy dose of chili powder and a hint of cocoa powder too. It’s a magical combination and I hope you love it too!
Turkey Chili with Black Bean Butter
Preparation time 10m
Cooking time 30 min
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 small white onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 can (15 ounces) fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2-3 cups of chicken broth
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Your favorite ingredients to serve
- In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the turkey, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until cooked through, breaking it up as it cooks.
- Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften, about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Combine chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, and bay leaves. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the squash, tomatoes, black beans, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until squash is tender, 20-25 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning as needed, serve with your favorite toppings, and enjoy your meal!
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