Comfort food is always a great choice!

The eternal question of “what’s for dinner??” Now that Fall is right around the corner, we look forward to cooler temps, school being back in session, and, of course, football season. What a great time of year! So what better dinner option is there than a comforting bowl of chili? Especially, a yummy healthier version of delicious turkey chili that I think you and your whole family will love!

Do you love to cook?

I have to admit, I am one of those people that does really love to cook! But, even I don’t really like to spend hours in the kitchen. I enjoy finding recipes that pack a lot of flavor without a ton of time investment. I also like relatively basic ingredients that I already have on hand or are easy to find. So even if you don’t like to cook, I think you’ll find this recipe pretty easy; and you will probably put in your rotation, because it tastes great!

The recipe and ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground Turkey (I use 85/15)
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 1 Vidalia onion diced
  • 2-3 stalks celery diced
  • 2 15.5oz cans chili beans with sauce (I use pinto/kidney mix mild)
  • 1 15.5oz can kidney beans rinsed and drained 
  • 1 10oz can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies with all juices(I use mild)
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 packet chili seasoning (I use traditional seasoning , for medium spicy flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon oil (I use Canola)
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Salt/pepper to taste (I love Crazy Jane’s Mixed Up salt for less sodium/more flavor)

Heat oil in a large skillet or pot, add onion, peppers, celery salt/pepper and stir until softened (7-10mins) add minced garlic.

Add Turkey and cook until no longer pink. (If you have fat juices, drain those off).

Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer on low for about 30-45 mins. Stirring occasionally.

Left overs freeze very well.

Make it “your own”

When I find a recipe, I usually make it “as is” the first time. But after that I tweak it to make it my own. In full disclosure, the recipe above started out as a “Publix Aprons” recipe from many years ago. However, now it doesn’t look much like the original.  It’s really easy to scale the heat up or down on this recipe depending on personal taste. I note above where I “use mild” but you might use medium, or hot. Also, I like lots of veggies, and don’t mind chopping. But if you want to save time, most grocery stores have pre-cut diced onions, celery, and peppers. If you opt for that, you can make this recipe with really NO prep time at all.  I hope you will try this turkey chili and make it “your own” perfect version! Enjoy!

Recipe and photos by Melissa Shoemaker

By, Melissa Shoemaker, “Volunteer”

Melissa spent 30 years in financial services, but now volunteers with Piedmont Animal Rescue (PAR) located at 228 E. Waterlynn Road in Mooresville. PAR’s motto is “Where Animals Come First.” She also enjoys cooking, spending time with friends and family- and of course, her two spoiled dogs, Piglet and Nugget.

Casual Dining

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