Recipe: Homemade Turkey Chili for An Easy Fall Dinner

turkey_chiliIt's getting colder outside and there's nothing we like better than shifting into fall with our favorite warm foods. Though we typically take Sundays to prepare larger "family" meals, weekday dinners are reserved for quick and easy recipes that will allow us that extra bit of evening free time to enjoy together as a family.

Turkey chili is an excellent choice for a simple weekday dinner -- it's kid-approved and takes less than an hour to make! With only a handful of ingredients and a great source of lean protein, this chili is also a one-pot meal, making it extremely helpful for all of you nightly home dishwashers out there. It's true what they say; less is always more!

We recently made this turkey chili while our three- and six-year-old nieces were visiting after a day at the zoo. With both ladies being your typical "pastafarians," we nervously wracked our brain for a meal that would be both fun and healthy -- something to draw them in and something to keep them going. Knowing that these two could ideally live solely off of cupcakes and chicken nuggets without complaint, they tend to be two of our scariest -- and most vocal -- critics... though, of course, we'd never let on!

We're constantly on the prowl for healthy "goodies" that we can slip by their vigilant watch with each visit, though we always try our best to make meals that will appeal to them. And on this particular visit when both girls grinned back at us after taking their first bites, we knew right then, wholeheartedly, that we had won this round.

Bryan's Turkey Chili
Serves 4-6

1 chopped yellow onion (or minced, for the fellow "pastafarians")
1 garlic clove, minced
1.5 lbs. of ground lean turkey meat
12 oz. of kidney beans
12 oz. of black beans
12. oz. of white beans
28 oz. of crushed tomatoes
5 oz. can of diced green chilies
4 Tbs. of chili powder (or more, to taste)
Salt, to taste
Olive oil
12 oz. of corn (optional)
Bay leaves (optional)

Heat olive oil on medium high in a dutch oven. Add the turkey meat and brown; season to taste. Once the turkey meat is browned, add the chopped onion and minced garlic, sauteing until the ground turkey is thoroughly cooked and the onions are soft. Add the chilies and the tomatoes and bring to a boil. After the chili has begun to boil, add the beans and the chili powder and turn down to low heat. Let the chili simmer for a half hour with occasional stirring. Cool, and serve.

Don't forget the toppings!
Sharp cheddar, colby or pepper jack shredded cheese, sour cream and green onions or chives are all hits in our house. This turkey chili can also be eaten with tortilla chips, making it more of a "dip" per se, though we'd recommend keeping a nearby spoon handy.

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