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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Four Bean Turkey Chili

I've decided that instead of stocking my freezer with raw ingredients this month, I'm going to build up a stash of heat and eat meals. Rather than having leftovers in the fridge for days that I ultimately wind up tossing out, I'll just throw the leftovers in a freezer bag.

To jump start this process I made a double batch of this chili last week and ended up with 3 quart-size freezer bags of it for the freezer stash. I'm almost excited to get to thaw it out and eat it because it is so yummy!

See, I used to always use nothing but pinto beans in my chili, and while it was good, it didn't have the depth of flavor that you get from using different kinds of beans. You can use any four beans you like, including but not limited to: pinto, dark or light red kidney beans, black beans, white or great northern beans, red beans, or even chickpeas which I recently learned are fabulous in chili. This time I went with black, red, pinto and dark red kidney beans.

Using the chili seasoning recipe I shared with you yesterday and mostly a bunch of cans, this chili is so easy to make that you'll wish every recipe was so simple. I happened to find ground turkey at the store for a steal this week ($2.99/lb!) but if you prefer beef you could use beef or if you know someone who hunts deer, venison would be an excellent choice as well. The chili simmers for nearly an hour, deepening the flavor of the spices (especially the cumin and chili powder) and making the beans nice and creamy.

If it's cold out there (and it certainly is here lately) you should definitely make a big pot of this to warm you up!

Four Bean Turkey Chili

Source: Chili seasoning from Budget Bytes, chili recipe is totally original!

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced (optional)
1 lb ground turkey
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans
1 (15 oz) can red beans
1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans
1 (15 oz) can black beans
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1-1 1/2 cups water
3 Tbsp chili seasoning
corn chips, shredded cheddar, sour cream, diced tomatoes, and green onions for serving

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until just beginning to soften, about 3-5 minutes (obviously I skipped the onion this time). Add the ground turkey and cook until cooked through and no longer pink. Add the garlic and cook for just about a minute.

While the meat cooks, drain and rinse all four cans of beans in cold water.

Add the beans, tomato sauce, water, and chili seasoning to the meat and stir to combine.

Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer (covered or uncovered, your choice, but uncovered with make the chili much thicker) for 45 minutes to an hour.

Serve warm with corn chips, shredded cheese, and whatever other toppings you like on your chili.

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