Perhaps no other meal represents the regional variations in our country as well as chili. Throughout the United States, chili recipes are heavily influenced by long-standing local traditions. Cincinnati chili is served over spaghetti. Beans, and often tomatoes, are completely absent in a pot of authentic Texas chili. Depending on the region, chili may range in flavor from meek and mild to fiery, searing knock-your-socks-off hot. Spices and other ingredients vary a lot in chili, too. Although chili powder is usually a given, less expected ingredients like cinnamon and cocoa are sometimes added. Of course, the countless variations of chili inspire endless debates about the best chili and allow for multiple cook-offs and contests.
I have been making chili for over seventeen years, but admit that I have no precise recipe that I follow. Chili is easy to customize, and I like to switch things up by adding corn, a second variety of beans, or a spice I have not tried in the past. Cold January nights lend themselves well to comfort food and chili tops my family’s list of satisfying comfort food.
I came across the recipe for Classic Chili Bowl when I was searching for a lighter, nutrient rich chili recipe. Using lean ground turkey appealed to me. I was intrigued by the addition of celery as an ingredient. I purchase celery often, but have never added it to chili. The spices--chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and ground red pepper--seemed flavorful, yet mild enough for my less adventurous children. Classic Chili Bowl sounded so tempting that I made it for dinner the very next night!
Classic Chili Bowl ingredients include butter, ground turkey, onion, green bell pepper, celery, fresh garlic, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, tomato sauce, and the spices previously mentioned. American cheese is added as a topping.
This chili requires only 15 minutes of prep time. Chop the onion, green bell pepper and celery, as well as the garlic.
Melt the butter in a 5-quart saucepan until sizzling.
Add the ground turkey, onions, green pepper, celery and garlic.
Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 10-12 minutes until the meat is browned. Then drain off the fat. When using lean or extra lean ground turkey, there will be very little fat to drain off.
Stir in the chopped tomatoes, kidney beans and tomato sauce, plus all the spices.
Cook about 5 to 8 minutes, until the mixture comes to a full boil.
Reduce the heat to Low. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 30 to 40 minutes until the flavors are blended. Take notice of the amazing aroma while it cooks.
Cut the cheese slices in half diagonally and top each bowl of chili. It’s time to eat!
Healthy meals are important to me and I was pleased that the recipe is low in calories, fat and cholesterol and high in protein and fiber. But for my family, taste is often key. When we sat down to eat, my family all agreed that Classic Chili Bowl is a delicious, hearty chili. This chili recipe is an award winner at our house. We’ll save the cocoa and cinnamon chili versions for others and stick with this tasty classic!
What kind of chili do you like? Give this Classic Chili Bowl a try and make sure to come back and let me know how it turned out for you.
Visit again in a few days when Becky shares a fabulous chocolate fudge recipe.
Tami is paid to write for the Land O’Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.