These two chili recipes make great Super Bowl party food recipes or anytime you need to feed a crowd. Included are ideas for what to serve chili with and tips for making chili ahead of time. The turkey chili recipe uses lots of vegetables, flavored with plenty of garlic, spices, and the added zing of chipotle chili. Don’t miss the easy, large quantity recipe variation if you are expecting a hungry crowd. The meatless wheat berry and bean chili is thick and hearty with all the great flavor of traditional chili recipes. It will especially please the vegetarians on your guest list and just may surprise everyone else.
Chipotle Turkey Chili (Makes about eight average servings)
- To season ground turkey before making chili: Seasoning ground turkey adds great flavor to the final chili recipe and may be prepared one day ahead. Just be sure to keep the seasoned turkey well chilled until you are ready to make the chili. Mix together 1 pound ground turkey, 1/4 cup minced yellow onions, 2 cloves minced garlic (or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder), 1/4 teaspoon each ground cumin and dried oregano, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne.
- To make turkey chili: Heat 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil in a 6-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add 1-1/2 cups chopped yellow onions, 1-1/2 cups grated or chopped carrots, ½ cup chopped celery, and 1 cored, seeded and chopped bell pepper (red, yellow, orange or green. Sauté for 10-15 minutes, or until very soft (some browning is okay). Add seasoned ground turkey from the previous step. Cook 15 minutes or until browning lightly. Add 1 or 2 canned chipotles in adobo sauce finely chopped, 1 can (14-16 ounce) drained and rinsed pinto or black beans, 1 can (14-16 ounce) diced tomatoes in juice, 4 to 6 ounces canned tomato sauce, 3 to 4 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, ¾ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1 ½ cups water. Stir until blended and mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Check and stir every 15 minutes and maintain a simmer to thoroughly cook the turkey meat as well as blend the flavors. Taste chili and correct seasoning with additional salt, pepper, or cayenne. Keep hot for serving. Serve with optional accompaniments you have chosen.
- For heartier chili: If you want heartier chili with more meat, add one pound (or more) seasoned ground turkey, 1-2 cups shredded cooked chicken, or any commercially made and diced chicken sausage to the above recipe. Additionally, you may wish to add one can (14-16 ounce) drained and rinsed pinto or black beans Increase the water by one or more cups to the desired consistency.
- For a large quantity recipe chipotle turkey chili, see Best turkey chili recipe feeds a crowd inexpensively that can feed 50 people.
- Serve chili with (for eight people): 2 cups (1/2 pound) shredded cheddar or queso fresco cheese, 1 cup chopped green or yellow onions, 1 cup sour cream, 1-1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips, 4 cups steamed rice, and one 8- or 9-inch square pan corn bread.
Wheat Berry and Bean Chili (Makes about six average servings)
Wheat Berry and Bean Chili is a meatless chili recipe that will please your vegetarian guests. If you don’t tell them, meat-lovers may not guess because this is a great tasting thick and hearty chili recipe. The texture of the wheat berries is really nice—they burst in your mouth with a little pop!
- To make preparation easier, you may soak beans and wheat berries ahead of time. Soak for 6-8 hours in cold water, or use the 1-hour “quick soak” method described in this recipe. After soaking, drain well, cover and store in the refrigerator for 3 days, or freeze up to six months. If you soak one pound of beans and one pound of wheat berries, you can make this recipe three times.
- Serve chili with: I love to serve this chili with a piece of fish, crusted with salt, pepper, and cumin, and then grilled or pan sautéed. Place the grilled fish on the chili in a shallow bowl and sprinkle with green onions. This is a great dish with a cold beer and a touchdown for your team.
Tips for making and serving chili
- Chili can be made a day ahead. Cool the chili in shallow pans quickly (under 2 hours). Cover and refrigerate. Reheat it quickly (30 minutes).
- Another do-head approach is to prepare the ingredients (meats, chopped vegetables, measured spices). With the preparation done, making and cooking chili the day of a large party can be started 2-3 hours before guests arrive. Just be sure to keep the chili hot until serving time. Chili tends to improve with longer heating, so holding hot chili for extended periods only improves the flavor.
- Add meat to leftover meatless chili. Reheat thoroughly to fully cook the meat. Serve chili with the same accompaniments as Chipotle Turkey Chili.