Tailgating doesn’t have to mean increasing the size of your tail. Sure, there’s plenty of beer being passed around while fatty cheeseburgers sizzle on the grill. Knoxville natives have even been known to end a tailgating feast with a slice of pecan pie or orange-swirled cheesecake.
The best way to counteract the heavy foods so prevalent at tailgating gatherings is to make sure you have at least one hot and hearty offering that’s good for you. This meaty turkey chili is a cinch to throw together, giving dieters a chance to have a delicious main dish.
Don’t tell the heavyweights that it’s good for them. The turkey chili can do double duty on their hot dogs or baked potatoes.
You can cook this on the stove and transfer it to a crock-pot to keep warm, or start the whole thing in the crock-pot (after pre-cooking the meat) and cook it just until warm.
Take along some chopped tomatoes, olives, jalapeno peppers, cilantro and shredded lettuce, and let guests top their own chili bowls.
Quick Turkey Chili Recipe
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 2 lbs. ground turkey
- 2 ½ cups chopped onion
- 3-5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1 cup diced bell pepper
- 4 cups cooked red kidney beans, drained (about 3 cans)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 3 Tbsp. chili powder
- 4 ½ tsp. ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes OR 1 Tbsp. sriracha sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 oz. Cabot Colby Jack, grated
- Cilantro, sour cream, chopped red onion, to garnish (see above for more topping ideas)
In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat oil and add turkey, cooking until no longer pink. Add onions, garlic and bell pepper and cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Add beans, broth, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin and pepper flakes or sriracha. Add salt and pepper if desired and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about an hour. (Chili only needs to be heated at this point, but longer cooking allows the flavors to blend. Transfer into a crock-pot after mixing in the last ingredients, if you’d like.)
Serve in bowls and top with cheddar and garnishes. Serves 4-6.