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My Good and Healthy Chili

My Good and Healthy Chili
With Hurricane Sandy barreling up the Eastern seaboard, and one doom and gloom warning after another no matter what television station I was watching, my need for hearty, comfort food grew.  A batch of chocolate chip cookies managed to calm my nerves a bit, but something more substantial was needed for dinner.  I decided a hearty chili would do the trick, but after eating a few cookies I wanted my chili to be as healthy as possible.

There were two changes I made to my usual chili recipe.  First, I used ground turkey in addition to ground beef.  Then I bulked up the chili with lots of vegetables.  The vegetables have the side benefit of increasing flavor and creating texture in your chili.  Instead of the traditional red beans you find in chili I used white and black beans.  I know, call me crazy.

My Good and Healthy Chili
Serves 8

Chili Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 ounce can of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large red or green pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini squash, diced
  • 1 bottle dark beer
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • shredded cheese, for garnish

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium high heat.  Add the beef and turkey to the pan together,  Season with half the salt and pepper, and cook until browned and some yummy brown bits are sticking to your pan.  Remove the browned meat from the pan, draining all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan.

The Browned Beef and Turkey

Return the pan to the heat and add the onion, pepper and celery.  Season with the remaining salt and black pepper.  Cook until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the zucchini and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add the Beer
Return the browned meat to the pan with the vegetables.  Pour in the beer and stir to deglaze the yummy bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the crushed tomatoes and the remaining seasonings.  Bring the chili to a boil and then reduce to simmer.  Cover the pot and cook for another 2 hours, stirring occasionally to be sure the chili isn't sticking to the pan.  Be sure to taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.  Add the drained beans 30 minutes before serving.
The Cooking Chili

Serve your chili topped with some shredded cheese and some crusty bread or corn bread.  This recipe is so tasty you won't even mind all the vegetables that were added.

Serve Chili Topped with Cheese
Printable My Good and Healthy Chili recipe.



  1. Yum! I have a really delicious turkey chili recipe that I've been making for the past few years. I think my hubby is bored with it, so I would love to try this one. You had me at beer!

  2. Chili and cookies were definitely the right comfort foods to make before the storm. I'm so grateful that our power outages were relatively brief compared to what so many others are suffering through.

    1. Making the comfort foods is a nice diversion, but eating them...There are no cookies, or chili left in our house!

  3. Hi! Sounds great, but in the list of ingredients that I see, beans aren't listed. How many cans/ounces of white and black beans are used -- Please let me know if you get a chance.

    1. Hi elspeth. Oops, you are so right! I forgot the beans in the ingredients list. I like to use one 15 ounce can of black beans and one 15 ounce can of white beans. I like the contrast of these beans, but you can really use any beans you prefer. Enjoy!


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