Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Turkey, White Bean, Pumpkin Chili

We're half way through the "Week of Pumpkin".  I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am!  What's on docket today?  Turkey, white bean, pumpkin chili!

One of the main things I love about soups and chilis is you can make a big batch that can be served for days.  To me, soups are usually better the day after they are cooked because they flavors have had time to meld together and intensify.  Soups are a one pot wonder, in my opinion.  All these different ingredients and seasonings are added to a big pot and simmered for a while and the end result is something fabulous.

This chili is another (almost) one pot, wonder!  What's even better?  It's a slow cooker chili too!  As you well know, I love my slow cooker.  It's the best feeling to turn it on in the morning and walk through the door after work to a supper that is cooked and waiting to be enjoyed.

This chili is perfect for kids and adults alike.  There is little to no spice in this dish, so it's perfect for those delicate little palates.  If you do desire a more spicy chili, simply add a dash (or two) of cayenne pepper or top with jalapenos.  The addition of pumpkin helps to thicken the chili base as well as add beautiful orange tint.  The pumpkin flavor isn't too evident, in fact, if pumpkin wasn't in the name you wouldn't even know it was in the chili.  This chili was a crowd pleaser in our house, Tucker even had seconds!  That boy loves to eat.  Alone, the chili is very good and flavorful but play around with different toppings.  This not only helps to enhance the flavor and add a different texture to the dish but it also freshens it up when enjoying the leftovers!  I personally enjoyed the addition of cilantro one night and sharp white cheddar another. 

Crock Pot Turkey, White Bean, Pumpkin Chili


2 Pounds lean ground turkey meat
1 Small onion, chopped
3 Cloves garlic, minced
2 (15oz) cans great northern beans or navy beans, rinsed
1 (15oz) can pumpkin puree
1 (4.5oz) can chopped green chile
2 Cups low sodium chicken broth
Cooking spray, if needed
1/2 Tsp olive oil
1 Tsp chili powder
2 Bay leaves
2 Tsp cumin
1 Tsp oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste

*Optional toppings-
Sour cream


Place a large pan over medium-high heat, spray with cooking spray if desired.  Place the turkey meat in the pan and cook thoroughly.  Once the meat is cooked, removed from heat and drain.

Return the pan back to the stove and place over low-medium heat.  Add the olive oil to the pan along with the onion.  Saute onion until translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the cumin and saute for another minute.  Remove from heat.

Add the turkey, beans, chile, sauteed onions and garlic, the remaining seasonings and the chicken broth to a crock pot.  Stir to combine the ingredients.  Season with salt and pepper.*  Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

Remove bay leaves and adjust seasonings before serving.

*All of the prep can be done the night before.  Place all of the ingredients in the ceramic insert of the slow cooker, cover and refrigerate.  The next morning remove from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for a few minutes.  Place the ceramic insert in the slow cooker base and cook.

Recipe source: Gina's Skinny Recipes

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