Souptember: Turkey Beer Chili

Chili is one of my absolute favorite cool-weather dishes. It’s crazy delicious (seriously, who doesn’t like chili?), insanely easy to make and, believe it or not, quite healthy! Thanks to a boatload of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals from the tomatoes, beans and aromatic veggies, chili is actually a really healthy way to ring in the cooler weather.

I make a lot of different chili recipes, but this one is the favorite in our house. It’s made with lean, flavorful ground turkey which helps lower the fat and calories and lots of healthy beans that provide tons of dietary fiber.

But this chili certainly doesn’t taste “healthy”.

I add a bottle of my favorite beer while cooking to add a cozy and warm undertone to the rich, spiciness of the chili. Drop a creamy and cool dollop of low fat plain Greek yogurt on top and you’ve got yourself the perfect Souptember dinner.

Turkey Beer Chili

Makes 12 servings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced (keep the seeds if you want more spice)
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1-12 ounce bottle beer (whatever you have on hand)
  • 2-28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2-14 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2-14 ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-14 ounce can vegetarian refried beans
  • 1-16 ounce package frozen corn
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Chili toppings (I like minced cilantro, plain Greek yogurt, diced avocado, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice)

On the Stove: Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add in onion, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers and garlic. Saute until all veggies are tender, about 8 minutes. Add in ground turkey and continue to cook mixture until turkey is browned and cooked through. Add all remaining ingredients (minus the chili toppings) and stir until well combined. Turn heat to high, bring to a boil, reduce to low and then simmer uncovered for about an hour. Serve topped with your favorite toppings.

In The Slow Cooker: Combine all ingredients, except the beer, in the basin of a very large slow cooker. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours. Add the beer in during the last hour of cooking. Serve topped with your favorite toppings.

Storage Note: This chili freezes beautifully! Since it makes 12 servings and there are only two of us in my house, we always freeze up two-gallon size bags (each with four servings) each time we make it. To freeze, let chili cool completely and then spoon into gallon-size freezer bags. Press out extra air from bags and freeze flat. To reheat, remove bag from freezer and let defrost overnight in the fridge. Pour bag contents into a slow cooker or soup pot and warm until heated through.

What’s your favorite way to eat chili?

With noodles? Without? Under a pile of cheese?

Nutrition per serving (not including toppings): 369 calories, 6.4g fat (1.2g saturated, 0.8g poly, 1.2g mono), 56g carbs (20g fiber, 11g sugars), 21g protein

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Cassie Johnston is an award-winning food writer and recipe developer living and working in Southern Indiana. Her work has been feature in national publications such as Gourmet Magazine and The Huffington Post. Cassie’s a big fan of strenuous hikes, cheese, watching sports, Brussels sprouts, and craft beer, and she’ll talk your ear off about her love of local food and seasonal eating. She’s obsessed with social media and loves connecting with new friends!