Slightly Vegetarian Chili

This recipe requires more prep time than cooking time. Its well worth the effort, this chili keeps in the refrigerator or freezer very well!  For those of you who would like to learn how to prepare the ingredients for this recipe, come take a Knife Skills 101 class with me at Williams-Sonoma Bridgewater Commons!  Call the store for my class schedule!


1/2 pound ground turkey

2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil (for sautéing )

1 Large onion, small dice

3 celery stalks, small dice

3 carrots, small dice

1 green, 1 red and 1 orange sweet pepper, small dice

2 large tomatoes, small dice

1 can white beans, rinsed

1 can black beans, rinsed

1 can red beans, rinsed

1 or 2 packets of your favorite chili seasoning

Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste (NOTE: you will be adding salt throughout the entire cooking process.  Salt is not only for flavoring your food, it also helps break down the cellular structure during cooking.  Use it in small amounts so that you don’t end up over salting.  For example, I pick the kosher salt between my fingers and add that twice each time i indicate to season with salt in the recipe)

Serve with the following condiments:

Sour cream

Chopped black olives

shredded cheddar


  1. In a large stock pot on medium heat, sauté the ground turkey in a small amount of vegetable oil until the turkey is golden in color.  watch it carefully to be sure it doesn’t burn!  You’ll need the fond (the residual stuff at the bottom of the pan that remains after you cook the protein) to flavor your chili.  If it burns, get rid of it!  Once its burned it will only make the chili bitter!  Remove the turkey to a bowl and set aside for later.  Reserve the fond and fat in the pot.
  2. Allow the fat to come back to medium high temp, add additional oil to bring the amount to approximately 2 tablespoons in total.
  3. Place the onions in the pot, season with kosher salt.  Sauté until translucent, about 5 mins.
  4. Add celery, carrots, and 3 types of peppers. Season with more salt and continue to cook about 5 more minutes.
  5. Add chopped tomatoes, season with salt and continue to cook for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add beans, chili seasoning, cooked turkey and stir carefully as to not break all of the beans.  If your chili seems like it needs liquid, you can add tomato sauce, veggie broth or beef stock.  This is your choice!
  7. Allow to simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes to allow all of the flavors to meld together. Stir periodically to prevent chili from sticking to bottom of pan.

Serve with sour cream, cheese and olives!

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