Chili Recipe: Stove or Slow Cooker

Whether you serve it with tortilla chips on the side, or over spaghetti like you’re from Cincinnati, sitting down with a steaming bowl of chili in front of you is comforting. Done right, the slow burn from the spices keeps you warm after the last spoonful.

Chili is one of the first things I started making in my adult years, and it remains a favorite dish. There are many different ways I’ve made it over the years–with and without corn, with pinto, red, or black beans, and even a quick white chili made with salsa verde–but I find myself making this variation the most. You can adapt this recipe for the stove or the slow cooker. Ready?

  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey (or lean ground beef)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large green pepper, diced
  • Minced garlic to taste
  • 1 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can of kidney beans, drained (dark or light beans, either will do)
  • Spices to taste: salt, cayenne pepper, cumin, chili powder
  • Dried oregano or finely chopped cilantro to taste (optional)
  • 2 tsp. lime juice and/or hot sauce to taste (optional)

For the stove:

In a pan coated with cooking spray (or 1-2T olive oil), saute the onion, peppers and garlic until the vegetables are translucent. Add the meat, cook through until browned and the excess liquid has evaporated.

Add the tomatoes, beans, and any spices and seasonings you’re using. Mix well, and cook until heated through, adjusting spices as needed.

For the slow cooker:

Add the ingredients to the slow cooker. Stir the meat to loosen it.

Cover and heat on high for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally, until meat is cooked through and tender.

I generally eat the chili topped with 1 oz of reduced fat cheddar cheese, with baked tortilla chips or microwave-crisped tortillas (2 small corn tortillas or 1 burrito-sized flour tortilla). I detail how to crisp your own tortillas here. (Since I wrote the post, though, I’m more likely now to just crisp the tortilla whole and break pieces off to eat it.)

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