Warming Up {majorly easy chili}

We are actually having a heat wave. It’s been in the low 40s the last several days and I am legitimately sweating even though I’m not wearing 8309482 layers. Who am I??! Okay, that’s a separate issue. What I have for you today is a hearty bowl of healthy chili that will do your body good even when the weather outside is dreadful and you wonder why you live in a place where the air hurts your face.


Credit: LOLZombie

I’ve considered sharing this recipe before (in fact had a draft from 3 year ago sitting in the proverbial drawer), but haven’t I think primarily because chili does not photograph well. So you’re not getting process photos today, #sorrynotsorry.

This chili has been in the rotation for me for several years now. It is just what a good chili should be—cozy, thick, full of great flavor. BUT it is ultra-fast, because throwing in a can of pumpkin acts as a great thickener and lends an awesome earthy sweetness (I’d bet if you didn’t tell people there’s pumpkin in it, they’d have no clue). AND AND AND although it is a super nutritious chili, it does not skimp on flavor.

I’m going to keep it 💯 with y’all—the most labor-intensive part of this is chopping your veggies. I was planning to make this on Sunday, but then ran out of time before I had to leave for work…BUT throwing it together Monday morning before class was a breeze since I already had everything chopped and ready! And it makes a ton, so be ready to have cozy lunches or dinners for the week.


Infomercials, keeping it real

Because my garnish game is forever strong, I love serving this piled high with cilantro, green onion, radishes, red cabbage, avocado, cheddar cheese, sour cream (or greek yogurt), and bb corn muffins. The different textures and flavors make for a truly delightful dinner (or lunch!) situation.

So get after it! This is great anytime from when it’s -20º to 40º (or just whenever you want a cozy bowl of hearty comfort).

Majorly Easy Chili

(Adapted  slightly from Serious Eats)

What you’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp neutral cooking oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large or 2 small jalapeños, diced small (seed/de-vein depending on your heat preference)
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (4.5 oz) can diced green chiles
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1-2 tbsp each ground cumin & chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 (14 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (14 oz) can roasted pumpkin
  • 1 (14 oz) can red kidney beans (you can drain it or nah, I usually drain a little bit but keep some of the liquid)
  • Cayenne (optional)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • To serve: sliced radishes, red cabbage, avocado, green onion, cilantro, cheese (I recommend cheddar), cornbread or chips, hot sauce (Tapatío is my preference here)

What to do:

  • Heat your oil in a large pot over medium heat and add in all the veggies, along with a hefty pinch of salt. Stir to mix the salt in and cook veggies until fairly tender, 5-7 minutes. Stir in your can of diced green chiles and heat through until you hear the veggies sizzling again.
  • Make some room in the middle and drop in your turkey and ground spices. Start with 1 tbsp each of the cumin and chili powder, and all the coriander (the key with chili is layering the spices throughout). Add another, small pinch of salt (and pepper as you please) and cook the turkey, breaking it up and mixing it into the veggies as you go. This should take about 10 minutes.
  • Add in your tomatoes, pumpkin, and kidney beans. Throw in some additional cumin and chili powder and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  • After about 10 minutes, give it a taste. More cumin? Chili powder? What about some salt or cayenne? Add your feelings to the pot.
  • Let it simmer for another 10 minutes or so, adding water as desired to loosen up the consistency (it will be pretty thick; I like a thick chili).

Ugly but tasty…

  • Now comes the best part—crunchy/creamy/cheesy toppings!



Definitively NOT a sad desk lunch.

I also like to crumble a mini corn muffin (or two) in there and stir it all up, so it looks even MORE appetizing:


Don’t ask questions. Crazy delicious ugliness in a bowl.

Stay warm, everyone!

Emily 🙂


One thought on “Warming Up {majorly easy chili}

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