Main Courses

Turkey, Bean, and Butternut Chili

During February and March I kept posting recipes and my mom would call and say “that’s too summery! It’s freezing here, and no one will make that salad in February.” Lesson learned on all accounts that what we cook is a reflection of many external factors. How our day is going emotionally, what the weather is like, how much time we have to put towards a meal… all extenuating circumstances that effect ‘what’s for dinner’. Well now we are here in Pawtucket, and let me tell you, it isn’t warm. I haven’t worn anything close to fur or a peacoat all winter, and here I am at Ryan’s first game in three layers, a peacoat, and a blanket! Hot chocolate? Yes please. Warm comfort food? Yes please. And so now, unseasonably for some of you, I am going to post what has been on the menu at the Neistat-Lavarnway home this past week. A final tribute to Winter in the hopes that Spring is just around the corner! 

Makes: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes       Cooking Time: 30 minutes      Total Time: 45 minutes

1 lb lean ground turkey
1 small white onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tbs cumin
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch squares
1 large can (22 oz) diced tomatoes
1 small can (16 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

  • Heat a large soup pot over medium heat with 1 tbs vegetable oil.
  • Add the turkey, garlic, and onion. Saute for 3 minutes, or until the meat is mostly turning brown and the onions have started to caramelize.
  • Add the spices (cumin through pepper) and the butternut squash. Mix everything well so that the spices are evenly distributed.
  • Add the tomatoes, kidney beans, and roughly 12 oz of water (half the large can). Bring the chili to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Taste to see if additional salt and pepper is needed. Serve with cornbread, rice, or as is.
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