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Jan 082014
 

I’ve told you guys before about my obsession with this chili from Kristen at Iowa Girl Eats (I literally make it at least once every two weeks in the winter), but whenever I make it there are a number of things I do differently from the original recipe and I realized I’ve never shared that with you all. The insanity! It’s time to fix that- immediately.

This chili is the perfect wintery meal because it’s quick and easy, it’s made with pantry staples, and it leaves you with a ton of leftovers to enjoy throughout the week. I sometimes make this chili on Sunday nights to enjoy while watching football games from the comfort of my couch, but I also like making it on weeknights since it’s so simple. It has a really complex mix of flavors that makes it both spicy and sweet, and it has definitely become my go-to chili recipe.

I give you: Homemade Sweet & Spicy Chili!

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To make this chili, I start by getting all my ingredients together. Most of these come from my pantry (jk, my apartment is too small for a pantry- I have a cabinet) so I almost always have them on hand. You’ll need:

  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1lb lean ground turkey
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 29oz can tomato sauce (or crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 15oz can red kidney beans
  • 1 16oz can Bush’s Baked Beans
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Cumin

Getting all the ingredients out ahead of time makes it easier for me to remember the order in which I add them to the pot.

Ok! To start, I heat a large pot to medium-high heat, and get to chopping up my onion (this is my least part BTW because I always cry. Always.) and garlic. I invested in a nice garlic press from Bed Bath & Beyond a few years ago and I use it all the time. Best purchase ever!

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Once the pot is hot, I drizzle in about one teaspoon of olive oil and toss in the onion and garlic.

Then it’s time for the turkey. I like to use lean varieties (like 99% fat free) but use whatever you like. I always buy these when they’re on sale and then pop them into the freezer. Then the morning that I want to make the chili I take it out of the freezer to thaw, and it works out great!

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Once I open the turkey and remove it from the package, I add it to the pot with the onions and garlic and toss in a little salt and pepper. Then I let it cook, breaking up the meat, until it’s no longer pink. Then I drain out the excess fat and return the pot to the stove.

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Once the turkey is cooked and drained it’s time for the tomatoes.

Now, the original recipe calls for a large 29 oz. can of plain tomato sauce (the unseasoned kind- not the kind you would put right onto pasta) but I rarely have this in my house. When I buy tomato sauce I tend to buy flavors like roasted garlic or basil, and I never have the plain kind on hand. Instead, I’ve used practically every kind of canned tomato product in this dish (except tomato paste, because that would be weird) and they all work fine. You might have to add some water to get the chili to the consistency you like, and/or break up the tomatoes a bit with a wooden spoon, but just use what you have and don’t stress over it too much. For this batch I used a large can of crushed tomatoes and it worked out great.

Once I added the tomatoes to the turkey mixture and stirred everything up, it was time for the beans. I like using red kidney beans, but again, use whatever you have. Once they’re drained and rinsed they’re ready for the pot!

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Next it’s time for the secret ingredient- baked beans!!! Now, this is the one item that I would never keep in my cabinet of canned goods (hello, full of sugar!) but for this recipe, I make an exception. The baked beans MAKE this dish. When combined with the rest of the chili that’s salty and slightly spicy, their sweetness just adds a whole new taste to this dish. Please trust me and just try adding them once. You’ll never go back!

Anyway, I add the baked beans into the pot, juice and all. Then I give it a big old mix, add some salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. You just need a little dash of cayenne pepper- the stuff is hot! If you like your chili on the spicy side you can always add more, but once it’s in the pot you can’t get it back out!

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Yum.

The best part about this chili? Once the spices are in there you could let it simmer for hours and hours to develop more flavor, or you could just dig right in (guess which one I usually choose ;)). The chili is so good on it’s own that I usually just let it simmer for about five minutes more and then serve it up in bowls.

Fabio likes his with shredded cheddar cheese and nonfat plain Greek yogurt, but I’m a purist and like it plain. It’s so good on its own!

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Delicious!

Homemade Sweet and Spicy Chili {IGE Revamped Recipe}
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree/Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This chili is easy, quick, and delicious! It's the perfect winter meal!
Ingredients
  • ½ onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1lb lean ground turkey
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 29oz can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15oz can red kidney beans
  • 1 16oz can Bush’s Baked Beans
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Cumin
Instructions
  1. Heat large soup pot to medium-high heat and add olive oil to pot. Dice onion and add to the pot with minced garlic.
  2. Add ground turkey, salt, and pepper. Cook until no longer pink and drain well.
  3. Add in canned tomato sauce (or crushed tomatoes), drained red beans, and entire can of baked beans.
  4. Season with salt, pepper, and rest of seasonings to taste.
  5. Cook a few more minutes for flavors to finish developing, then serve.

If you make this chili I hope you like it as much as I do!

Question of the day: What’s your favorite cold weather recipe?

 Posted by on January 8, 2014

  4 Responses to “Homemade Sweet and Spicy Chili {IGE Revamped Recipe}”

  1. Yummm!! I’m a huge fan of chili during the winter (in fact, I just whipped up a giant batch this past weekend and have been eating it every day for lunch!). I’ve never thought to add a can of baked beans though. What a good idea! I love the sweet and spicy combo that you’ve got going on. In this last batch I added some butternut squash for the first time, which I LOVED because it kind of gives that same effect. Thanks for sharing the recipe!!

  2. Sounds like a perfect meal to throw in the slow cooker as well! I do love a good chilli I must say. And I know what you mean about adding baked beans – chilli can otherwise be a bit too bitter. It needs a little sweetness.

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