Friday, October 26, 2012

Turkey, Butternut Squash & Kale Chili.

Since the slow cooker entered our lives, we have eaten a meal from it at least once but more like twice a week.  It is just so easy to throw a bunch of stuff in there at 11AM when Alice is a happy baby rather than try to make dinner at 6PM when she is a cranky baby.  For the most part, I've followed a recipe when making a meal but then I realized that the recipes all follow a similar pattern.  So I decided to take this recipe and tweak it a bit.  And I am so happy with the results.  Make it.  You'll love it.

Turkey, Butternut Squash & Kale Chili (serves 6):
  • 1 lb ground turkey, light meat
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey, dark meat 
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 of a medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1-15oz can kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1-15oz can black beans, rinsed
  • 1-28oz can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs ground cumin
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp red chili flakes (season to spiciness preference)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth (or substitute 1 cup water)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
For serving:
  • 2 cups kale, stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Shredded cheese
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds
  • Any other garnishes you'd like!
In a large pan, brown the ground turkey.  In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, add the browned turkey and all of the above ingredients.  Stir to combine.  Set slow cooker to low for 7 to 8 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours.  Five minutes before serving, add the kale and re-cover.  Serve with garnishes.  And some homemade cornbread.  If, you know, you have that kind of time.

Obviously six servings is way more than the two of us can finish.  No big deal.  I froze a good portion of this chili so that, on a cold, wintery day in the very near future when I have no desire to go to the store, I can whip this out and... Voila!  Dinner is served.   

Do you make extras for freezing?  Before Alice was born I had a freezer full of ready-to-thaw meals so that we didn't starve in those early, sleep-deprived newborn days.  Now?  Our freezer is full of breast milk and homemade baby food.  Yuuuuuuummy!


  1. Yummy! We love kale and chili so this might be perfect for us to try. Slow cookers are a God-send!

  2. I love chili and squash sounds like a great addition! No turkey for me :) Do you know that I still have breastmilk in my freezer even though it's never going to be used now. I just feel so bad tossing it after all that work to get it- but I think in our big pre-winter clean out this year it might be time.

  3. Great picture. The chili looks delicious! I'll have to try this recipe. xoxo


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