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Chili Change-Up

FEATURED ITEM: Chili Change-Up

For your family at dinnertime, a big crowd for a tailgate or lunches all week long, cook up a warm, comforting pot of chili.

At the most basic level, making great chili is about slowly braising meat in liquid, melding and intensifying the flavors at a simmer. You can add whatever combination of meat, spices and veggies you want to create your own signature version of the dish.

Start by sautéing onions and peppers in oil. Next, add your choice of meat. Brown the meat, and then stir in stock, crushed tomatoes, other vegetables or beans. Be sure to add spices in layers throughout the cooking process for a stronger flavor.

Give our recipe for Beef and Bean Chili Verde a try. Or change up the protein and flavor with these ideas:

Turkey Chili

Make your chili with ground turkey instead of beef. Add kidney beans, canned corn and crushed tomatoes. Use chicken stock as the liquid. Turkey matches up nicely with garlic powder, paprika and chili powder, adjusted for how much spice you like. Top this chili with a blend of melted cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses, a dollop of sour cream and chopped scallions. And don’t even bother with a spoon. Serve your turkey chili with corn chips for dipping!

Italian Chili with Sausage, White Beans and Kale

Sausage pairs up with white beans and kale for a different sort of chili that’s an ode to Italian wedding soup. For this one, use beef stock and season with fennel seed, crushed red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning. Mix in white beans and kale. For the finish, sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan and serve with garlic bread.

Vegan Three-Bean Chili

Combine lentils, chickpeas and black beans for a triple-protein-packed vegan chili. Add crushed tomatoes. This time, use vegetable stock and add more veggies instead of meat: diced zucchini, summer squash and Swiss chard. Season to taste with cumin and chili powder. Sprinkle minced onion and diced avocado on top. Serve with cornbread.