Kitchen Confessions: Healthy turkey chili

Admit it. Somewhere in your freezer lies the uneaten remains of your 2016 holiday bird. You may have even promised yourself you would cook into a healthy soup, or even a creamy pot pie. Who’s kidding who? January is almost over and you know you have no plans for that freezer-bag of meat and bones! My prediction would be that the next time you clean out your freezer (December 2017?) you will find that thing and wonder what the heck is inside that frost-riddled freezer bag.

I’m here once again to guide you through this; consider me your unofficial “leftover whisperer” or at the very least, let me introduce you to a super easy, super healthy meal that you can cook up really quickly, even on a weeknight. If you’re someone who actually did use up the leftovers already, I think that this recipe would be equally amazing using a rotisserie chicken from the local grocery store, which is quick and economical!

As with all of my recipes, you can customize it to suit the palates of those who will be consuming. To control the “heat” you can add a spicy salsa or a milder salsa. Want to increase the veggie consumption? Add more veggies. Don’t like beans? Don’t add them! Are you more a fan of toppings for your chili? Jalapenos, cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro, sour cream or plain yogurt, and don’t forget tortilla chips! The more topping choices you have, the easier it is for your peeps to make it however they want. Not that this recipe needs any help, but I know how people are these days!

Healthy Turkey Chili

3 slices of bacon, chopped

1 medium white or yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic

1 tbsp cumin powder

2 tbsp chili powder

500g container of your favourite salsa

1 can chili starter flavoured tomatoes

1 red bell pepper and 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced

½ – 1 cup frozen corn kernels

1 can black eyed peas, rinsed (or whatever beans you like)

2-3 cups of chopped or shredded cooked turkey or chicken meat

Toppings: thinly sliced fresh jalapenos, chopped cilantro, sour cream or plain yogurt, lime wedges, tortilla chips

This is so easy to make, I’m not even kidding. Get a large pot on the stove and over medium heat, cook the chopped bacon until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon bits to a plate lined with paper towels; don’t worry, you will come back to them. Drain all but a couple tablespoons of the bacon fat, leaving enough to coat the bottom of the pot. Add the onions, garlic, cumin and chili powder and sauté until onions are translucent. The rest is so simple: add the salsa, canned tomatoes, bell peppers, corn, beans, turkey meat and the bacon bits you already cooked. Let this all cook over medium low heat until peppers have softened and the chili has thickened up, about 30-40 minutes. Serve with your favourite toppings. This recipe freezes really will for quick little lunches, and I have also made turkey nachos with it for a change a little switch up. Play around with the ingredients and have fun!

Shannon Yacyshyn is a recovering food blogger (the original Red Deer Foodie) who is passionate about trying new ways of cooking healthy foods in her kitchen. Find Kitchen Confessions Red Deer on Facebook.

Just Posted

Red Deer police recover stolen Second World War German army passport, trying to find owner

A rare, Second World War era German passport was recovered by police… Continue reading

Four Red Deer skiers off to Alberta Winter Games

Four young Red Deer skiers are headed to the Alberta Winter Games.… Continue reading

Hurry Hard: Red Deer Oilmen’s Bonspiel starts on Friday

A January tradition in Red Deer, the Oilmen’s Bonspiel takes to the… Continue reading

City Hall briefly evacuated

Carbon monoxide false alarm behind evacuation

Charges laid in home invasion in Maskwacis

Three people injured with stab wounds

WATCH: Marijuana in the Workplace information luncheon held in Red Deer

Central Alberta businesses need to prepare for the legalization of marijuana. That… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month