Just another turkey chili…or is it?



It’s not the same old, same old!  The addition of nutty, nutrient-rich quinoa, not only stretches the meat, in a budget-conscience time but spikes the protein grams, as well.   Add that to the zucchini, sweet orange bell pepper, and two kinds of beans ……it equals loads of flavor!

Filling and hearty, it’s very good for you and my family loved it.  Even better as leftovers.  It freezes great – so make lots for these coming cold winter evenings.  A pan of crusty cornbread and your dinner’s done.

If you haven’t tried Quinoa, don’t be afraid of it. I use it just about anywhere I used to use rice. It cooks practically the same way as rice and takes on the flavors of what you put with it. (1 part dry quinoa to 2 parts water and a little salt). I’ve used it sweet or savory, in salads, casseroles, soups, and now chili.

It does contain carbs, but it also has quite a bit of protein for a plant. It’s a complex carb and is good for us in moderation.




1/3 cup quinoa
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Splenda
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 pound ground turkey OR make it vegetarian and add 1 pkg Morningstar Crumbles
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder, or Penzey’s 9000 chili mix (I prefer the mix…it’s more rounded flavor!)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
One 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
On 15 ounce can chicken broth
One 15 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
One 15 ouce can red beans, drained and rinsed

In a small saucepan bring 2/3 cup water to boil; add quinoa, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and all water is absorbed. (The little ‘tail’ should be showing on each grain.) Set aside.

In a large stockpot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic with Splenda until soft. Stir in zucchini and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add ground turkey and break up into chunks. Cook until no longer pink, but not cooked completely through.

Stir in cinnamon, chili powder, cumin, chili powder/mix, oregano, cocoa powder, chipotle pepper, tomatoes, chicken broth, and beans; simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the quinoa and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Makes 10 servings, about 1 cup each.

Per Serving: Calories 206; Protein 19 g; Fat 7 g; Carbs 13 g; Sugar 1 g; Sodium 281 mg

30 Comments Add yours

  1. Vicky says:

    w00t just saw your entry pop up on Foodblogs. 🙂 Clickety click. I have a beef chili recipe I made awhile ago waiting to go up. Nothing as unique as this.

  2. this sounds great. i love quinoa and i always love a HEALTHY quick dinner ready from the freezer to the table. and thanks for the idea of using quinoa in sweet instead of just savory…hmmm

  3. This looks wonderful. Interesting addition of cocoa powder. Must try 🙂

  4. Leanna says:

    I love the addition of lots of veggies and quinoa to chili. What a great combo!!

  5. Freddie Summers says:

    We have a chili cookoff at church coming up. I think I will make this. I’ll let you know if we win!


  6. stephchows says:

    oo great call on adding the quinoa!! I love adding in lentils and cashews for protein but this sounds great too!

  7. nina says:

    Ohh, I could just grab a spoon and tuck in, wow, it looks to delicious to be “thin”!!

  8. akp says:

    this looks amazing and i love the idea of quinoa in it! can’t wait to try.


  9. Emily says:

    This looks great. Any reason not to cook the quinoa in the chili itself, so it would absorb the flavors from the cooking liquid?

    1. Linda says:

      None at all!

      That would be easy, certainly. Add the liquid for the quinoa into the whole shebang!

  10. mmm mmm good looking!

  11. Kelly says:

    Sounds delicious. I love the addition of quinoa. It takes a traditional American dish and gives it a little gourmet flare. I’m a huge Penzey’s fan so I’ll have to try their 9000.

  12. Kari says:

    This is really unique with the quinoa and it looks delicious. I will definitely try it.

  13. Bobbie says:

    This looks really good as do all your recipes. Just found your site and I’m looking forward to trying out a few of your best. Thanks!!

  14. Amy says:

    Looks awesome as usual, Linda! I love quinoa and put it in everything!

  15. tinamarie says:

    looks wonderful! i will have to make this!

  16. Kevin says:

    That is one healthy and tasty sounding chili!

  17. Debbie says:

    I made this tonight and it was delicious. I did have any zucchini to put in it but it was still great!

    Thanks again for a great recipe!

  18. Cari Snell says:

    Hi Linda!
    I LOVE that you used quinoa in your chili! I can’t wait to try it! I’d love to feature your recipe on my site, http://www.canigettherecipe.com, with full credits and links back to you if you are keen. Please contact me by email! Looking forward to hearing from yoU!

  19. Michelle says:

    Ive already made this twice. Delicious! I added more quinoa though

    1. Michelle says:

      Also i used organic mild agave instead of splenda. Agave does not spike the blood sugar and I think splenda was tested as a rat killer then put out as a sweetener for us?

  20. Lisa says:

    This recipe sounds yummy. However, I need some clarification about the chili powder. Are you saying that you can either use 2 Tablespoon of chili powder, or use 1 Tablespoon of Chili Powder and one package of Penzy’s 9000 Chilli mix? I just did not understand why you listed Chili powder twice.


    1. Linda says:

      Well, shoot…that is a typo isn’t?!

      I copied it from my word docs and sometimes those don’t translate into the blog great AT ALL.

      It should say 2 tablespoons chili powder OR Penzey’s 9000 mix. I’ll go change it, now.

      Thanks for the head’s up!!

  21. Stephanie says:

    This was a great recipe; however the 2 tablespoons of chilli powder was a bit overpowering for some. I’d probably halve it for those who can’t handle the spiciness. I also think that much power takes away from the actual taste of the soup.

    Mmm 4.5 stars!!

  22. Cynthia says:

    by reading itself my mouth is full of water. i will definitely try this recipe.

  23. Frances says:

    Just made this last night, the weather turned cool,and I was craving chili. I loved the unusual addition of cocoa and cinnamon, and I love zucchini and it’s ability to absorb flavors. I couldn’t find fresh turkey or the crumbles atmy market, so I used lean ground beef instead. It tasted great, and nearly everyone ate all of it, only one picky eater didn’t clean his bowl but that’s because he doesn’t like to eat green stuff no matter how good it may taste. Oh well, leftovers for me lol. I will keep this one in my repertoire. Thanks for sharing (-:

  24. Nicole says:

    This looks amazing. But what would you substitute for the Splenda? I can’t have it since I’m pregnant and I don’t really like the flavor of it anyway. I could use sugar, but what would you recommend as the exchange?

  25. eplifoss says:

    Making it a second time, yum!

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