The fall season is upon us and one of my favorite dishes to make is Chili. It’s filling, full of flavor and relatively healthy if you use turkey. You can also make this dish vegetarian by using beans and vegetable broth. This is a variation of a chili I found on about 2 years ago. This chili will yield 2 portions (one of the hard ones to make for one….but I figure having some leftover is okay since it tastes good reheated!).


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided as 1 tbsp and 2 – ½ tbsp
  • 1/2 can pumpkin filling or paste (4 oz-ish)
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey (substitute 4 oz of garbanzos and 4 oz of kidney beans for vegetarian, presoaked or from a can)
  • 1/2 package taco seasoning mix
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 can beef broth (substitute vegetable broth if making vegetarian)
  • 1/2 can salsa (I use medium)
  • 4 oz coarsely chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small can chopped green chile peppers
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 3 stalks green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble turkey into the pot (or put in beans and simmer for 10 mins,  making sure they are presoaked or from a can), stirring with a wooden spoon to break apart as much as possible. Season with taco seasoning mix, coriander, oregano, chili flakes, salt, pepper, garlic and tomato paste, and mix until meat is evenly coated with seasonings. Continue cooking, reducing heat if necessary, until turkey is well browned.
  2. Pour in beef broth (or vegetable broth), and simmer to reduce liquid slightly, about 5 minutes. Add salsa, tomatoes, pumpkin and green chilies, and continue cooking at a moderate simmer for ten minutes. Adjust the thickness at any time you feel necessary by adding water.
  3. While chili is still cooking, heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion and red pepper, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent and pepper is lightly browned. Add onion and bell pepper to the chili, and continue cooking at a very low simmer.
  4. In the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, and cook stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the zucchini to the chili, reduce heat, and continue cooking 25 minutes more. Again, adjust the consistency with water as needed.
  5. Ladle chili into serving bowls. Top with sour cream, green onion, and cheddar cheese, and serve. (Add crispy tortilla chips to the mix for a great crunchy addition!)

Happy Eats!

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