Use up leftover poultry in this savory Gluten Free Smokey Turkey Chili. It’s quick, tasty, and full of veggies!
It’s beginning to look a lot like CHRISTMAS!!! Okay, not really. In fact, Christmas didn’t even look a lot like Christmas this year with scenery like palm trees and beaches.
But I was reminded of Christmas when I was pulling out the ingredients to make dinner last week.
Actually, let’s rewind even further to Thanksgiving. I was randomly shopping at Safeway one day and just so happened to spend enough money to get a free turkey. Of course I picked the one that was the largest for the free promotion. However, we were attending a potluck at the church for Thanksgiving and I had purposely NOT signed up to bring turkey. What was I going to do with a 20 pound turkey???!
So, I saved it for Christmas…when my mom could come and bake it. Now you’ll all be quite proud of me because even though that was my intention, I rolled up my sleeves and baked that bird all by myself! And it was delicious indeed…and HUGE.
Can you say, “HELLO LEFTOVERS???!”
And so here it is, 3 months later and I am pulling out the Ziploc bag of leftover Christmas turkey. What can I say? I’m very resourceful with food. Waste not, want not over here!
Now whenever I’m in a bind and I need a quick and easy dinner, I quite often turn to making chili. It’s so simple, and you can pretty much use up whatever you have in your fridge, freezer, or pantry. In this case, leftover turkey was calling my name. And what flavor goes better with turkey than “smokey”???
So thus inspired last week’s dinner of Gluten Free Smokey Turkey Chili.
This chili was stress free, seeing as how I only had to chop up a few veggies, open a few cans, and dice a handful of already cooked poultry. All those ingredients, plus an array of seasonings, made for a quite flavorful and satisfying pot of chili.
The seeded jalapeno gives a nice flavor to this chili without adding an overpowering amount of heat. If you’re in the mood for a little fire, go ahead and leave some of those seeds in the jalapeno. You could also add a little more chili powder or cayenne pepper for some more heat.
The Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke are what lends this chili that smokey flavor. I don’t know what it is about liquid smoke, but I LOVE it!!! I use it in a lot of my cooking recipes, mostly just because I like to sniff it out of the jar. Hey, there are worse things I could sniff.
Feel free to add any combo of beans that you like. I used pinto and kidney beans because that’s what I had on hand, but black or navy beans would go really well this this chili as well.
As far as seasonings, I’m a fan of oregano and chose to use that as my main spice in this dish. But, if you aren’t a fan of oregano, you could replace it with dried basil or parsley. Either herb would taste great! Just giving you some options here since I know not everyone has the same palate as me…although I think everyone should. Hehe!
Start to finish, this meal took only slightly over 30 minutes. But, if you’re a master chopper and you love racing against the clock, I’m sure you could bust it out with 30 minutes on the clock. Go ahead, give yourself a challenge!
So whether you’re using turkey from Christmas or the rest of last night’s chicken, this chili is sure to please. Serve it over some brown rice or baked potatoes for a filling and healthy weeknight meal. Bon appetit!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped carrots (2 medium)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 large (or 2 small) jalapenos, seeded and diced*
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small can tomato sauce
- ½ can tomato paste
- 1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz.)
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- ¼ teaspoon pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 1¼ teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
- ¾ teaspoon oregano**
- 2 cans beans, rinsed and drained (I used pinto and kidney beans)
- 1½ cups diced cooked turkey or chicken
- Prepare vegetables by chopping carrot, bell pepper, and celery. Seed and dice the jalapeno.* Mince the garlic cloves. Set veggies aside.
- In a large pot or cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles, add carrots and bell pepper. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add jalapeno and celery and cook 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add minced garlic. Season veggies with a few shakes of salt and pepper. Cook an additional 2 minutes.
- Add all remaining ingredients to pot or skillet. Stir to combine well. Bring mixture to a low boil, reduce heat, then simmer for about 10 minutes until chili is reduced to desired consistency. Season to taste with extra salt and pepper.
- Serve warm over rice, baked potatoes, or plain. Top with desired toppings.
**Replace with dried basil (3/4 teaspoon) or dried parsley (1½ teaspoons) if you don't like oregano.