Sunday, July 3, 2011

Slow-cooked Turkey Chili and Soup

Turkey Chili Topped with Cabbage and Cheddar Cheese
Turkey Chili with Cabbage and Cheddar

Recipes by Jenn and Robin

What’s better than a simple-to-prepare recipe with only two ingredients that is low in calories and high in protein? A recipe created by a special friend that is so versatile that it can easily be made into three separate dishes!

Without Jenn Barley, this blog would not exist, at least not this year. During the time that I was researching and developing Seasonal Eating, both my dearest friend Joy and my father died suddenly. Luckily, I had hired Jenn to coach me, and although she let me continue with the blog at my own pace, she encouraged me to set deadlines and made me accountable. We had planned for a Ground Hog Day release (ironically Joy’s favorite holiday), but settled for April Fool’s Day. Without Jenn’s encouragement it’s likely that I would have postponed this project another year.

Keep Kitchen Cool: Slow-cook on Porch!
Weight Watchers first brought Jenn and me together a few years back when she was a popular leader and I was in WW boot camp. This is one of the recipes she shared with us. She made it with skinless and boneless chicken and one jar of salsa. After cooking, she shredded up half of the chicken to make tacos. The next day she made soup by adding a few ingredients (see below) to the leftovers. I use turkey thighs and make a chili. I also doubled the amount of meat and salsa, to take full advantage of the capacity of our slow-cooker and the BTUs used during preparation. Thanks, Jenn, for the recipe and the coaching!

Slow-cooked Turkey Chili
serves about 10

4 bone-in turkey thighs, about 4 lbs. total
1 large jar Southwest-style salsa with beans and corn (24 oz.)
1 medium-to-large jar spicy tomato salsa
1 tbsp. Mexican chili powder, optional or to taste
Garnish: shredded or chopped cabbage & grated cheddar cheese

Be sure Salsa Covers Turkey Before Cooking
Skin turkey thighs if desired. Put thighs in the bottom of a slow-cooker. Stir chili powder into salsa. Pour salsa on top of turkey and be sure thighs are submerged. Cook on high for 4 – 6 hours. Remove skin and bones and break up turkey into chunks. Serve turkey and sauce topped with cabbage and cheddar cheese--we like Kerrygold Reduced-Fat: delicious, and with no artificial coloring. You could serve this over whole grain pasta shells or rice to absorb the liquids, or just scoop it up with a spoon or wholegrain bread.

You can freeze part of the chili for quick meals later.

For soup: Saute one medium chopped onion in a little olive oil till golden. Add 2 – 3 cups of cooked salsa-turkey mixture, 1 can chicken broth, and 1 can black or pinto beans. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes or so.


  1. This is really good. Surprisingly good for how simple it is. Although the cabbage, cheese and chili powder are good with it, Even the simplest version with just the poultry and salsa is excellent. Although these types of salsa are excellent in this dish, whatever salsa you have on hand should work fine. Probably best to stick to chunky salsas though. The thin, smooth pureed types probably wouldn't be as interesting.

  2. That's Bruce giving his husbandly seal of approval. Good point about the chunky style salsa, sweetie.