Say it with me now (in your best Homer Simpson voice): Mmmmmm. Chili!
There’s nothing like a good hot bowl of chili, even in the summer. For us, it’s a year round comfort food that also happens to be pretty good for you. I make mine with ground turkey instead of beef. It has a softer texture and blends wonderfully with lots of tomatoes and spices. You can make it thin like a soup or thick like a sauce. Eat it hot. Eat it cold. It’s all good. Really gooood!
This recipe is also very versatile:
- You can make it with whatever kinds of tomatoes you have on hand- canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, sauce- or a combination of any of those things. It doesn’t matter. It all comes out delicious!
- You can also make it with a variety of beans. I like mine best with black beans, kidney beans or pinto beans. But you could walk on the wild side with white beans, garbanzos or something more exotic like adzukis. The sky is the limit!
- You can put it with anything- on pasta, baked potatoes, hot dogs, or as a filling for tortillas and even ravioli!
I often make this when I’m either:
- Cleaning out the fridge and need to use up leftover ground meat, tomatoes, pasta sauce, beans or veggies.
- There’s nothing to eat in the house. Then the chili comes out of the freezer and the pantry (frozen meat, canned beans and tomatoes).
- I have tons of tomatoes and fresh herbs from the garden and need to do something with them.
It keeps well, in fact it gets better after a few days in the fridge. It freezes wonderfully and is ready quickly. What’s not to love?
So why is it called five-way chili? I wondered the same thing. According to my research, the term originated in Cincinnati. They are very passionate about their chili there. They even have chili parlors! How cool is that? The five ways stands for five layers:
- Kidney beans
- Chopped onions
I put the kidney beans in my chili, so I guess mine is not an “authentic” five way, but actually a “four way”. But HEY! I put sour cream on mine! I consider that a pretty good fifth layer! Sometimes I even put chopped jalapeños on top of that, if I really feel like blowing my mouth of. That would be a six way chili!
So make your chili as many ways as you like. It’s all good. Really, it is!
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 3 cloves chopped garlic or 3 tbsp chopped garlic scapes
- ½ cup chopped onion (any color is fine) or scallions
- 2 cans beans (kidney, black, or any of your choice)
- 2 cans diced tomatoes or fresh tomatoes
- 3 cups of water (less if you want a thicker chili)
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh chopped herbs (optional)
- 2 beef bouillon cubes (optional)
- 1 pound cooked pasta of your choice (a thicker one is best)
- ½ cup shredded cheddar
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- sour cream
- chopped jalapeños, green chilis, tomatoes, etc (optional)
- Brown the ground turkey, garlic and onion. (Since turkey is so lean, I don't drain the fat, but you can if you want. )
- Add canned or fresh tomatoes, beans, spices and bouillon. Add water until you get the consistency you want.
- Bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring occasionally for 20-30 minutes.
- Serve on top of freshly cooked pasta. Add chopped onions, shredded cheese, sour cream and any other toppings you desire.
- Serve and enjoy!