Posts Tagged 'Chili Recipes'

Kielbasa Black Bean Chili

I (lightly) catered a party last month for a friend who is involved in the Junior League of Denver, and she gave me a copy of Colorado Classique (the new Junior League of Denver cookbook) as part of my payment.  The JLD cookbooks are a well-known source of fantastic recipes, so I was really excited to receive my very first one.  I had the pleasure of tasting the peanut butter bars from the book at my friend’s house (absolutely incredible – I’ll be making and posting them soon), but I wanted my first selection from the book to be something well-suited for the winter-like weather we experienced here in Denver last week.  I chose to go with the Kielbasa Black Bean Chili, and boy did I choose well.  Dr. O and I enjoyed it so much that I have another pot simmering on the stove right now so we’ll have some to enjoy with football tomorrow.

To make the stew, I started off by heating 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat in my 8 1/2-quart Dutch oven.  (You could probably get away with one that’s a bit smaller.)  Next, I tossed in 1 1/2 pounds (24 ounces) of turkey kielbasa (quartered lengthwise and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces) and cooked it until it started to brown.  (This took 10 minutes at my house; the recipe indicated 12 minutes.)

Using a slotted spoon, I transferred the kielbasa to a bowl and set it aside.  You need to have to 2 tablespoons of oil in the pot before the next step, so add or subtract from the drippings if necessary.  (My turkey kielbasa didn’t render much fat but did soak up some oil, so I had to add oil to the pot.)  Still using medium-high heat, I added 2 cups of chopped onions, 1 coarsely chopped red bell pepper, 1 coarsely chopped green bell pepper, and 4 chopped garlic cloves to the pot.  I sauteed them until they were beginning to brown (6 minutes at my house, 10 minutes in the recipe).

To the vegetable mixture, I added four 15-ounce cans of black beans (drained and rinsed), a 32-ounce box of chicken broth, a 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes in juice (undrained), 3 tablespoons of chili powder, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 1/2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 3 small bay leaves, 1 1/2 tablespoons of dried oregano, and 2 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin.  I brought the chili to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduced the heat to medium, covered it, and simmered it for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, I returned the kielbasa to the pot and reduced the heat to low.  I simmered the chili, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  When it was nice and thick, I seasoned it with salt and pepper to taste and served it with sour cream and a sprinkle of chives.

Kielbasa Black Bean Chili

I could happily eat this once a week through the end of winter…  It’s amazingly delicious, warm, and comforting.  Plus, the recipe yields 8 servings, so we were able to have dinner twice plus a lunch for Dr. O on one night’s worth of cooking.  It was wonderful the first night, but a tip included with the recipe was spot on: The chili really was even better the next day.  This makes it perfect for casual entertaining; I’m going to put the chili, Dutch oven and all, into the refrigerator and then just gently reheat it tomorrow for the game.

TIPS:  The bottom of my Dutch oven got pretty brown when I was browning the kielbasa, and the onions picked up the color when they were sauteeing.  It didn’t cause any problems with the chili in terms of flavor or appearance, so don’t worry if this happens to you.

Kielbasa Black Bean Chili
Serves 8

2 tablespoons olive oil, or more if needed
1 1/2 pounds turkey or beef kielbasa or Canino’s Bratwurst, quartered lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups chopped onions
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
4 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 32-ounce box organic chicken broth
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
3 – 4 tablespoons chili powder, depending on desired spiciness
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 small bay leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons salt, or more to taste
Sour cream and chopped green onions for topping


Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.  Add kielbasa or bratwurst and saute 12 minutes or until beginning to brown.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer kielbasa or bratwurst to a bowl.  If necessary, add more olive oil to drippings in pot to measure 2 tablespoons, or discard all but 2 tablespoons of drippings.  Add onions, both bell peppers, and garlic.  Saute 10 minutes or until beginning to brown.  Add beans, broth, tomatoes with juice, chili powder, sugar, vinegar, bay leaves, oregano, and cumin.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer 30 minutes.  Return kielbasa or bratwurst to pot.  Reduce heat to low.  Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until chili is thick, stirring occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper.

Chili can be made a day ahead.  Cool slightly; cover, and chill.  Rewarm before serving.

Source: Colorado Classique

Turkey and White-Bean Chili

It has been sooo cold here in Denver lately.  We’re “warm” today at 39F…  It’s pretty sad when that feels almost balmy.  With last weekend’s record-setting cold (which is scheduled to repeat itself *this* weekend!), all I’ve been craving are warm, comforting foods.  Turkey and White-Bean Chili from the September 2003 issue of Everyday Food fit the bill.

In a large, deep skillet, I heated 2 tablespoons of canola oil over medium-high heat.  I added 1 pound of ground turkey (I bought 93% fat free) and seasoned with salt and pepper.  I cooked the turkey, breaking it up with a spoon, until it was browned (about 9 minutes).

Next, I added 1 large onion (chopped) to the skillet.  The recipe calls for 2 diced jalapenos at this point as well, but I left them out.  (We’re weak, I know!)  I cooked the mixture until the onion was soft (3 minutes) and then added 2 teaspoons of ground cumin and 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.  I cooked that mixture for 2 minutes.

Finally, I added 2 cans of cannellini beans (drained and rinsed), 2 cans of reduced-sodium chicken broth, and 1 cup of water.  I brought the mixture to a boil, reduced the heat, and simmered until the chili was thick (20 minutes).  I served it garnished with reduced-fat sour cream, sliced radishes, cilantro, and shredded cheese.

Turkey and White-Bean Chili

This wasn’t the best chili I’ve ever had or anything, but it hit the “warm comfort food” spot.  I’m sure the flavor would have been more intense with the jalapeno, but the cilantro filled things in nicely.  Can you believe this is the first time I’ve ever used radishes in my cooking?  I liked the crisp texture and peppery flavor they added to the chili.  Yum, yum.

TIPS:  I’m all about making substitutions to lighten dishes, but using 2% milk shredded cheese in this chili was a BIG mistake.  It’s strangely stringy, and it completely coated everything it touched (including our spoons and the roofs of our mouths).  Yuck.  I can’t say I’d buy it again.

Recipe link: Turkey and White-Bean Chili

Super Bowl Snacks: Lighter Beef Chili

Would any Super Bowl party be complete without chili? I’m not so sure. I want to preface this all by saying that I’m not about to get into the “beans or no beans debate” – I’m not a chili purist. I’ll play nice with all the Texans and say that real chili doesn’t have beans, so we can agree that this is really chili *with* beans. Or something. 🙂

Anyway, my recipe for today – Lighter Beef Chili – comes from the January/February issue of Everyday Food. This recipe is nice because it’s lean and it’s quick. Prep time is only 25 minutes, and it’s ready to eat only 15 minutes later. You could easily keep it on the stove over low heat if you want to keep it warm for a few hours.

I started by warming 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. I added 1 medium onion (chopped) and 4 garlic cloves (chopped), seasoning with salt and pepper. I cooked the mixture until softened, about 4 minutes.

Next, I added 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of chili powder, and 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. I cooked and stirred everything until it was fragrant, about 1 minute. I added 1 pound of ground beef sirloin and cooked it, breaking it up with a spoon, until it was no longer pink (about 5 minutes).

Finally, I added 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) of undrained diced tomatoes in juice and 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) of pinto beans (drained and rinsed). I brought the mixture to a boil over high heat, reduced it to a simmer, and cooked the chili until it was slightly thickened, about 12 minutes. I served mine with sour cream and scallions.


This chili is good – it has a nice texture and I appreciate that it’s on the healthier side. It doesn’t have a really strong flavor, though, which is what I’m used to when I eat chili. Once we added our toppings (we ended up throwing some crushed blue tortilla chips in there as well), the flavor really improved. Grated cheddar or pepper jack would be really nice too. Since it’s mild, this is a perfect kid-friendly chili. I would just use extra seasoning or a variety of toppings to dress it up a bit more for the adult crowd.

Recipe link: Lighter Beef Chili

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