“Harvest Chili” for that t-day feeling in a one pot meal 

Worth reposting from a 2014 entry,  as I was talking about it with a pal recently and think I will be remaking it myself soon. A

Every so often I want a hearty meal reminiscent of all the traditional flavors of thanksgiving — but a) don’t want to make all the parts or b) its the middle of the summer. So what to do? Figure out how to get all the flavors in a simpler delivery process.  After thinking on this for a few days – I came up with this simple recipe for a “Harvest” chili. Its easy to swap out flavors that suit your tastes was well. This is a “working” recipe. Which means it is in progress-so open to hearing suggestions from folks as well. I’m working on a slow cooker varation as well.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of real butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped, small dice
  • 3-4 Ribs of celery, chopped, small dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2  pounds ground turkey
  • 1/2  lb of ground sausage (maple or Italian will work too) bulk style Jimmie Dean style breakfast sausage is my preference here. (You can use the precooked as well – just add in later)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons commercial poultry seasoning
  • 1 – 1-1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley (or ½ cup fresh chopped)
  • 2-3 tablespoons corn starch (or flour)
  • 2 cans, rinsed  and drained red kidney beans
  • 1 -2 pealed & cubed sweet potatoes (raw with skin on- cube them around the same size as the beans)
  • 1 bunch (about 1 pound) Swiss chard, (or spinach or other greens) stems removed, leaves chopped rough
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed (worked with frozen ok – and I used the whole bag  large kernels)
  • Chicken base to equal 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock (even better if you have turkey stock)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  •  Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
  •  1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (as garnish)
  • Cranberry sauce or chutney (as garnish)
  • Breadcrumbs or crutons (as garnish)

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or dutch oven, add oil and butter.
Turn on and heat the oil/butter over medium-high heat.
Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add chopped celery stir until soft.
Stir in  fennel seeds, stir well to allow the fennel seeds to get warm and mix with vegetables.
Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Add poultry seasoning, salt, dried parsley, and red pepper flakes.
Cook until its well incorporated and hot (2- 5 minutes).

Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add oil to the same pan, heat and add the ground turkey and sausage to the pan, cook, stirring frequently, until the turkey is cooked through, about 8 minutes. You want a but if a brown sear. (You can also cook these in two steps)

Drain the oil and return the turkey and sausage to the pot. 

Hint: Add some additonal fennel seeds to the meat while its cooking.

Bring all the meat to heat, add the set aside vegatable mixture together in the larger of the pans. Stir the cornstarch (or flour) into the vegetable/meat mixture (I just add the flour and coat the mixture – but you can also make a slurry with the flour and warm water – then add it with the stock.)

Add chicken stock, kidney beans, chopped sweet potatoes, mix to incorporate – you may need to add more water so it just covers the mixture by an inch.

Bring it up to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom & sides of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 35 minutes and while you still have some moisture add the greens and corn. Cook another 10 – 15 minutes until the chili has thickens.

Turn off the heat or turn down to low,  toss in ¼ – ½ cup of cut (in half) sweet grape or cherry tomatoes, and fresh chopped parsley. I find that adding it at the end and letting the heat of the chili itself “cooks” the tomato and parsley just enough and the seetness of the tomatoes balance the cooked flavors. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste

Note – At this point it’s a personal preference how loose or thick you want the chili – you can add more broth or water – or to add a another layer – pour in a good quality low sodium  turkey gravy .

Alternatives to the recipe included adding Worchester sauce (about 2 tspn) when adding the stock and it gave a nice undertone – worked well with the all turkey version.

You can go for a more traditional touch, chopped Granny Smith apples or peeled chestnuts, raisins or currents and heating  them in it just long enough to get them warm – but still pop when you bite them.  

You can also add cooked rice or fresh tortellini or mini raviolis (cooked) if you want to make it more hardy. 

To serve, place in a bowl, top with croutons and a spoonfull of cranberry sauce or chutney or smoked nuts.

Note: Alternatively, you can toss in some dried “bread cubes” or cubed italian style bread crumbs to give you that “stuffing” feel earlier when you add the tomatoes as well. .

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