Turkey Chili with Cilantro and Green Onion Pesto

Featured Article, Food, Recipes
on October 12, 2012
Karry Hosford

Make a more healthful chili by using ground turkey instead of beef. As a terrific garnish, whirl us a simple pesto made with pistachios, cilantro and green onion. It adds so much flavor that you’ll never again eat chili without it.

1 pound ground lean turkey
1 cup diced red onion
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1 cup diagonally sliced carrots
2 medium zucchini (total 1 pound), cut into quarters lengthwise and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (7 1/2-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
3 cups hot cooked brown rice


3 tablespoons pistachio nuts
1 1/3 cups packed fresh cilantro
1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
3 green onions (white and light green parts), chopped
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. To prepare chili, heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add turkey to pan, breaking up clumps with a spoon. Cook until browned. Add onion, green pepper, carrots and zucchini. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, water, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper.

2. Remove 2 chiles and 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from can; reserve remaining chiles and sauce for another use. Mince the chiles; add minced chiles and the 1 teaspoon adobo sauce to chili; stir to combine. Cover and bring to a simmer, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes.

3. To prepare pesto, place pistachios in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add cilantro, parsley and onion; pulse to coarsely chop. With motor running, add water, oil, lime juice, cheese, salt and pepper and process until blended. Makes about 3/4 cup pesto.

4. Serve chili with rice and pesto. Serves 6.

Nutritional facts per serving: 420 calories, 14g fat, 45mg cholesterol, 25g protein, 50g carbohydrates, 10g fiber, 800mg sodium

This recipe originally appeared as Turkey Chili with Cilantro and Green Onion Pesto on Relish.com