Turkey Chili with Cilantro and Green Onion Pesto

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 6 servings

A simple pesto made with pistachios, cilantro and green onion deliver so much flavor, you’ll never eat chili without it again.

Turkey Chili
Karry Hosford

Chili is one of the easiest dishes to turn into a healthful meal. In this version, ground lean turkey is used and the proportion of ingredients is tipped in favor of the veggies.


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), quartered lenghwise 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, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
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 or large pot over medium-high heat.  Crumble turkey into pot; cook, stirring to crumble, until turkey is 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 processor and finely chop.  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.



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