Low carb, low fat, HIGH in veggies and lean protein and FLAYverrrrrr! Everything I need chili to be. Honestly I never cared about the beans anyway. Always just figured they were supposed to be there. But when I wanted to crank out a giant pot of warm, savory, meaty, belly-filling and soul-warming chili… I wanted to know the macros would be good enough that EVEN I would eat the leftovers. Because I’ve learned I’ll spend a little more at dinner with my family, but if it’s not solid level-ten macro-efficiency I won’t touch it on the second go-around.
But this one I can’t stop eating. It’s so light! And so good! And it’s cooling off just enough over here that when I come home from the gym and sit at my computer, my sweaty clothes give me the chills! (I’m gross). And I’m reminded of how amazing a warm bowl of leftovers can be for lunch. With a quick re-heat, I’ve got a hearty, TASTY bowl of goodness in like 2 minutes. And macros to spare. CAN’T BEAT THAT.
Cast of Characters:
Here’s what you’ll need to make it. A few familiar items because it’s CHILI! And a couple of surprises. Well maybe not, if you know me. So predictable.
- Two kinds of ground turkey.
- The normal “lean” for plenty of flavor
- The extra lean for bulk and protein without the added fat.
- Onions, peppers, and garlic for tons of flavor
- CAULIFLOWER RICE for bulk
- Kabocha squash if you’ve got it because I LOVE IT! No biggie if you don’t….
We’re not done…. but I wanted to give you a second to imagine you get stir in that sour cream dallop and take your lunch-break now. I love that part.
- Tomatoey stuff (official term):
- Tomato Paste- your chili will survive if you don’t have it. But if you find it at your store, STOCK IT! I get mine at Trader Joe’s in a tube which is so much easier to store than the cans of course. Such a rich, condensed hearty tomato flavor packed in there. Brown it with your veggies to really bring out the flavor.
- Diced canned tomatoes AND jarred marinara sauce (or you can use canned tomato sauce) … because sweet+acidic+juicy which is a must in chili.
- Liquidy Stuff:
- Green Enchilada Sauce for more flavor! I grew up on this stuff and I think it makes almost every soup better! Love it. Yes you’ll have leftover sauce in the can you’ll have to store and you might hate me a little for that but I’m willing to accept it.
- Chicken Broth for essentially macro-free bulk and overall texture perfection
- Spices and what nots:
- Chili powder
- Liquid Smoke because that little hit of smokiness is JUST a good thing.
Can you use an Instant Pot?
I thought about making this in the instant pot. But honestly I didn’t see the point for this one. You’ve got to take the couple of minutes to brown your ground turkey and get it all crumbled. I experimented with a dump and walk ground turkey/IP situation and it was NOT good. Like a giant tough hamburger in there.
Also, browning your peppers, onions, and tomato paste brings out a whole new level and depth of flavor! And once you’ve taken those few minutes, the work is pretty much done. So I don’t really see the point in switching it over to an IP when you could just dump the rest of the ingredients in, and stick the lid on and simmer. Plus when you take a picture of it in your dutch oven it’s way cuter and you feel more domestic circa 1950 which is cool.
And yes you could do the browning in the Instant Pot… BUUUT… everything browns SO much better in a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven on your stove. And no IP magic is needed to pressure cook anything after… SO don’t kill me for using a good old pot and wooden spoon for this one mmkay? I’ll make it up to you soon with some new IP shreddy meat – promise. xo
How you’ll make it:
I love meals like this. No it’s not quite as simple as a dump and walk away pot, but still so easy. Just a few layers of sauteeing… so your house smells amazing and you’re excited for dinner at three in the afternoon. And then the rest gets thrown in to simmer ’till you get to dive in!
- Sautee your peppers, onions, tomato paste, and cauliflower rice
- Add your garlic, meats, and spices and try not to nibble because it might still be raw but you’ll want to because THE SMELL – so good
- Then dump everything else in and simmer till later– when you get to unveil a gorgeous massive pot of healthy, macro-friendly but more importantly still FAMILY-FRIENDLY chili.
Low Carb Turkey Cauliflower Chili
- 1 medium onion diced 335 g
- 2 bell peppers diced 320 g
- 1 tbs kosher salt
- 2 tbs tomato paste 30 g- optional*
- 200 g cauliflower rice fresh or frozen
- 1.6 lb lean ground turkey 93/7 (I use one container of Foster Farms from Costco, it’s 723 g or 1.59lb- feel free to use whatever you have if you’re not worried about logging my macros.)
- 1 lb extra lean ground turkey 99/1
- 5 tbs chili powder
- 4 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 7 frozen dorot cubes of garlic or fresh minced cloves
- 28 oz canned diced tomatoes with juice
- 1/2 cup 112g marinara (I use Victoria organic marinara from Costco- 6 carbs/half cup)
- 1 cup green enchilada sauce 240 g
- 2 cups chicken broth I use Kirkland
- 250 g frozen diced kabocha squash I get it at Trader Joes
- 1/2 tbs liquid smoke optional*
- Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat, spray with cooking spray and add onions, peppers, tomato paste, and 1 tbs kosher salt. Saute for a few minutes ’till veggies are soft.
- Add cauliflower rice and cook for a another minute or two.
- Add the meat, chili powder, cumin, and oregano, stirring and browning the ground turkey, working to break it up until small pieces (the leaner one takes more work). Add garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the remaining ingredients: canned tomatoes, marinara, green enchilada sauce, chicken broth and kabocha squash and liquid smoke if using. Stir together, then cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Top with cheese, avocado, sour cream, cilantro… fritos! Whatever makes your chili YOUR CHILI. I’ll let you add those macros yourself.
- *I love the frozen kabocha squash from Trader Joes. It’s so easy and quick and a little lower in carbs than other squash. It’s not a huge amount in this chili so if you choose to skip it, it hardly makes any difference in the macros per serving. (-1c,+.5f,=1.8p) (
- This kept great for a week in the fridge, but it thickened up and could use more chicken broth. If you track your macros, just reheat individual bowls, that way you can weigh your portion of the original recipe, and then just add ½ cup or so of broth to your own bowl for easy logging.
- We freeze any leftovers we really won’t get through in large ziplock bags. I’ll place the frozen bag in a large bowl to thaw in the fridge later. Then heat in a pot until warm. Add more chicken stock if it’s too thick.
- For Macro-counters: You can log this directly from MFP by searching “Lillie Eats and Tells Turkey Cauliflower Chili”. The servings are in grams so you don’t have to eat as much as I do! Ha.