Maybe it’s my inner George Costanza, but I’m shifting into soup mode. That means making all the cozy meals, watching Gilmore Girls from the beginning, and wrapping myself in all things cozy comfort. Y’all, I love this season. And while I can’t get enough of the rich and hearty stews and cheesy, creamy delights, I also try to keep a solid rotation of recipes packed with nutritious, delicious ingredients. Enter: Danielle Walker‘s Turkey Chili Verde Recipe.
With her latest book, Healthy in a Hurry, the New York Times bestselling cookbook author is back with all her best gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free recipes. From no-cook lunches to freezer-friendly options and sheet pan dinners, Danielle’s recipes focus on getting healthy meals on the table with ease. And this turkey chili verde recipe checks all of those boxes and more.
Keep reading for Danielle’s kitchen tips and ideas for make-ahead, packed-with-flavor meals. Plus, she’s sharing the ingredient swaps for this turkey chili verde recipe that even a vegetarian like myself can’t wait to try.
How would you describe your food philosophy?
The easiest way to describe the way I eat is the paleo diet. It focuses on nutrient-dense meals that are high in vegetables, fruits, and good-quality proteins. When you eat a paleo diet, you learn to be aware of the ingredients in the foods you are consuming, and you try to avoid chemicals, fillers, and additives. That means choosing whole, real foods over packaged and processed whenever possible.
The foods that I avoid are those that cause inflammation and digestive issues for me and for many other people. Because good health and a healthy immune system originate in the gut, eliminating these foods has the potential to cause a major positive effect on your overall health and wellbeing.
Despite this, my mission has always been to create dishes that are full of flavor and incredible textures, while also trying to keep things approachable and enjoyable. The recipes in Healthy in a Hurry were all developed with this in mind and understanding that while everyone may want to eat a little healthier during the week, we don’t always have the time it takes to do so.
How did you develop this Turkey Chili Verde recipe?
I grew up eating a white chicken chili recipe that my mom made, and that I loved. I’ve always loved the acidity and brightness that tomatillos or tomatillo salsa bring to a dish, and would choose salsa verde over red salsas or sauces any day. Give me all the tomatillos and green chiles!
Since a paleo diet does not include legumes, getting a chili to thicken to more than just a brothy soup can be difficult. For this recipe, I simmer white sweet potatoes in the chili to give it more of a full body, and bits of cauliflower to add heartiness.
What makes this turkey chili verde recipe your go-to?
I go back to this one time and again because it’s always a crowd pleaser and because it’s so simple and easy. Especially if you take a short cut and use Siete Enchilada sauce. The method in which this recipe is written for Healthy in a Hurry is a make-ahead freezer rendition. It has you prepare it all in just a few minutes, then freeze it so it’s more of a meal kit that you can remove and cook quickly when you’re short on time.
Sure, you can cook it right away and enjoy it for dinner, but my favorite way to do it is double it up and freeze one whole meal as instructed, and the second for dinner that evening.
What are your favorite methods for making this turkey chili verde recipe?
This is a one-pot meal at its finest! You can do it in an electric pressure cooker, or in a slow cooker. Or even in a Dutch oven on the stove.
I adore my Instant Pot for soups and stews and meal-prep dinners like this one. Mostly because you don’t have to have the forethought to defrost something. You can throw it in completely frozen and don’t have to worry about food-borne illness like you do with frozen meats in a slow cooker.
What stand-out ingredients make this recipe special?
The seasoning mixture is really unique with the hint of cinnamon in it and the use of white pepper. If you can, find dried Mexican oregano—it will take the flavors to a whole new level!
Can this recipe be made vegetarian?
Everything in Healthy in a Hurry is already gluten-, grain-, and dairy-free so you don’t need to make any swaps there, but this chili could easily be made vegetarian as well. Instead of the ground turkey, just bump up all the veggies. I’d suggest adding diced zucchini and even some minced portobello mushrooms here.
What are your go-to hacks for making cooking easy and delicious?
When you prep, batch-cook, and freeze meals ahead of time, it can really make your entire week less stressful. Plus it’s always so nice to “find” a fully prepared meal in the freezer on a hectic night or for unexpected company.
What Healthy in a Hurry recipe should readers make first?
The sheet pan Spaghetti Squash with Chicken, Bacon, and Ranch! So easy, and such a crowd pleaser for kids, adults, and even those who don’t have to eat grain- or dairy-free.
What is your favorite part about creating recipes?
Anytime someone has to give up a food they love, whether for allergies, autoimmune disease, chronic illness, or just to eat a little healthier, we mourn those foods that were staples in our traditions. Recreating those foods people think they’ve lost forever and getting to give them back that gift in their kitchens is by far the most gratifying part of my job.
Reprinted from DANIELLE WALKER’S HEALTHY IN A HURRY by Danielle Walker. Copyright © 2022 by Simple Writing Holdings, LLC. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
Photographs copyright © 2022 by Aubrie Pick.
dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free
For the chili verde:
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 2 pounds ground dark-meat turkey
- 1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1 pound white-fleshed sweet potatoes or parsnips, peeled and diced
- 4 (4-ounce) cans diced green chiles
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 to 5 cups chicken Bone Broth (use recipe from Healthy in a Hurry or use store-bought, like Bonafide Provisions or Bare Bones, or a low to no sodium broth)
- 3 3/4 cups green Enchilada Sauce (use recipe from Healthy in a Hurry or use store-bought, like Siete)
- Cilantro leaves, lime wedges, grain-free tortilla chips, and/or dairy-free sour cream, for serving
In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, until browned. Transfer to a resealable bag or glass container and let cool. Add the cauliflower, sweet potatoes, green chiles, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Seal tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up 6 months.
To Use an Electric Pressure Cooker: To cook from frozen, partially defrost the container in a bowl of warm water for 15 minutes. Place the partially frozen ingredients in the pressure cooker, add 4 cups of the broth and the enchilada sauce, select the manual button, and cook at high pressure for 5 minutes. To cook from thawed, add the 4 cups broth and the enchilada sauce and cook for 5 minutes. Quick release the pressure. Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with the toppings of your choice.
To Use a Slow Cooker: Defrost completely, then place the ingredients in the slow cooker with the 5 cups broth and the enchilada sauce. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours. Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with the toppings of your choice
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Really great recipe. I love making this.