Simple, Hearty, and Warm: Chili Love

Last night was the first night of my new semester of grad school. Mitch can attest to the fact that I have been a little stressed and a lot of sleep deprivation after returning from my chaperoning adventure the weekend prior. The last thing I really wanted (or needed) was a virtual meeting for grad school introductions to be wordy and over time. Which it most certainly was. Strike 1: our “brief” meeting was set to begin at 6:30 pm, and at 8:30 when I finally unplugged my headphones, I was happy to know that my stomach growling wasn’t audible through the speakers and microphone.

One of the cardinal rules of dealing with an educator is not to get in the way of their food. Especially food on their personal time. Strike 2 CI 510.

Needless to say, I had planned for the potential for this occurrence. I know how these things can go, and my meal plan accounted for. Turkey Chili. A big, warm pot of savory goodness set to fill you up and get you going in no time flat. As I gathered the ingredients from my pantry stash, I quickly realized that I was lacking one of the essential ingredients: the seasoning packet. You know, that tiny red packet that makes chili magically taste, well, like chili? Thank goodness for Google- there’s an answer for that. And honestly, now that I know the answer and how simple and cost effective it is, I don’t think I’m ever going back to buying it again! It tastes JUST like the packet, and increasing the amount allows you to amp up the spice as desired. This is also a great way to control the salt, unknown substances in your food, and a quick way to make it gluten-free if that’s your lifestyle.

Turkey (or Ground Beef too) Chili


  • 1lb ground turkey
  • 1 8oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5oz can of kidney beans
  • 1/8 cup flour (optional for thickening)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder or minced onion
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste


  1. Brown the meat in a pot over medium heat
  2. While it is browning, mix all the spices together (and flour if using) thoroughly in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. When browned, add the tomato sauce and beans to the pan
  4. Start with only 2 tablespoons of your spice mix. This will yield the flavor of the McCormick packet. If you like it spicier, add more by the 1/2 tablespoon
  5. Bring to boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Top with crackers, cheese, sour cream…the opportunities are endless

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