turkey picadillo chili with quinoa
Turkey chili is made with the unexpected addition of picadillo seasonings, olives and raisins, and a hearty dose of quinoa stands in for beans. It is not your everyday chili, and it is totally delicious! It is ready in 40 minutes flat!
I originally shared this same recipe as a guest post on Simply Quinoa on January 14, 2014.
If you haven’t had picadillo before then you may think I am completly nutty when I explain this chili, so let’s start there: What is Picadillo?
Picadillo is a savory ground beef dish served in South America, the Philippines and Spain. It varies widely by region, but it is a type of hash, usually made with ground beef, lots of spices, including a hit of cinnamon or other sweet spices, and sometimes green olives, capers and raisins.
It is often served with rice, tortillas or in a pastry shell (as in empanadas.) I love picadillo because I am obsessed with sweet and savory dishes; and picadillo pretty much covers both sweet and savory and all the other tastes in between!
Here on the blog I shared this savory picadillo with olives and raisins which can be made with ground beef, venison or bison and served taco style in corn tortillas. It’s ready in 20 minutes flat!
TIPS FOR MAKING PICADILLO TURKEY CHILI WITH QUINOA
- Start with 93% lean ground turkey. Look for ground turkey without added ingredients or “natural flavors.” This is important for browning and creating fond. That’s because the added water and natural flavors make turkey weep and keep the meat from caramelizing.In other words, browning is key to flavor development and will make the chili much richer tasting.
- Soften your vegetables and then add in the spices. Taking the time to bloom the spices before adding liquid ingredients is an easy win and will help to bring out the flavors in the spices.
- Next comes water and quinoa. Did I mention this was anything but your typical chili recipe? Here’s why. This step is how you get the veggies and quinoa tender- to replace the beans. The reason it is important to add the before the tomatoes, is that the acid in the tomatoes prevents the quinoa from becoming tender.
- Last add the turkey and tomatoes are added in at the end. Plus the olives and raisins, which is strange- I know. But it totally works! Try it!
MORE CHILI RECIPES
WHAT TO SERVE WITH THIS CHILI
Thanks so much for reading. Please come back and let me know if you try the recipe by either leaving a comment or rate this recipe! Or you can give me a shout on social media. I really love hearing from you so much. (Yes I am talking to you! 😉 ) Have a great day and Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
Turkey Chili gets an unexpected twist: it is made picadillo style with cinnamon, raisins and olives and a hearty dose of quinoa instead of beans.
- 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
- 1 large onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup diced bell pepper
- 1 cup diced zucchini
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili or ¼ teaspoon cayenne or to taste
- 3 cups water
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup sliced green olives, rinsed
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, optional
- toasted pepitas, chopped cilantro and avocado for garnish
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium- high heat. Add turkey and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon until no longer pink, and starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove turkey from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pot. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper and zucchini and cook until the vegetables are starting to soften and brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, salt, cinnamon and chipotle (or cayenne) and cook, stirring often until fragrant, 30 to 90 seconds.
- Add water and quinoa and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the quinoa has just burst open a little bit, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Add the reserved turkey, tomatoes, olives and raisins and return to a simmer, stirring often. Simmer until the flavors meld, 4 to 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls, top with cheddar and garnish with pepitas, cilantro and avocado if desired.
- Serving Size: 1 cup chili, plus toppings
- Calories: 228
- Sodium: 281
- Fat: 8
- Saturated Fat: 2
- Carbohydrates: 25
- Protein: 18
- Cholesterol: 61