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Garden Chili

Stew or chili—here's a delicious, spicy-as-you-want-it garden chili to try.

Garden Chili
Photo by Stephanie Staton

If you want to get technical, this isn’t chili, but rather a chili-flavored stew. Call it what you will, it’s delicious, healthy and substitution-friendly.

Use ground beef instead of turkey; all red or all yellow tomatoes; and whatever fresh or frozen vegetables you have on hand—green beans, okra, diced winter squash, mushrooms, corn, celery, et cetera.


  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1½ cups diced white or yellow onions
  • 1 T. minced fresh garlic
  • 2 cups peeled, chopped red tomatoes
  • 2 cups peeled, chopped yellow tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 cups mixed sweet bell peppers, seeds and membranes removed, diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 2 T. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 15.5-ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 29-ounce can hominy, drained
  • 3 cups seeded and diced mixed summer squash (such as zucchini, yellow crookneck and pattypan)
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil.

Add turkey, onions and garlic; cook and stir until onion just begins to soften. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, bell peppers, carrots and spices.

Stir well, cover, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, stirring often. Stir in hominy, kidney beans and squash.

Continue simmering, uncovered, for an additional 30 to 60 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. Stir in cilantro just before serving.

Thanks to my friend Emily for inspiring this recipe. -Michelle Iten

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Reader Comments
Ps. I cooked the turkey separately, and then threw it all in a slow cooker!! It worked great! I bet the cilantro may have been tastier at the end, but I just made it super easy (the cooking part!!
Heidi, Lakewood, CO
Posted: 9/23/2014 5:47:36 PM
This is absolutely delicious!! I had to use 1/2 canned, organic chopped tomatoes, and did not have ancho chili powder,or hominy?? But added 1 c. chopped celery, 1 tsp. red pepper flakes and 1 tsp. turmeric, used 3 different types of beans, and a butternut squash….. Sooo good! Thanks for the recipe!!
Heidi, Lakewood, CO
Posted: 9/23/2014 5:44:03 PM
Wonder if this exact same recipe will work just as good in a slow cooker.
Dante, Hyde Park, MA
Posted: 1/21/2014 6:30:13 PM
Whats Hominy?
Viv, Sydney, MS
Posted: 7/8/2010 3:57:16 AM
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