Sunday, October 11, 2020

Giada's California Turkey Chili w/ Quinoa and Pine Nut Pilaf

Fall break is a glorious invention. An entire week off in the beginning of October to enjoy the most beautiful and wonderful time of year. It is simply the best! We went to the zoo, we caught up on appointments, we played board games, we read books outside, we binge watched shows, and we slept in! 

We are closing a beautiful week spent outdoors with a rather rainy gloomy day, but I am ok with that because it is perfect weather for making chili, Giada's California Turkey Chili w/ Quinoa and Pine Nut Pilaf to be exact. This is a recipe I've been wanting to make for ages and I'm so happy to finally be getting around to it.

Now, 99% of our world makes absolutely ZERO sense right now and to illustrate that, we are going back to "in person" school this week right as our state suffers the most coronavirus cases it has ever had! What the what? Does anything make sense anymore? Well, I'll tell you what does make sense: chili. Chili always makes sense. Chili is perfect for meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans. Chili works for everyone. 

So as I mask up and head back to the germiest place known to man, I will pack this chili and take delight in something that does actually make sense. A delicious and healthy chili packed with creamy white beans and chunky bits of savory turkey packed in an extremely flavorful broth served over the most delicious quinoa and pine nut pilaf, which helps to give the chili great texture. 

Now, I will confess that I am partial to Giada's recipes. We usually almost always love them, but this chili is a step above the rest. It really is SO GOOD! If you're wanting to try your hand at a new chili recipe, this one is solid gold. I absolutely loved all the flavors from the poblanos, onions, celery, tomato paste, and spices. You can add garnishes if you like, but really and truly this chili doesn't need anything added to it. It is simply perfect the way it is! Five stars, Giada! 

California Turkey Chili w/ Quinoa and Pine Nut Pilaf

Adapted by Food Network

by Giada DeLaurentiis

Serves 4-6

For the Chili

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 large cloves garlic, smashed, peeled and chopped

2 large poblano chiles, stemmed,seeded and diced

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1-1/2 pounds ground turkey 

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons tomato paste

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons (packed) brown sugar

1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, crushed

salt and black pepper, to taste

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon*

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves*

3 cups chicken broth

One 15-16 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

Simplest Quinoa and Pine Nut Pilaf, recipe below

Assorted garnishes, such as chopped onion, shredded Cheddar, chopped tomatoes, and/or sour cream

Simplest Quinoa and Pine Nut Pilaf

1-1/4 cups whole grain quinoa 

1-3/4 cups chicken broth

salt and pepper, to taste

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

1/3 cup pine nuts

*Notes: I omitted the cinnamon and cloves because I don't care for those flavors in chili.

For the Chili: Heat the oil in a heavy, large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, poblanos, celery and onions. Saute until the vegetables soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the turkey and saute until no longer pink, breaking up the turkey with the back of a spoon, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over and stir to blend. Add the tomato paste,chili powder, cumin, sugar, oregano, salt and pepper, cinnamon and cloves*. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring to blend. Add the broth and beans. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the flavors blend and the chili thickens to desired consistency, stirring often, 20 to 30 minutes. Season with more salt and pepper.

For the Quinoa Pilaf: Place the quinoa in a fine sieve. Rinse under cold running water 1 full minute. Set aside to drain. Bring the broth, salt and pepper to a boil in heavy, medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the quinoa. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the quinoa is tender and all the broth is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let the quinoa stand, still covered,for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F. Scatter pine nuts on a small rimmed baking sheet. Toast the nuts until golden, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet. Mix the parsley and pine nuts into the quinoa.

To Serve: Spoon Simplest Quinoa and Pine Nut Pilaf into deep bowls. Ladle chili over. Serve with garnishes, such as chopped radishes, pickled jalapeno, crumbled cheese, tortilla chips, and or pico de gallo. See list of garnishes above, as well.


  1. This does look really good! I may have to try it with faux ground meat. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays. ;-)

  2. I recently have starting eating quinoa and I'm really enjoying it. This chili looks delicious and is great for the fall weather. thanks for sharing it.

  3. Stay safe!!! Comfort food like this definitely helps get even through the most stressful of times.

  4. This 5-star chili makes sense. Why is it so hard to make sense of things? Stay safe and be well as you head back to school. Don't forget the flu shots.

  5. This looks perfect for a cold night. Bet the weather is lovely, must be nice to see all the changes in season for me its usually from books and tv :)


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