Turkey chili with zucchini and corn

A happy balance between my regular turkey chili and all-veggie chili, this variation utilizes favorite summer vegetables.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and diced
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (1 teaspoon table salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • Crushed red pepper, to taste
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (1 lb frozen)
  • 1 3.8-oz can sliced black olives

Toppings (any or all)

  • Cheddar cheese, grated
  • Sour cream or plain greek yogurt
  • Avocado, cubed or sliced
  • Scallions, sliced thin
  • Cilantro, chopped


  1. Heat large saucepan or Dutch oven on medium heat. Add olive oil, onions, garlic and zucchini. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add ground turkey, breaking up meat with a large spoon. Cook until meat is cooked through (no pink).
  3. Add salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin and oregano to the meat. Cook briefly to heat spices.
  4. Rinse beans in colander. Add to meat and stir.
  5. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce and water (I fill tomato sauce can, which is just about 2 cups) and add. Stir.
  6. When chili starts to boil, turn heat to low and cover. Cook at a lively simmer for 20 minutes. Check periodically and add more water if necessary.
  7. Add corn, olives and crushed red pepper to taste. Serve with toppings as desired: grated cheese, sour cream or plain greek yogurt, diced avocado, slivered scallions, chopped cilantro.


  • Feel free to use whatever beans you have handy – kidney beans are of course the classic chili bean, but pinto, white kidney (cannellini) or even garbanzo beans (chickpeas) all work.
  • Optional adds: chipotle chili powder or smoked paprika if you have either.
  • Leftover chili will thicken when cooled. Add a bit of water when reheating if you like it soupier.

Here’s a link back to the post and pictures.

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