This Miracle Chili recipe was created for kids by kids and is definitely a crowd pleaser. Gluten-free and made with ground turkey, my little chef and his 2nd grade friends were having too much fun to realize that they were making a healthy dish.
Apparently, this chili cook-off is a big deal! Parent volunteers are asked to bring a special recipe and prepare it with a small group of students. The students were asked to help prepare the recipe, give it a name then share it with a panel of judges. The top recipe would be voted the winner of the chili cook-off and have bragging rights for the whole year.
As an advocate of kid leaders in the kitchen, I decided to leave it up to the kids to create their own chili recipe for the cook-off. They LOVED this idea. I simply brought a variety of ingredients from them to choose from and watched my small team of chefs go to work.
First we started with ground turkey that I had browned the night before with salt, pepper and onions. We used these awesome Slow Cooker Liners for fast and easy clean-up after we were done. They are BPA-free approved for the FDA for cooking.
The team agreed that they wanted to add tomatoes to the recipe. Luckily for them, I prepared for that request and had two fresh tomatoes. Unluckily, I forgot to bring any knives or a food processor (and I thought I was so prepared). But it takes the ingenuity of kids to come up with a great solution. One of the students yelled “Let’s just crush ’em”. Another kid chimed in “Yeah…with our hands!” I made the kids washed their hands again and the kids were having so much fun crushing the tomatoes that the other teams started coming to our table. One of the young girls pointed out that she loved that were using fresh tomatoes instead of canned like the other teams.
After adding a few more ingredients such as red beans, black beans and corn, the team tasted their dish before adding more ingredients. They decided that the recipe needed more flavor so they chose to add fresh cilantro and dried oregano. The little chefs learned that adding fresh herbs was fun and easy as tearing leaves.
SOUS CHEF MOMMY TIP:Knowing how to taste food is just as important as learning how to follow a recipe. Teach your little chef how to taste food as they cook to understand how ingredients impact flavor.
After tasting their recipe again, the team of tiny chefs all agreed that you can’t make chili without a chili mix. I found this fantastic gluten-free chili mix, Carroll Shelby’s Original Texas Chili Kit, that was made with corn flour instead of wheat flour like the other popular mixes. This was a perfect option for this mixed crowd of kids with varying dietary needs. We only added just a little bit of hot chili powder to make sure that it wasn’t too spicy for a kids palette.
So here’s their final recipe (I have another version below for your convenience). They were so proud that not only they made the decisions on what to include in their recipe but also came up with a name that reflected what a miracle it was to have them all work together and agree on something!
“The Miracle Chili” Recipe:
Our team didn’t win their official chili cook-off but in my opinion it was the best darn chili in the 2nd grade. The kids left proud and confident about their new cooking skills which makes them winners in my book.
My little chef had a great time at Cowboy Day where they all dressed up as cowboys, ate chili and enjoyed a fun filled day with friends.
Tools and Ingredients Used in this Recipe
- 2 lbs of ground turkey
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon meat or steak seasoning (optional)
- 1 can mild chili red beans
- 1 can mild chili black beans
- 1 can corn
- 2 tomatoes, crushed
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 package of chili seasoning
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- In a large skillet, use 1 tablespoon of olive oil to saute chopped onions until tender and transparent. Add another tablespoon of olive oil along with ground turkey, salt, pepper, garlic powder and meat or steak seasoning. I like to use meat seasoning to add flavor when cooking with ground turkey.
- Cook meat until brown then drain extra oil.
- In a Slow Cooker, combine meat and onion mixture along with red beans, black beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro and oregano. Follow chili seasoning mix instruction then add chili mix.
- Let cook for 3-4 hours and stir occasionally. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!