My favorite protein-packed, one-pot chili

Let’s get one thing straight: A pot of chili shouldn’t be a dumping ground for leftovers.

The best bowls contain a range of fresh and flavorful ingredients – beyond the traditional beef and beans – for a healthy, one-dish dinner.

My favorite take on this comforting weeknight meal is power-packed and delicious with a surprising ingredient (cinnamon!) that adds just the right kick to round out the flavors.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced¬†
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) whole corn kernels, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Diced green onions (optional)
  • Tabasco sauce (optional)
  • Pickled jalapeno slices (optional)


  1. Add olive oil to a frying pan, and saute the onion and garlic over medium-high heat. Dump in the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon while cooking for 5-10 minutes, or until all the turkey turns white or beef turns brown (no longer pink). Drain excess fat from the pan, and put cooked mixture into crock-pot.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, plus kidney beans, black beans, corn kernels, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a simmer on low, cooking for 1-2 hours (or longer if you want to prepare before work and come home to a hot meal!).
  3. Ladle into bowls, topping each serving with 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt and 1 tablespoon of the shredded cheese. Add a few dashes of Tabasco sauce, a sprinkle of diced green onions and some pickled jalapeno slices, if desired.

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