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Green Chili – Why Making It Yourself Is Priceless

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Mr. Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring this year…but it’s still freezing cold around here and there’s nothing better to warm up than having a nice hot pot of chili cooking on the stove.

I used to love ordering chili or soup in restaurants until I learned about all the GMO oils, hidden forms of MSG, and other chemical additives they were likely putting in the spices and/or broth. To much heart ache, I found out even the fancier delis and gourmet shops – like Dean & Delucca, use these type of ingredients too.

One of the worst ingredient offenders is of course Wendy’s. Here are the list of ingredients for their chili and all the toppings, so you can see for yourself:

Wendy's Ingredients

I think it’s quite telling that they have to put artificial food colors in their chili – a dead giveaway that they are not using the best ingredients and have to cover them up with color. The combination of artificial colorsnatural flavor, and hidden MSG in the form of autolyzed yeast extract is a food industry trick to get you addicted to the look and taste of food, creating sensory overload by exciting your brain cells.

This is not a trick I want someone playing on me.

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So this is why I investigate my soup whenever I dine out. I specifically ask if the broth is homemade, if it has various “extracts” and what kind of oil is used.

Being always on the lookout can get tiring – that’s why knowing how to make a really good homemade chili and one that you can freeze for later when you are on a tight schedule – is absolutely priceless.

This green chili is a favorite around here…Sometimes I make it with ground turkey, sometimes I don’t – it’s totally adaptable to your dietary preference – and it turns out delicious every single time.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Green Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound ground white turkey breast (optional)
  • 2 green bell peppers chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 jar of tomatillo salsa (the green kind)
  • 1 can of diced green chiles, drained
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely sliced
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 can of Eden Foods cannellini beans (2 cans if not using turkey breast)
  • 1 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • organic sour cream (optional)
  1. Heat ½ tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over medium high heat
  2. Add ground turkey to pan and cook until browned
  3. Transfer cooked turkey to a bowl and return pot to heat
  4. Add remaining ½ tablespoon oil, bell pepper and onion and cook until softened and golden brown
  5. Add turkey back to pot with spices and salt and mix well
  6. Add bay leaf, tomatillos, chiles, jalapeños and broth, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 40 mins
  7. If you like more broth and less chunky chili, add up to two additional cups water
  8. Gently stir in beans and cook for 30 minutes more
  9. Stir in cilantro at the very end, right before serving
  10. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a lime wedge
If making vegetarian or vegan - use 1 additional portion of cannelloni beans and leave turkey cooking step out of directions. *Please choose all organic ingredients if possible*


If you know someone who could use a little homemade chili in their life – please share this post with them…who knows, maybe they’ll invite you over for a bowl!

Food Babe


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110 responses to “Green Chili – Why Making It Yourself Is Priceless

      1. We also couldn’t find an organic brand so we make our own in the food processor. It’s like 6-8 tomatillas, one clove of garlic, one small red onion, or half of a big one, some cilantro, one very small can of green chilis, maybe about 1/4 cup of it, and 1/2 tsp of salt and black pepper to taste. toss all the ingredients in the food processor and you’ve got it!

      2. Do you have a Sprout’s store near you? They sell a jarred organic tomatillo salsa. I prefer homemade but it works great in a pinch!

      3. I believe Kroger’s carries tomatillo sauce that’s USDA organic- Simply Organic Brand?

  1. I canned tomatillo salsa for the first time this summer (from organic, locally grown tomatillos!) and only used BIG jars… so this sounds perfect for cracking open a jar and using up what doesn’t get eaten quickly. Thanks!

    I’ve grown suspicious of lots of “tomato-based” things because I recently realized many of their ingredient lists include caramel color. Gross.

  2. I just bought some ground turkey and want to try this chili, I also love salsa verde… so let me add my inquiry to the above – what brand salsa do you use, or do you make your own?

  3. This looks awesome! I will have to try this recipe very soon. Great for the cold winter months 🙂

  4. Always great info.Just to add citric acid is made from different sources and sometimes it is made from corn. Which is a potential gmo product.

  5. Looks sooo good! I make vegetarian chili a lot in the colder months and this green version will be a nice change of pace. Thanks!

  6. This looks soooo good. Do you ever use poblanos? So great in green chili. Also, thanks for making your recipes easy to convert for us vegetarians/vegans!

  7. Fabulous recipe, Mz Foodbabe! I love the fact that I can print them out too.I’m going to give this one a whirl pronto. By the way, I have always been a reader of labels, and tend to go with whole non-packaged foods for the most part – but you are making me even more aware to really look at ingredients. Thank you! Keep it coming!

  8. Lots of questions on the tomatillo salsa — so I feel I should add another question to the mix! 🙂

    What size (how many ounces) is a “jar” — I have seen many sizes of jars at the stores, but also can my own… which are in quart size jars. (32 ounces).


  9. Hi Food Babe! Do you trust Trader Joe’s claim of not using GMO ingredients in their name brand products? They have this claim posted on their website but I haven’t been able to find any proof or independent verification. Just wondering what your thoughts are.

    1. I’m not Food Babe but I don’t trust the claim… it just sounds strange that a company affiliated with Aldi Stores (almost exclusively GMO) is able to somehow “beat the odds” and find non-gmo ingredients for nearly EVERY SINGLE PRODUCT on their shelfs (store brands only).

      It just doesn’t seem possible. It may be easier to find ORGANIC than NON-GMO sometimes. For example I’m guessing it is way easier to find Organic Soy Leichitin than conventional non-gmo soy leichitin. How much of a market is there for conventional non-gmo soy product? Most companies looking for non-gmo are organic ones.

      Anyway my two cents… sorry to butt in but I just feel that TJs is being “secretive” at best.

      1. We are starting to find sunflower lecithin. The good thing about sunflowers is that there is something in their genetics that makes it impossible to make them GMO. ( Source: Ken Roseboro, Non GMO Report at Heirloom Expo where Vani Spoke in September).

  10. I was just wondering how to use the pound of tomatillos i have, making my own sauce and cooking this today.
    thank you

      1. sounds good on mine i added cilantro, onion, garlic and roasted a poblano chile and a bit of vegetable to broth so it will blend and it come out very good.

  11. I mame my on tomatillo Sauce is so easy steam The tomatillos or grill them with garlic and onion and blend sov easy and yummy

  12. I’m making this green chile today to top my grill chicken breast thanks for the recipe Food Babe

  13. Thanks for all of the info, it is always shocking to learn about all the cancer causing and determental ingredients that companies put in our food.
    Not to be critical- but I am always surprised that you have not yet adopted a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. -It is not only healthy for our bodies but our souls. If I could only rid myself of consuming one thing in this world to make myself happier and healthier it would be animal products.

  14. Thanks to you Food Baby I’m going back to my roots when I was living and Mexico and my family live and a farm and my aunt cook everything from scratch I want my family to eat healthy

  15. Sounds yummy but I have a question? How spicy is it? My husband loves some “heat” but me….not so much. I just can’t enjoy food when my mouth is on fire 🙂

  16. Off topic- can you recommend a stove top too broiler temp . Skillet or? For Fritatttas, etc? If there’s a safe non-stick that would be fine, but I’m thinkin not at that temp.

  17. I thought I had came across a good recipe for Green Chili until I read the list of ingredients. I’m sure a lot of people will think this is great chili but having learned years ago in New Mexico how to make Green Chili, I just had to shake my head…My version I would leave the green bell pepper and cilantro in the refrigerator. I would leave the cumin , bay leaf, coriander , beans and oregano in the pantry. The tomatillo salsa would never be in my house . I would up the green chili to 1 full cup of freshly roasted/peeled X-hot chili .(if it ain’t hot it ain’t good)..
    I love the taste of green chili and hate to have it hidden with various spices…and yes I like it HOT.
    I do enjoy reading all the recipes here and all the good useful information provided such as this about Wendy’s chili

  18. I made this dish today, and I LOVED it. I have never had green chili before, and I was wondering how it would taste. Amazing. I always try your recipes, and next is the beet humus!

  19. Could all the ingredients just be put in a slow cooker for 6-8 hours on low? We wouldn’t be using the turkey.

  20. I made this tonight for my family who isn’t as into the “organic/clean eating” as I am, and they all LOVED IT! I served it on top of quinoa and sliced avocado — we will definitely make this again! Thank you!

  21. How many ounces in your jar of tomatillo salsa and can of green chilis?? We grow and can our own so I know they are clean but knowing the ounces would be fabulous! I can’t wait to try this one!

  22. Nice post. I find out something far more difficult on distinctive blogs everyday. It will normally be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice just a little something from their store. I’d prefer to make use of some using the content on my blog no matter if you do not mind. Natually I’ll provide you with a link on your web weblog. Thanks for sharing.

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  23. I love using knorr chicken bullion in my recipes but I noticed ingredients that are bad.. What do you recommend?

  24. I don’t normally rate recipes, in fact, I have never rated a recipe before, but this was too good not to. I made it without the turkey and added more beans and man was it good! It had just the right bite to it! Yum! 5 stars!

  25. I made it. I used half the amount of broth. I used all organic ingredients. It is all gone. That should tell you it was good…. Thanks.

  26. I just made this and it turned out delicious! I added 2 jalapenos since they weren’t very spicy, and instead of vegetable broth I used beef bone broth that I made last night. I also sauteed the onions and bell peppers in the the fat that I skimmed off the top of the bone broth. I will definitely be making this again!

  27. This was fantastic! Instead of ground turkey I used grilled chicken and threw it in the food processor to shred it. Also spiced up with some extra hot peppers.

  28. Loved this recipe. Instead of the green salsa, I used tomatillos from the farmers market (blenderized). It was delicious, made it three times.

  29. RE: Wendy’s chili
    Silicon dioxide should be highlighted red too………..fancy name for SAND!!!

  30. I love green (I’ve called it white) chile & this recipe looks great! I’m going to use chopped up leftover organic heritage turkey from Thanksgiving. I canned my own salsa verde using my green tomatoes from the garden instead of tomatillos. I’ve used the same recipe with tomatillos…absolutely no decernable difference and makes use of all those green tomatoes in the fall. I’ve got boatloads of the stuff, so this recipe might get several repeats throughout the cold winter months. I’d also like to know the ounces of a “jar”.

  31. This chili is awesome!! I made it today with leftover Thanksgiving turkey shredded up. I made the stock overnight with the turkey bones, and I also made the salsa verde last night. Followed all the other steps exactly, and it turned out wonderful! I ended up adding in the additional 2 cups of broth also. Topped it with lime, cilantro, queso fresco cheese, avocado chunks, julienned radish, and roasted unsalted pumpkin seeds! To. Die. For.

  32. All the solid ingredients, before stirring in any liquid would make a great enchalada filling! I have not tried the soup yet, but I am making it with my thanksgiving leftovers as we speak. Smells great.

  33. Just made this wonderful delightful soup…..oh my, so good? And….very easy to make. This is a keeper!

  34. This looks very good!! just wondering what your thoughts are about cooking/baking with olive oil?? everything I’ve been reading lately says olive oil shouldn’t be heated as heat changes it from being very healthy to very unhealthy….that to keep it healthy use it cold/room temperature…salad dressing, etc…

  35. I love everything you are doing Food Babe! I wanted to add that Diosodium guanylate and Diosodium inosinate are also dangerous because it can aggravate gout and it may be soy or yeast based and used in products containing MSG – all of which concern me. I will definitely give your recipe a try – less the jalapenos. I went to school in Charlotte and glad you call NC home 🙂

  36. I have tried their chili once and it was so horrible that I couldn’t finish it… Now I know why… Thanks for posting and giving us a great re-make…

  37. Keep up the great work food babe! I’m going to make your recipe for football this weekend. Have you tried using organic dried beans instead of canned? Go Patriots!!

  38. I have read that canned foods are “lined” with BHA. Is this true for all canned foods or only some, and how can we discern between them if they are?

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