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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. This recipe was absolutely delicious! I do meal prep on Sundays for at least 2-3 days worth of weekday meals-which of course can be quite time consuming; however, this meal was super simple, healthy and delicious…this will now be one of my fav go-to meals! The only adjustment I made was using chicken stock instead of vegetable ( I didn’t have organic stock at home), and I also stirred in 1/3 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice during the final stages of the cooking process. Thank you @foodbabe

  2. Can’t wait to make this! I love green chile! Can you tell me what size can of diced green chiles you use? Thanks Food Babe! You are amazing!

  3. I made this chili for the first time. It is so tasty and easy to make. I am making some rice to eat with it. This will be dinner tonight. This recipe will go into my rotation for cooking dinner.

    1. For the very best organic meats and particular if you want grass fed go to Organic Prairie. I don’t eat turkey or chicken and absolutely no pork mainly because I am plant based person but I had to after my surgery and illness had to get some meat into my diet so I ordered grassfed ground beef which was 85% lean. I had tried several different brands of organic beef that turned out to be really not what they were suppose to be. When I received my Organic Prairie grassfed beef it was really great. I found out that my beef came from the outback territory of Australia. It was delicious and it was shipped with dry ice and arrived in beautiful condition. I am no longer on any animal foods and am basically going organic raw foods life style as I am terribly allergic to soy which is almost in everything including most medicines.

  4. It is even better with fresh roasted Big Jim chilis and just a couple fresh roasted tomatoes!

    1. You have the right idea, Sue. In New Mexico, we never use canned green chile or a sauce in a jar to make GREEN CHILE. Notice the correct spelling is Chile and not chili. Chili is a Tex-Mex dish.

      1. Yes Judee! I was reading through the recipe going no us New Mexicans will use real green chile!

  5. This Chili was super tasty and easy to make. It taste even better if you make it the night before. A perfect meal to warm up those cold winter days.

  6. It’s 20 degrees in Dallas and a winter storm warning. This chili hits the spot. Very good. I added a couple of garlic cloves and that is about all I changed. I may try some black beans as well next time.

    Thanks Vani!

  7. This was REALLY good, but next time I will omit the salt. Just too salty for me. I even used low sodium vegetable broth…I dunno. Must have been the salsa I picked.

  8. Any word on the “jar” measurement? I’ve read through the comments and never saw a response. :(. This is a huge pet peeve of mine wrt blog recipes. Are we talking papa bear jar or mama bear jar or baby bear jar? What’s juuust right??

  9. Do you happen to have “can” sizes and nutrition information? This would be super helpful!
    I made this recipe and it was good, but after adding 1 tablespoon of chili pepper and a 16oz. can of organic roasted tomatos, it was even better!

  10. I’m making this now in the crock pot. I don’t like ground turkey so I used boneless chicken breast. And I added fresh garlic to this. I didn’t do the canned green chiles since I do not have on hand. I used my own homemade chicken stock too. So far it tasted great! It should be awesome in a few hours!

  11. I made this tonight and the fam loved it! I made my own beans in my pressure cooker instead of canned. Delish!!!

  12. The problem with this recipe is the jarred salsa. It’s processed and not fresh. Roast 12 oz of tomatillos under broiler. 5 minutes each side. Combine with minced: green chile and garlic in blender for a couple pulses. Add raw finely diced white onion and cilantro. REAL salsa.

  13. Looking at Wendy’s website I found the current ingredients. The above is inaccurate. Not that they are good! I just would like accurate information. I avoid corn syrup at all costs and looks like corn syrup is not in their recipe at listed above. Thanks for what you do Food Babe!

    Water, Chili Base (water, onions, tomato paste, tomatoes in juice [tomatoes, tomato juice, citric acid, calcium chloride], celery, green bell peppers, sugar, salt, modified food starch, onion powder, flavor enhancer [dextrose, salt, yeast extract, silicon dioxide, modified food starch], citric acid, black pepper, garlic, cumin, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, xanthan gum, ground red pepper [red pepper, soybean oil, silicon dioxide [processing aid]), Ground Beef, Chili Beans (prepared pink beans, prepared kidney beans).

  14. Absolutely delicious!!! Skipped the meat, used low sodium veg stock and hot canned green chilies. Very spicy, just the way I like it! The last minute addition of cilantro and fresh lime juice totally make it! LOVE!!

  15. Looks great! Could you possibly give us an easy recipe for crackers please? I am finding it difficult to find affordable crackers without TBHQ and am thinking it would be more cost-effective AND healthy if I made them myself. Thanks!

  16. It’s really hard to find ground turkey without “Rosemary extract” or some other hidden form of MSG in it. Trader Joes ground turkey breast has been the only brand I’ve been able to find without any other additives and many times it’s not in stock. Same with the vegetable broth. I’ve searched high and low, with no success, for an organic brand that does not have MSG (in one of it’s many hidden forms) or natural flavors. Foodbabe, can you help???

    1. People, please! Instead of wasting time searching for organic broth, make your own: you need vegetables and water, that’s all!
      Make a big batch, freeze some for another time.

  17. surprised you’re calling for ‘jarred salsa’. also, i don’t think olive oil is good for cooking at high heat – avocado oil or coconut oil is better for you and does not turn into fat your body cannot process.

  18. Yet you advocate using CANNED green chili. Do you know how those chilis are processed for canning. Use ONLY fresh green chilis, roast them yourself, and learn what REAL green chili tastes like!

  19. This recipe is absolutely wonderful! I have made it several times. I haven’t tried it with the lime yet, but I will. Thank you Food Babe for sharing it.

  20. I have had a hard time finding a tomatillo salsa that is organic. Since these are basically tomatoes, they really need to be too. Anyone have a brand they can recommend?

      1. Thnx Emily, but though all “natural” still not organic. However, I didn’t even think to search on the internet for a brand….duh! Supposedly Trader Joe’s has a org. tomatillo salsa, so will check there. 🙂

  21. The recipe looks great, Food Babe, but you may need to update the article… Groundhog day is February 2, 2015 and we’re still in January at the moment!

  22. Thanks for a delicious recipe, Vani! I had to take out some of the peppers and cut the cumin down by 1/2 T to make the soup less spicy for my 3 kids, but they gobbled it right up. I loved how easy it is–being a health nut making food for a family of 5 I have to take a few shortcuts here and there to preserve my sanity and get me out of the kitchen every once in a while. I certainly don’t mind a couple of canned or jarred ingredients here and there and welcome the fact that I dont HAVE to make everything from scratch, for a change! (With my food restrictions, I usually do.) Will definitely be making this again!

  23. Hi Vani,

    It would be really helpful if you could offer nutritional information for your recipes. As I count macros (protein, carbs, fat) I would like to know what a serving size is and the nutritional information.


  24. Delicious! So easy, threw everything into the instant pot…30 minutes and some release time dinner is done! Added line and cheese, so good! Thank you for the recipe!

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