Superbowl Lentil Chili

I don’t know about you, but I get equally excited to make food for the Superbowl as I am to watch it.  (OK, I get more excited about making the food, I confess.)  The regular foods in the spread tend to be hideously unhealthy (but delicious), namely nachos, jalapeno cheese dip, fried chicken, taquitos, some more cheese, some more fried stuff, and some more cheese.

In an effort to maintain the integrity of the Superbowl food line-up while also keeping things healthy, I created this lentil chili.  It is just like regular chili, which we all know I love, but with some lentil flare.  Then lentils enhance the flavors of the spices while also adding depth to the texture.  The tomatoes, onions, and ground turkey round out the dish to make it incredible.  Finally, this chili is incredible because it is so stinking healthy, particularly with the addition of the lentils.

Feel free to spice away to your liking.  In this house, we like things hot, so there is plenty of cayenne, but also plenty of cumin and chili powder to balance.  Garlic, thyme, and oregano are also some of my favorite spices in this dish.  In the future, I imagine we will play with adding cocoa powder and chipotle peppers.  The options are endless.

Make it for your Superbowl party, people.  We will be. 

Lentil Chili:

  • 1/2 of a very large sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1.25 pounds of ground turkey (you can certainly alter the amount–we just get the group of packaged turkey at Costco and that’s what each individual package weighs)
  • 1 or 2 cans of no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 1 or 2 cups of lower sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups of dry red lentils 
  • optional: canned green chiles or jalapenos
  • a whole bunch of spices, including but not limited to: chili powder, cayenne, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, black pepper, salt……the amount of each depends on your preference. 
  1. Add the onions to a large pot with a glug or two of olive oil.  Cook until soft. 
  2. Add the ground turkey and cook until done.  Break apart with a wooden spoon while it is cooking.
  3. Add 1 can of tomatoes and 1 cup of chicken broth.
  4. Add the lentils.  Let cook.  If needed and/or wanted, add more tomatoes and chicken broth.  It will take the lentils about 30 minutes to cook.
  5. Just after adding the lentils, add your first installment of spices.
  6. After 20 minutes or so, check for consistency and add more tomatoes or broth for more liquid if needed.  Also check for the done-ness of the lentils.  Finally adjust for spices.
  7. When the lentils are done, do your final spice adjustment check.
  8. Garnish with the cheese of your choice.
  9. Enjoy!  GO BRONCOS!

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