And I am showing you pasta for the second time this week.
Sorry, but not really.
Promise it was not planned, but life just kind of sped up and chili happened.
Plus, we always have chili on Halloween.
And it is COLD here.
Both outside and inside. It’s snowing outside, and just way too cold for comfort inside, since our lame as ever furnace decided to go out on us. Again. It seriously happens way too often. You would think that just maybe since we live in Colorado, in a small ski town where it is snowing nine to ten months out of the year, that we would have a good heating system.
Well we totally don’t and I am totally freezing my butt off right now.
Ok, so Halloween, what are you guys dressing up as this year?
What about your kids? Anything fun?
I cannot remember the last time I actually got dressed up for Halloween, meaning the actual day has never been that much of a big deal to me. I am much more of a Christmas and Thanksgiving girl, but I do love the month of October and all the fun decorations. Especially decorations like these (gorgeous! I would love to have had decorations like this growing up. Wait, I still want them!) and cookies like this!!
Since there is probably going to be mass amounts of candy consumed today, I thought would go with a healthier comfort food.
Well a comfort food made healthier.
Basically, all I did was swap out beef for chicken in my all time favorite Cincinnati chili recipe. You could also use ground turkey or even keep the beef in if you want.
This is the only way my family will eat chili. Served over pasta. It’s how we ate it growing up and it is how we eat it now.
Over the years I have made a few tweaks to my mom’s recipe making it my own, but even though they are small tweaks (like cocoa powder – can’t believe my mom didn’t figure that one out!), they make all the difference.
So much good flavor.
And you can make it even healthier by using whole wheat pasta. I obviously did not, but that is only because my family is picky and does not like whole grain pastas. I guess whole grain pasta is just too healthy for them or something. Who knows.
Traditionally, Cincinnati chili has five optional toppings. Pasta, chopped onions, kidney beans, cheese and oyster cracks. My boring family just likes pasta, cheese and chili, but I am all about the beans!
Oh, and we all love the oyster crackers!
This is so easy and perfect for busy days. Everything is made in one pot and the prep time is SO simple. Then just let it simmer all day long and start dreaming about your dinner. Your house is going to smell amazing all day! If you prefer using the crockpot you can totally do that too! I include that version in the directions.
So get your chili going earlier in the day and by dark you’ll have a hauntingly delicious dinner! (I know – so cheesy!)
Healthier Cincinnati Chili
- 2 pounds lean ground chicken or turkey*
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 (6-8 ounce) cans tomato paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar
- 1 teaspoons worcestershire
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder (or regular)
- 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 Bay Leaves
- To serve
- 1 package whole wheat, whole grain or regular angel hair pasta (or spaghetti squash!)
- 6 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- chopped onions, for serving (optional)
- oyster crackers, for serving (optional)
- 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed, for serving (optional)
Heat a large heavy bottom soup pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and saute about 10 minutes or until it begins to caramelize around the edges. Use your hand to crumble in the ground chicken (or turkey). Brown the chicken, breaking up the meat as you go. Once the chicken is browned add the red pepper. Next add in the chili powder, cumin, allspice, salt, cayenne, cinnamon, chipotle chile powder, smoked paprika and garlic powder. Give it a good stir and let this cook about a minute or 2 to season the chicken.
Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, worcestershire sauce, bay leaves and cocoa powder. Give it a good stir, making sure everything is combined.
Simmer for at least 3 hours or up to all day on the lowest setting your stove will go. The longer the better.
Before you are ready to eat, boil and drain your pasta according to package directions.
Serve the chili on top of a bed of hot pasta or spaghetti squash and top with 1, 2, 3 or 4 of these toppings: cheddar cheese, kidney beans, diced onions, oyster crackers.
To make this in the crockpot follow the directions through step 1. Then transfer the browned chicken to the bowl of a crockpot and add all of the remaining ingredients (minus the toppings!). Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 5-6. Serve as directed.