Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Crockpot Sausage Chili

Three words in this recipe caught my eye: “Italian sausage,” and “crockpot.” I had to try it! Once I tasted it, I was surprised at how subtle the sausage flavor was. The extra seasoning in the sausage seems to add an extra depth to the chili. The fact that you let it cook in the crockpot all day is an added bonus.

One word of caution: I doubled the original recipe and it FILLED my crockpot to the top before cooking. However, the amount cooked down a little with cooking. I’m aware that crockpot enthusiasts and food safety folks say one should fill a crockpot no more than two-thirds full for optimal cooking. However, since I like to make BIG batches for freezing, and my crockpot is smaller than I would like, I choose to live on the wild side! If this sort of reckless crockpot-usage makes you uncomfortable, just reduce the ingredients by half. It will still be delicious.

I served this chili with standard toppings, such as chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, reduced fat cheddar cheese, and reduced fat sour cream.  Just be sure to count any additional points from your toppings.  I also served corn muffins along side. 

Crockpot Sausage Chili
Serves: approximately 10-12
Serving Size: 1 cup
Points per serving: 5

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 pound lean turkey Italian sausage, Hot, uncooked, casings removed
  • 1 Chili seasoning packet
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, green or red, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2- 15 ounce cans red kidney beans, drained
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes (I used the kind with onions and roasted garlic)
  • 12 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Desired chili toppings
If necessary, toward end of cooking:
  • Up to 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • Garlic Powder, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Brown ground turkey and turkey sausage in a skillet, drain off excess fat. When meat is fully cooked, add chili seasoning packet.
  2. While the meat cooks, chop the veggies. Add veggies and remaining ingredients (except for last three) to crockpot. 
  3. When it’s done, add the meat mixture to the crockpot and stir well to combine.
  4. NOTE: This chili will look too dry when you combine everything in the crockpot. That’s OK. Moisture will be released from all of the veggies as they cook, and you will end up with the perfect consistency of chili-thick and rich. 
  5. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8 – 10 hours.
  6. Check on chili about 1 hour before it should be done, to check for seasonings. Don’t ask me why, but the crockpot can tend to mellow out certain flavors. If you feel the chili is lacking “punch”, as I did, add up to an additional 2 tablespoons of ground cumin to taste, to add more kick. You can also add more garlic flavor, if needed, in the form of garlic powder. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe adapted from

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