Tag Archives: chili

Spicy Meatball Stew


I enjoy hearty stews in the winter but I also enjoy them in the warmer months just because I like stews. Since my family doesn’t eat beef too often I decided to create a stew that replaces a typical beef stew using spicy meatballs but still remained hearty.


When you think meatballs you usually think of beef but meatballs can be made out of ground turkey, chicken or pork. In most recipes that call for a ground meat I use turkey. The one thing about ground turkey is that you must season it really well otherwise it will taste bland. Lately, I prefer baking my meatballs instead of frying them. This eliminates having the meatballs absorb a lot of excess fat. Plus, it is easier to control the heat so the meatballs don’t dry out too much while cooking.


Spicy Meatball Stew was somewhat of a surprise for my family. I received a few strange glances when I placed a bowl full of stew on the table for dinner. They were use to seeing meatballs floating around in a nice tomato sauce not swimming with veggies and gravy. However, it did not take long for them to trust I had worked my cooking magic so they lunged into their bowls and came up saying “Hmmm… not bad”. The second and third bites had them totally convinced that Spicy Meatball Stew was fantastic and produced smiling faces. It is always nice when the family requests a second helping.


Spicy Meatball Stew


1 lb ground turkey
1 lb ground spicy sausage
2 eggs beaten
½ cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup half and half
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp parsley chopped
½ tsp Adobo
cooking spray

1 jar beef au jus
1 small bag baby carrots cut in half
1 small bag frozen peas
1 small onion diced
2 stalks celery dice
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 red potatoes cubed
1 cup beef broth
½ cup water
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp thyme

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl mix ground turkey, ground sausage, seasonings and worcestershire. Form meatballs and place on a rimmed baking sheeting sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. If not quite done, meatballs will finish cooking in the stew.

While the meatballs are cooking heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onions, celery, salt and pepper. Saute for 2 – 3 minutes to let veggies sweat. Add garlic and stir for 1 – 2 minutes. Be careful not to let garlic burn. If necessary, reduce heat. Add remaining ingredients except for peas. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add meatballs and peas. Cook for an additional 20 – 25 minutes. May be eaten alone or served over egg noodles, mashed potatoes or rice.

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Pork and White Bean Stew


I spotted some nice country style ribs at the grocer while shopping this week. They looked so good and were on sale so I couldn’t pass them up. I was sure I could come up with a new recipe to include the country style ribs so they landed in my cart.


Country style ribs are thick and meaty and are great in chili, stew or all by themselves. I am not sure if I should classify my Pork and White Bean Stew as a stew or a chili dish. I will leave that up to others. For now I will call it a stew. I just liked the idea of the pork with white beans and a few fresh veggies. Plus, one pot dishes are at the top of my list when it comes to cooking. Who wants to clean a lot of pots and pans when you can toss everything into one pot? Definitely, not me. In the case of my Pork and White Bean Stew I did use two pots. I used a pressure cooker to speed up the process of making the pork nice and tender. If you are not comfortable using a pressure cooker I would stick to cooking the pork a little longer to make sure it is tender. Just don’t over cook the meat or it will be dry and chewy.


The flavors of the pork were amazing with the white beans. At the last minute, I decided to throw some fresh chopped tomatoes from our garden into the pot to give the dish a pop of color. The smell of the home grown tomatoes hit my nose before I could even take a bite of the stew. Wow, what a difference between home grown tomatoes and hot house tomatoes. Home grown beats out store bought tomatoes every time.


Stew or chili? I am still not sure which one describes this dish the best. Whatever you decide to call it, I know you will like it.


Pork and White Bean Stew

4 – 6 thick country style ribs cubed
2 15oz cans cannellini beans (do not rinse/drain)
1 can green chiles
2 small tomatoes large dice
1 small onion diced
1 small green pepper diced
1 clove garlic minced
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1tbsp cilantro
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp parsley chopped
½ tsp cayenne (optional)
1 pkg whit chicken chili dry mix

Place pork in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt, pepper and cayenne. Toss until well coated. If comfortable with using a pressure cooker, place pork in pressure cooker with water and cook for 30 minutes to tenderize meat. Then place pork and remaining ingredients in a large pot along with 1 cup of juice from pressure cooker. Skim off grease. Cook for 1 hour. If not comfortable with using a pressure cooker, place all ingredients in a large pot and cook for 2 hours over medium high heat until meat is tender.

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Chili Nachos


Get ready to get messy and grab a fork! I just made chili nachos and they were wonderful. I first made Tex-Mex chili using ground turkey instead of beef but feel free to use any meat you prefer to make chili. I liked the idea of a Tex-Mex chili because the flavors are bolder (in my opinion) than regular chili. Because I planned to use the chili as a topping for nachos I did not add all of the veggies I sometimes use in my chili. I kept this one simple by using only onions instead of adding various peppers and shredded carrots.


Long ago I made all kinds of nacho dishes for the family usually when I was fixed for time to get dinner on the table. I would search the refrigerator for leftovers I could use as a topping for nachos that would not make my hubby and kids look at me like I had two heads.


The idea of combining chili and nachos came to mind while watching a food show about restaurants and their specialties. There was one restaurant that served chili nachos but piled so much stuff on the nachos that you forgot there were nachos some where in the giant mound of food sitting on the table. I liked the concept but not all of the stuff!


Chili Nachos are made to be messy as I said in the beginning. So, if nobody is looking, you can eat them with your fingers. Just let the juices and cheese drip down your fingers. If you aren’t into flavorful fingers, grab a fork and scoop up the chili and nachos without missing a drop. I personally like eating chili and nachos using both my fingers and a fork to make sure I don’t miss anything on my plate … or fingers!


Chili Nachos


2 lbs ground turkey
1 15 oz can black beans (undrained)
1 15 oz can small white beans (undrained)
1 15 oz can small kidney beans (undrained)
1 15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 pkg Tex Mex chili seasoning
½ onion diced
½ cup water
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
½ tbsp salt
½ tbsp black pepper
½ tbsp Adobo seasoning
½ tbsp cilantro
½ tsp nutmeg
10 dashes hot sauce

Nachos/ Toppings:
1 bag Tostitos Nacho Chips
2 plum tomatoes seeded and sliced into strips
1 small pkg Velveeta cheese cubed1 small jar salsa (hot or mild)
1 small jar sliced jalapeno peppers
1 avocado sliced
½ cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
¼ cup sliced olives

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Season turkey with salt, pepper and worcestershire sauce over medium high heat and drain. Add beans, remaining seasonings, hot sauce, fired roasted tomatoes and water to a large pot. Let simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add browned turkey to the pot and stir. Simmer and additional 15 minutes.

Add cubed Velveeta cheese and ½ cup of salsa to a microwave safe bowl. Place in microwave for 2 minutes then stir to mix salsa and cheese. Microwave for an additional 1 ½ minutes until bubbly.

Layer an aluminum pie tin or an oven safe plate with nacho chips. Using a slotted spoon scoop chili over nachos then layer with Velveeta mixture. Add a little more chili, jalapeno peppers, fresh tomatoes, olives and shredded cheese. Place in oven until cheese melts. Top with sliced avocados.


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Chili with Slow Cooked Pork

pulled pork 6_1

Chili is one of those dishes that packs in everything you need in a meal. Meat, veggies and protein. How can you can wrong? Usually, I make chili using ground turkey but I decided to shake things up a bit and added slow cooked pork instead. My original plan for the pork was to make shredded BBQ pork sandwiches but my family was not in the mood for BBQ. So I figured I would try the pork in a pot of chili to see how it would taste.

chili start_1

After trying chili with slow cooked pork I am not sure I will ever make chili with ground turkey again. The tenderness of the pork combined with the beans and chili seasonings turned the chili into a delicious flavorful meal. Sports fans would love this chili after any “big” game especially with a side of cornbread.

pulled pork 5_1


chili 4_1

Chili with Slow Cooked Pork

1 small pork shoulder cooked and shredded (see recipe below)
1 28 oz can black beans undrained
1 14 oz can small white beans undrained
1 14 oz can cannellini beans undrained
1 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 12 oz bottle beer
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 packet chili seasonings
½ tsp cayenne pepper

Add all ingredients to a large pot and let simmer for 1 hour on medium heat. Stir occasionally. Serve with corn bread.

Slow Cooked Pork

1 small pork shoulder
1 large onion sliced
1 large green pepper sliced
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp Adobo seasoning
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Layer onions and green peppers in the bottom of a roasting pan. Sprinkle with a little salt. Sprinkle pork with seasonings and place on top of onions and peppers. Pour 1 cup of water into pan. Cover with foil and cook for 3 hours until pork is fork tender and easily pulls apart.