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How to Make Your Own Winter-Friendly Panera Turkey Chili

Written by Luisa Davis on . Posted in food

panera turkey chili, turkey stew, panera recipe

I love eating at soup and sandwich places like Panera, and at one of my recent trips to the eatery, I decided to try the turkey chili. Typically, I am not a huge fan of chili because, honestly, the beans give me gas, but this chili was out of sight. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to try to create the Panera turkey chili recipe at home. The results were terrific, and it is now something that I eat quite frequently.

Panera Turkey Chili Nutrition

Of course, I am always trying to watch what I eat, so I decided to look at the Panera nutrition menu for a bowl of this chili before committing to making the recipe. It turns out that a bowl that is the size that you would get at Panera, which is a one and a half cup serving, is only about 280 calories.

I was quite impressed by this, especially since there are quite a few Panera turkey chili ingredients that are used in this recipe that I have not seen in other chili recipes. Instead of just kidney beans, this recipe calls for garbanzo beans and edamame as well, which are basically soybeans. This chili has a bit of a kick to it, but nothing that will overwhelm your taste buds.

Panera Turkey Chili Recipe

To create this recipe, you are going to need:

  • hot stew, ground meat stew

    Photo by Sharon Chen / CC BY

    Two pounds of ground turkey (I prefer to use lean turkey in this recipe)

  • One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (regular olive oil will work as well)
  • Two diced onions
  • Two carrots that have been julienned into matchstick-size pieces
  • Four finely chopped stalks of celery
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
  • One teaspoon of pepper (add more if desired)
  • Two tablespoons of ground cumin
  • Two tablespoons of chili powder
  • One teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes (more or less can be added based on your taste)
  • One teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  • Two teaspoons of garlic powder (fresh, minced garlic can be used as well)
  • Four ounces of chopped green chiles
  • 28 ounces of diced tomatoes
  • Six ounces of tomato paste
  • 32 ounces of chicken stock
  • 16 ounces of red kidney beans
  • 16 ounces of garbanzo beans
  • 2/3 of a cup of corn
  • 2/3 of a cup of shelled edamame
  • ½ of a cup of freshly chopped cilantro
  • ¼ of a cup of lime juice

How to Prepare the Recipe:

To start, you are going to need a large pot so that it can hold all of the ingredients without an issue. Heat the olive oil in the pot, and then add the turkey. Cook the turkey until it is mostly browned, and then add in the onions, the celery, and the carrots. Once the vegetables are added, you will need to continue to sauté the ingredients on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

cheese stew, meat ragout recipe

When the vegetables are soft, you can start adding the seasonings. This includes the salt, the pepper, the cumin, the chili powder, the red pepper flakes, the Italian seasoning, and the garlic powder. Once added, continue simmering the ingredients in the pot for a minute or two.

Next, you will want to add in the chiles, the diced tomatoes, the tomato paste, and the broth. This will create the base of the soup, which will thicken as it cooks. Once these ingredients are in the pot, you will want to add the corn, the kidney beans, the garbanzo beans, and the edamame. Once the beans are in the pot, allow the ingredients to simmer for a bit longer so that the beans can heat and help thicken the broth.

The chili is ready to serve, but once you get it in the bowls, you will want to add cilantro and lime juice to each dish to complete the dish and brighten it up a bit. If you find that your chili is not as thick as you would like it to be, you can add in some tortilla strips to help create the consistency that you are looking for. I like to add cheddar cheese and sour cream on top of my chili and serve it with a cornbread muffin.

Pressure Cooker Turkey Chili

When you are cooking, you do not always want to stand by the pot and watch it simmer, so to make turkey chili without any type of hassle, you can cook it in a pressure cooker. It will take half the amount of time that it would take to cook it in a Dutch oven, and you will not need to stir it or tend to it constantly.

Here is one of my favorite pressure cooker turkey chili recipes to create, but instead of the bean combination that you would find in the Panera turkey chili recipe, this one is more of a traditional recipe that uses a combination of light and dark kidney beans. Here is what you will need to create the chili:

  • slow cooker stew, slow cooker stew recipe Two tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • One pound of ground turkey
  • One chopped onion
  • One chopped red pepper
  • Four cloves of minced garlic
  • Three tablespoons of chili powder
  • One tablespoon of cumin
  • One teaspoon of oregano
  • ½ of a teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ½ of a teaspoon of paprika
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • 15 ounces of corn
  • 15 ounces of light red kidney beans
  • 15 ounces of dark red kidney beans
  • One cup of chicken broth
  • 28 ounces of diced tomatoes

How to Prepare this Recipe:

To begin, you are going to need to set your pressure cooker to sauté mode so that it can properly cook the ingredients and brown the turkey a bit before you add the broth. Once it is hot, you can add the vegetable oil, the onions, and the peppers. Cook them for about three minutes or until they are fragrant and translucent. Then, add in the garlic and continue to sauté the ingredients for another minute or two.

how to cook ragu, meat ragu At his point, you will need to add the turkey to the pressure cooker so that you can begin cooking it. Once the meat is fully cooked, add in the herbs and the spices. This will include the chili powder, the cumin, the paprika, the oregano, the cinnamon, the salt, the pepper, and the cayenne. Stir in the ingredients and allow it to sauté for another minute. Turn off the pressure cooker, and stir in the beans, the corn, and the broth until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Add the diced tomatoes to the pressure cooker, but do not stir them into the rest of the ingredients. Once the tomatoes are in the pot, you can turn the pressure cooker to manual and set it for 25 to 30 minutes. Once the time is up, allow the cooker to release the pressure naturally; this process should take about 10 minutes or so to complete. After 10 minutes has passed, quick release the remaining pressure so that you can open the cooker and stir the chili.

If you find that the chili is not as thick as you’d like, you can always turn it back on to simmer for a few minutes. I like to add a tablespoon or two of cornmeal to my chili to give it a thicker consistency. Top the chili with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and maybe a few jalapenos when you are ready to serve it.

Final Thoughts

If you like the Panera turkey chili recipe, then you will enjoy the copycat recipe that I have provided above. If you prefer traditional chili rather than a recipe that calls for an assortment of beans, then the second one may be more to your liking.

Regardless of which type of chili you prefer, the recipes that I have included here are designed to provide you with a hearty meal that you can enjoy when the weather outside starts to become cool. You can change the recipes any way that you’d like. You can even refrain from adding the corn, add more pepper or chiles to increase the spice, or change the type of meat that you use in this dish.

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Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis is a frelance writer and foodie based in Portland, California. Though raised on her mother's homestyle Italian cooking, she has spent most of the last five years traveling and immersing herself in other countries' cuisines. Her work have been published in various publications, both online and offline.

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