Black Bean Salsa Chili with Cilantro Cream Topping

Do you like Chili? Apparently we do as I have just tried yet another new chili recipe! What I love about a big pot of chili is that the leftovers just keep getting better and better, it reheats beautifully and a bowl full is quite filling. The secret ingredient in this recipe is…. BACON! Chili can be made healthy. Even though it has bacon, this one comes in just under 200 calories per cup. Some of the leftovers will be frozen so we can have chili dogs in a few weeks.

Black Bean Salsa Chili

When I am photographing recipes, if time permits I try and get a few shots before we sit down to eat. During the past three years of blogging my family has become very patient about waiting to eat until I get all the shots I need.

Black Bean Salsa Chili

Although this chili recipe only requires a 30-45 minute simmer there are a few extra steps in the prep of the dish. It is perfectly delicious as is. But since I took this photo shoot before we sat down to eat I forgot the topping!

Black Bean Salsa Chili

This topping of a cilantro cream mixture makes the chili. The recipe called for low-fat sour cream which I didn’t have so I subbed fat free Greek yogurt which in my opinion is even better and something I usually have on hand.

Black Bean Salsa Chili

This chili is so good! It calls for salsa instead of tomatoes so I used half regular tomato based salsa and half green salsa. You control the heat by the type of salsa you use. I also tossed in a can of chopped green chilies for extra flavor. Since I had a pound of ground turkey I went ahead and doubled the recipe and I am so glad I did.The only bacon I had was some turkey bacon but it worked great. I would make this recipe again as the flavors are amazing.

Black Bean-Salsa Chili with Cilantro Cream Topping

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 sweet hickory-smoked bacon slices, chopped (Trader Joes turkey bacon)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups mild salsa
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream or Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 can of chopped green chilies – optional

1. Combine 1 1/2 cups beans, 2/3 cup water, and sugar in a food processor; (I used a blender) process until smooth. Combine bean puree and remaining beans in a bowl.

2. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add turkey; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove turkey from pan.

3. Add onion, bell peppers, and bacon to pan; cook 5 minutes or until bacon and onion are lightly browned. Return turkey to pan. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, and crushed red pepper to pan; stir well to coat. Stir in bean mixture, salsa, tomato paste, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 – 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Combine sour cream, cilantro, and juice in a small bowl. Serve chili with sour cream mixture.

Yield:6 servings (serving size: 1 cup chili and about 4 teaspoons sour cream mixture)

Estimated Nutritional Information*

Per Serving Calories: 199, Fat: 6.2g, Protein: 14.8g, Carbohydrate: 22g, Fiber:5.9g, Cholesterol: 34mg, Iron: 2.6mg, Sodium: 740mg, Calcium: 88mg,  WWPP 5

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2009

*The nutritional information and WW PP values posted on Nutmeg Notebook are my best estimates based on the brands of products I use and the software programs used to calculate them. If you rely heavily on the nutritional information and WWPP values I encourage you to double check the values given, using the brands of products you use. If you find big differences feel free to email me or leave me a comment letting me know.

Nutmeg Notes

Hi everyone!  Many of you in the Midwest (my parents included) are still getting snow! Talk about a long winter – well maybe this chili recipe will come in handy for you.

So last Friday I was couched because of foot swelling and pain. My step count for the day was only 2429 and I walked less than a mile. Hubby Tom can track me on my fitbit and make sure I am staying off my foot when I need to, so I have to behave! 🙂 By Saturday morning things were almost back to normal with my foot so we headed out for a beautiful hike and it was a perfect day for it. We covered almost 12 miles! This particular trail has a very clean, well maintained port-a-potty at the half way point which is much appreciated by me! Knowing I have that break coming up allows me to drink more water and by the end of our hike I had consumed about 48 ounces of water and probably should have drank more. I was thirsty all night long after we got home.

Sunday we drove past one of the local nurseries and business was booming. I need to go get some plants and flowers and get them planted in our back yard. It might reach 80 degrees here yet this week so its time to start working on the flower beds. One more thing to add to my “to do” list.

With day light savings time we now have some daylight after dinner/supper to utilize for outdoor chores. I love it! These first few days after changing the clocks are a challenge – getting up in the dark, meal times on the clock don’t coincide with my body clock and so on. By the end of the week things should be settling in to the time change.

Have a great week!


I’m glad you are here. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question.

Are you a fan of daylight savings time?

I love it!

How will you take advantage of the extended daylight at the end of the day?

Outside chores and some evening walks or bike rides.

Do you call the evening meal dinner or supper?

We call it dinner but growing up in the Midwest we called it supper.






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  1. Michele R says:

    Hi Tami –

    Recipe looks delicious! I think the cilantro cream would be good on a lot of other dishes as well! I LOVE having the extra hour of sunlight at the end of the day! Having said, that, we lived in Arizona for many years — and AZ does not change times. It worked out very well. I wish FL (and the rest of the US) would consider this! I am amazed that you were able to hike 12 miles! Wow!!! That is great!

    Love your blog!

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Michele – you are so right about the cilantro cream being good on lots of other foods too! Not changing time like Arizona would sure be easier on the body! Even I was amazed at walking almost 12 miles. Good hiking shoes, wool socks and orthotics are a must. 🙂 Once we got off the trail the only thing we had energy for was shower and watching tv!

      Thanks so much for following the blog and taking the time to comment. 🙂

  2. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    Glad you gave your foot the rest it needed and were able to do the hike on Saturday! Sounds wonderful!

    The chili recipe sounds good; love the salsa in it!

    Enjoy the longer evenings!

    1. Tami says:

      I Andrea. I don’t know why I never thought to put salsa in chili before – it makes sense now. 🙂

  3. Cammy@TippyToeDiet says:

    I love daylight savings time! It’s still a bit too chilly here to do much with the extra light other than appreciate it, but I’m hopeful for more warming next week!

    1. Tami says:

      I hope it warms up for you real soon Cammy and you can get out and about in the evenings. 🙂

  4. Jody - Fit at 55 says:

    So glad the foot is better & sounds like you really enjoyed!!! Like you, the savings time is a challenge at first since I am an early person but after about a week, I am used to it.

    Great recipe too!

    I have lost track. I eat mini meals now but back eats we called it supper & out here dinner. 🙂

    1. Tami says:

      I am a morning person to Jody and sure is difficult to get up in the dark. That too will change soon enough and we will be happy campers again. 🙂

  5. Lori says:

    I love the daylight savings because it is light out in the evening to go walking or biking.

    One of my favorite chili recipes is from Alton Brown. I has *no* beans and is made in the pressure cooker. Soo good!

    1. Tami says:

      Lori I love Alton Brown recipes – I will have to look for that chili recipe – although I really love beans in my chili!

  6. Carol says:

    What a yummy looking recipe! We love chili and will put this on my “to make” list! I add my home canned salsa to my chili while it is simmering. I also use pinto beans.

    We call it supper, my sons call it dinner. They grew up with it being called supper so not sure when they got the “dinner” thing. Probably from their spouses!

    I prefer DST ! Like it light longer in the evening. I’m used to getting up in the dark! We just had a dump of snow this morning & that doesn’t happen often in March in our part of British Columbia.

    1. Tami says:

      Carol it would be even better with homemade salsa! I like pinto beans too but lately I have been all about the black beans. Funny how our taste buds change over time.

      I think here in CA most people call it dinner and that is how we picked it up. I know its also how we converted from saying “pop” to soda. If we asked for pop no one knew what we were talking about!

      More snow for you – oh no- I hope spring shows ups soon for you Carol. Have a great day!

  7. MIZ says:

    the recipe is STUNNING—but but but how be your FOOT?!

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Miz! The foot is doing okay and I am so grateful to be up and moving again. It lets me know when I have done too much and then I back off until it feels better and the swelling goes down. I am taking it day by day. 🙂 Thanks for asking.

  8. Jane says:

    I love chili, and yours looks good! I love the cilantro cream, and it looks like a good mix of ingredients. Yum!

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Jane! It was really tasty and the cilantro cream would be great on tacos, nachos, burritos and enchiladas as well! Delicious. 🙂

  9. Elaine says:

    Oh, I think you might have been referring to that surprise blizzard we got on Sunday-ugh. Good day to sit by the fire and read. I read this post a day late. I made chili last night, but it was white chicken chili, a recipe I totally forgot about for about 5 years! It was a nice change from tomato-based chili, and healthy to boot. I like the idea of using salsa in chili, since I have a giant jar of it in the pantry, and no kids home to eat it.

    1. Tami says:

      Yes Elaine that was the snow storm I was speaking of. My parents got about 7 inches of new snow! I haven’t had white chili in a long time and it sounds so good. Hope spring arrives in your neck of the woods real soon. 🙂

  10. Renee@Mykitchenadventures says:

    Dinner or supper, pretty much interchangeable terms around here. Could definitely use some chili around here. Can you believe there is more snow in the forecast for this weekend and most days highs in the 30’s next week? Geesh! If I could move away from this midwest never ending winter, I would in a heartbeat…but that isn’t going to happen with my husbands business.

    Enjoy the 80’s and planting those plants. We can’t even think about planting until sometime in late May. lol

    1. Tami says:

      Oh no Renee – more snow! This has been a long winter for you folks. I really don’t miss the harsh winter weather we had in Nebraska and Iowa. It looks like our little heat wave is going to last through the weekend and then next week cooler temps and rain again.

      If I could send you some sunshine I surely would! 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend.

  1. 2013 Healthy Meal Plan: Week 14 « Half Size Me says:

    […] Black Bean Salsa Chili with Cilantro Cream Topping (5PP per serving from Nutmeg Notebook) […]

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