Trader Joe’s has had this on the shelves for years and it’s another one of those items I pass by all the time and never pick up. I just figure it’s never going to be as good as homemade and it’s not enough to feed a family. I guess it might be enough for lunch. Many chili purist say that chili only has beef and no beans and that is wonderful chili, but for many of us growing up my mother made buckets of chili with beans. I loved it. We usually had it over rice and plenty of cheddar cheese strewn on the top of it.
Fast forward many years. When I was married without children I made many batches of chili just like my mother. Becky and I loved that stuff and it was a great Sunday night meal so we could have leftovers during the week. Basically I was clueless to the way of real chili. Then watching some food show on TV I got the bug to make authentic Texas chili and that’s what I’ve made ever since!
This is your basic chili in a can. Just open the can, stick in a pot on the stove and heat. This version comes with Turkey but they also have a beef option. I choose the Turkey version because I thought it would be picked more as a “healthier” choice which is something many Trader Joe’s shoppers opt for.
I heated it up, put it in a bowl and sprinkled Trader Joe’s sharp cheddar cheese all over the top. Let it melt and cooled down. It actually smelled pretty darn good. I could smell the smokiness of ground chilis. When I tasted it, I was surprised at the rich flavors of the chili. I had a nice amount of heat, not too much. I liked the beans in this for the texture and the it fills you up more. The biggest negative was the turkey. Some bits were fine, but several chucks of it were really chewy, rubbery and just plain nasty. Turkey has a habit of doing that when it’s cooked too long. It was something I was afraid of and it happened here.
Would I buy this again? Probably not. I would probably get the beef version. I’ve had that before and the beef does not get a rubbery and the flavors are just about the same.
I am going to rate this Trader Joe’s Turkey Chili 7 bells!