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Rainbow Chili!

Updated: Apr 5, 2020

My toddler loves vegetables! Of all the things I’d be saying as a mother, I never thought I’d be saying that lol!. I mean, what toddler likes vegetables … and all different kinds of vegetables nonetheless.


I never ate vegetables as a kid. The only thing I’d maybe eat was salad occasionally (pretty much lettuce and carrots with lots of ranch – LOTS of ranch!). My family did serve corn, but I HATED corn. Not sure why, but I did! I’d gag watching my family eat it throughout my entire 18 years living at home. Ironically enough, it’s about the only vegetable my 4-year-old doesn’t like – go figure! (And for the record, I do eat corn now!).


With my daughter liking so many vegetables, one of our favorite meals to make together is Ground Chicken or Turkey Veggie Loaded Chili. She likes to pick out whatever vegetables we’re going to put in it (anything from mushrooms to zucchini to pea pods to any colored pepper!). She actually calls this dish “Rainbow Chili” because we try to make it as colorful as we possibly can with a variety of different vegetables!


Once I dice up all the vegetables, my daughter puts them in the pot. While the veggies are lightly cooking, I also cook the ground meat. My daughter helps me season the meat (under direct supervision of me). She also loves beans! So, I let her pick out what type of beans we are going to use and we add them to the veggies. Once everything is cooked, we put it all together in one pot in addition to crushed tomatoes. She loves to mix everything together. From there, I add some additional seasoning and let it simmer on low low low for at least an hour (but it can be ready in as little as 15 minutes or as long as you want really!). Then we like to add a dollop of Greek yogurt (a replacement for sour cream) and add shredded cheese and tortilla chips sometimes.


This really is a wonderful meal to make with your child. It gives them a sense of control and gets them excited to eat something they had so much choice and help in making! Plus, by using different veggies each time, there’s always a little something different about each batch of this chili! This meal is great on those cold winter nights (we make it a little spicier in the winter) and also on summer nights (we keep the seasoning lighter in the summer).


Here is a general outline of ingredients and directions for you (but again, make this your own and have fun with it with you and your child!). You are going to see there is a lot of variance and choice in this recipe!


Rainbow Chili Instructions


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Serves 6


1 Tablespoon Oil (I like to use coconut oil)

1 lb. Ground chicken or Ground turkey (your preference)

1 can Beans (black beans, chili beans, red kidney beans, etc – whatever you prefer!) rinsed and drained

½ an onion diced

2 garlic cloves

1 orange pepper diced

1 yellow pepper diced

1 yellow squash diced

1 zucchini diced

½ carton of mushrooms

1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes

1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce + ½ can water

2 Tablespoon Chili Powder

1 ½ Tablespoon Cumin Powder

Salt & Pepper to taste


Any other vegetables you’d like

A dash of cayenne

Greek yogurt as a topping

Shredded cheese

Diced avocado

Stove top Directions:

In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add ground meat, garlic, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, and mushrooms. Sauté for 7-9 minutes or until meat is cooked and no longer pink. Add seasonings, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, beans, and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve with toppings of choice.


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