Italian-Inspired Spicy Turkey Sausage Chili with Fresh Mozzarella Recipe

Italian-Inspired Spicy Turkey Sausage Chili with Fresh Mozzarella Recipe
Staff Writer

Yasmin Fahr


This recipe almost developed itself as I tried to figure out how to incorporate my leftover ball of fresh mozzarella in chili. I decided to replace many of the ingredients in a traditional chili with the Italian counterpart. Spices like cumin, cinnamon, paprika, and garlic powder were replaced with red chile flakes, dried oregano, fresh basil, fresh rosemary and garlic. Cannellini beans stood in for black and kidney beans, while balsamic vinegar and lemon zest took over for beer and cider vinegar. Cheddar? Who needs it when you have freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and hunks of melting fresh mozzarella? 

And, to top it off, I ate the leftovers with pasta — and it was fantastic.


Click here to see Recipe SWAT Team: Chili. 


In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat, add the onions and cook until translucent, lowering the heat to medium and stirring occasionally, about 6-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, and stirring to brown all of the meat. Cook for about 3-4 more minutes, then add the tomatoes. 

After a couple of minutes, when the tomatoes soften, break them up with a wooden spoon and combine with the meat. Add the herbs, spices and lemon zest, stirring well. Simmer for about 20 minutes, then add the balsamic vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, adding the beans for the last 5 minutes, or until it has reached desired thickness. 

Ladle into bowls, top with the basil, and the 2 cheeses, using your hands to rip up the mozzarella. It's always a good idea to serve the extra mozzarella on the side as it's incredibly tempting to continue adding more to the chili. If desired, you can also serve with a piece of toasted Italian country bread. 


Calories per serving:

440 calories

Dietary restrictions:

High Fiber Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Pork Free, Alcohol Free, No Sugar Added

Daily value:



  • Fat 17g 27%
  • Carbs 41g 14%
  • Saturated 3g 17%
  • Fiber 14g 54%
  • Trans 0g
  • Sugars 12g
  • Monounsaturated 8g
  • Polyunsaturated 4g
  • Protein 33g 66%
  • Cholesterol 85mg 28%
  • Sodium 1,137mg 47%
  • Calcium 249mg 25%
  • Magnesium 122mg 31%
  • Potassium 1,617mg 46%
  • Iron 7mg 39%
  • Zinc 5mg 35%
  • Phosphorus 380mg 54%
  • Vitamin A 101µg 11%
  • Vitamin C 57mg 94%
  • Thiamin (B1) 2mg 166%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 1mg 32%
  • Niacin (B3) 8mg 41%
  • Vitamin B6 1mg 54%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 117µg 29%
  • Vitamin B12 1µg 25%
  • Vitamin E 4mg 22%
  • Vitamin K 26µg 33%
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