Posted by Amy Andrews

Categories Poultry, Soups & Stews

Comments 5 comments

Turkey Chili

turkey chili
Easy home cooked dinner, here you go.  All you need is some ground turkey, an onion and a few canned items that you hopefully have squirreled away in your kitchen — a big can of diced tomatoes, a couple cans of pinto beans and small can of diced green chiles and some seasonings.  If you don’t have exactly what I have in the recipe, no worries – once you hit the basics, chili is great for improv.  (Just remember the cheese and sour cream and serve it with confidence!)


Turkey Chili

Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 pound ground turkey (I prefer the darker ground thigh to breast, but either works...or neither if you just want beans)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, seeds removed, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (or pressed through garlic press)
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 4 oz. can diced green chiles
  • 1 cup water (just fill the green chile can with water a couple times)
  • 2 15 oz. cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed with water
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (the San Marzanos are worth the extra cost, if you can swing it)
  • 1 Tbsp. chile powder (or cut with paprika if your making a mild batch for kids)
  • 1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 - 1 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped or snapped into tiny pieces
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. sea salt


  1. Start by cooking the turkey in a large saucepan that will eventually hold your pot of chili.  Heat pan and drop in turkey in little lumps.  Let cook until browned before turning to cook the other surfaces.  When completely browned, remove from pan onto a plate.
  2. Add olive oil to same saucepan and heat.  Add chopped onion and green pepper.  Cook until softened, 5 minutes or so. 
  3. Add garlic and tomato paste.  Stir with a wooden spoon to combine and cook tomato paste a bit.  Add green chiles, water, pinto beans, tomatoes and seasonings.  Add the turkey meat you browned in step 1.  Simmer gently for “awhile”...15 minutes or so if you’re trying to get the crowd fed, or a bit longer if you have some time on your hands.  Serve with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream and some cornbread or tortillas.


 Amy’s Kitchen Coach Tips
  • All stews (and chilis!) get better with a little time on them.  So, if you have the time, make the chili in advance and let the flavors meld before serving.
  • Once you’re got the turkey, beans, onion and big can of tomatoes going, you can wing the rest of the flavorings.  Use what you have on hand and don’t stress out.
  • Slowcooker:  After browning the meat and cooking the veggies stovetop, set in slowcooker on Low for 4 hours.

5 comments on “Turkey Chili”

  1. Marcie

    Thanks Amy. I was just about to make a pot. Tell me more about the cocoa and dark chocolate.

  2. Michael Bazeley

    Hi Amy. Made this last night for myself and the boys. Big hit. Thanks!

    – Michael

  3. Amy Andrews

    Hi Marcie! I like how the cocoa adds a mysterious depth of flavor. Nothing dectectably “sweet”, just good.

  4. Amy Andrews

    Hi Michael-
    Thanks for your comment! Glad you tried it and liked it.

  5. Patty

    Happy New Year Amy….Turkey chili is just what I was thinking about making and your recipes are always so yummy. Where do you buy your dark turkey meat, and for that matter, white turkey meat too? I’ve tried the frozen turkey at Co-op and T&C, but I don’t care for the texture.


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