Turkey chili

Turkey chili is comfort food when the weather starts to get colder. Like now….or not. This is the time of year that Minnesota can treat us to 75 degrees one day and 40 degrees the next day. Not even exaggerating.

Hardy, filling and usually a little spicy; although the chili doesn’t have to be spicy if that isn’t your thing.

Once the ingredients are prepped and combined the chili does need a good 45 minutes to simmer, cook down and let the flavors combine. So the meal is a little time consuming; but so very easy.

Ground turkey: I use 93% lean ground turkey

Veggies: Onions, bell peppers, celery and jalapeño pepper all get sautéed along with turkey. I like a lot of vegetables in any soup/stew/chili; they add great flavor and texture.

Spices: Chili powder, oregano, cumin, hot pepper flakes and cayenne pepper are the cast of characters. If you are spice sensitive the jalapeño peppers, cayenne and hot pepper flakes bring the heat. Add sparingly or leave out if you don’t like heat. If you like the flavor of the jalapeño peppers but want to decrease the spicy heat strip out the membranes and seeds from the inside when chopping the pepper as this is where most of the capsaicin resides.

But on the other hand if you like spicy like we do feel free to add a few extra dashes of hot sauce and use a heavier hand with the spices. Hubby likes a few shakes of Tabasco sauce.

Tomatoes: The base of the chili. If you are lucky enough to have oodles of fresh garden tomatoes and looking to use them up they work very well. I have needed to cook the chili an extra 10-15 minutes to allow the tomatoes to cook down when substituting fresh tomatoes for canned.

Red kidney beans: I can’t imagine chili without beans; I love them. Either light or dark kidney beans are fine. Black beans are also delicious.

So after some chopping and prepping you get to do something else for 45 minutes while occasionally wandering over to stir the chili. Allow a few minutes to add the beans and chop the cilantro and simmer another few minutes. Then ladle the soup into bowls and enjoy this delicious chili.

Turkey Chili

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp hot chili powder
  • tsp dried oregano leaves
  • tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp hot pepper flakes or to taste
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, including juice
  • 1 cup chicken broth reduced sodium
  • 1 can (16 oz.) red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  • In a large stock pot cook turkey over medium-high heat, breaking up with a spoon. Add onions, celery, red pepper and jalapeno pepper. Cook until the turkey is browned and vegetables are starting to soften. Add garlic and cook for one minute.
  • Add chili powder, oregano, cumin, hot pepper flakes and cayenne pepper; cook, stirring often, for two minutes.
  • Stir in diced tomatoes with juice and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes.
  • Add beans and cilantro; cover and simmer for another 5 minutes or until heated through.
Keyword Comfort, Spicy


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating