Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili ~ by My Utensil CrockThis is the winter of Turkey Chili.

I feel like it’s everywhere! And why shouldn’t it be? Turkey Chili is such a great meal – lean meat, beans, vegetables, tomato – so filling, one-pot, easy to make on a weeknight… need I go on?

Turkey Chili ~ by My Utensil Crock

I will. Turkey Chili is easy to carry to work for lunch, and you can always have the ingredients on-hand to make in a pinch or on a snow day.

I will leave it there. For now.

When I went to call up an old recipe to see how I have been making chili, I realized that I don’t have a recipe. {I actually just got up to check one more place – nope.} Lost in the sands of time, I guess. But that’s an ok thing, because this recipe is my new recipe, and I highly recommend you try it for yourself as well.

Some people like white turkey chili – with chickpeas and white beans and whatnot. There is nothing wrong with this, but I am a tomato-based chili type of girl. In fact, I added a bunch more tomato to the recipe that I was using as a guideline, and it worked out very well.

Turkey Chili ~ by My Utensil Crock

Chili is one of those dishes that you can absolutely alter to your tastes. I mean, how many chili recipes are there in the world? At least 4. Psych. At least 4 million; I’m sure every household has their own. They all work, and if you want more or less spice, just do it. Hate kidney beans? I only eat them in chili, but could do without them otherwise; I feel ya. This recipe had me add celery, which blew my mind – but anything to add more healthy ingredients to my food. I’m in.

This was a heavy recipe to shop for at the store {…and then carry home while walking my dog … long story, but he was a VERY good boy}, but a super-easy one to keep ingredients for in your pantry – lots of cans! And a pound of meat that you can keep frozen until needed. The fresh ingredients are onion, celery, jalapeno, and garlic … this recipe (like most chili recipes) is simply low-maintenance. And honestly, the jalapeno is optional – add as much or as little as you want. Or sprinkle on top for stronger flavor.

Turkey Chili ~ by My Utensil Crock

5.0 from 1 reviews
Turkey Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Nothing says winter like a big pot of chili. And with lean meat, and all these vegetables and beans? #perfection
Recipe type: Chili
Serves: 4+ servings
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey breast (white meat)
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 ribs of celery, leaves removed, diced
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced (2-3 large cloves)
  • .5 - 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 3 Tbsp chili powder (light - not dark - not spicy)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes (no salt added)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can (14 oz) tomato sauce (no salt added)
  • 1 can (4 oz) mild diced green chiles
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth {I used some I had frozen from this recipe}
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans (no salt added), rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans (no salt added), rinsed and drained
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream or greek yogurt, chopped jalapeno pepper, cornbread croutons
  1. Place a large heavy pot, like a dutch oven, over high heat. When the pot is warm, add a very light coat of extra virgin olive oil. Add the ground turkey, and cook until it is all white, breaking it up into small pieces with a flat-edged utensil.
  2. Move the turkey to one side, and add a bit more extra virgin olive oil to the empty space you have created. Add the onion, celery, garlic, and jalapeno on top of that new oil, and cook for a few minutes, stirring to cook them evenly, and stirring them into the turkey when the vegetables are browned. They will continue to get soft as the chili cooked, but you won't be able to get more color on them after this.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the bay leaves, oregano, chili powder, and cumin, and stir to incorporate.
  4. Add all of the tomatoes: diced (with the liquid), paste, and sauce. Stir well, making sure to break up the paste.
  5. Add the chiles and chicken broth, and salt and pepper, and stir well.
  6. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook the chili for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, and scraping off the sides as it gets thicker.
  7. Add the rinsed, drained beans, and stir well. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
  8. Serve with toppings as desired, and cornbread.

Turkey Chili ~ by My Utensil CrockInspired byhttps://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/7985-turkey-chili


  1. Page D says

    So, apparently all it took was a nudge from MUC to get me whipping up my inaugural batch of chili. Who knew. I ended up subbing ground bison for the turkey and bok choy for the celery as I already had those items on hand. I also used 1 tsp. of cayenne instead of the chili powder. This was partially because I wasn’t *totally* sure if I had the right, non spicy kind (if was sort of a medium color) and I’m more familiar with the spice level of cayenne so just went with that. It had a kick but could definitely use some additional heat, for someone with a heat seeking palate like mine. Overall, this recipe is really great… very easy to follow and I love using the dutch oven for all the cooking– no need to use and dirty multiple pans. I also like to attention to added salt in the various tomato items. The salt can add up quickly and it’s easier to season afterwards. Thanks for the motivation Becky!!

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