Chef John's Turkey Chili Recipe -
Chef John's Turkey Chili  Recipe
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Easy Turkey Chili
Watch how to make a simple recipe for delicious turkey chili. See more
  • READY IN ABOUT 2 hrs

Chef John's Turkey Chili

Recipe by  

"I served mine with some beautifully ripe slices of avocado that gives the final bowl another layer of silky richness. By the way, don't let the cocoa powder in our chili spice mixture throw you off! It's only a small amount and it really works. My chili was garnished with sour cream, diced jalapeno, cilantro and avocado."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr 40 mins

    1 hr 50 mins


  1. Mix the ancho chile powder, paprika, cumin, salt, chipotle pepper, oregano, cocoa powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon in a bowl; set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ground turkey and garlic. Cook and stir until turkey is no longer pink, breaking up any large chunks, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the spice mixture. Cook until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato puree and water. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low. Cook until the turkey meat is broken down, about 1 hour. Stir in the beans, and continue to simmer until flavors have blended, 20 to 30 more minutes.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Feb 02, 2012

We loved this chili! I will make it again for my husbands birthday party. It is spicy so just put less spice and add until it is right for you. Very good.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Feb 21, 2012

Quite nice but nothing special


27 Ratings

Nov 15, 2011

Spicy but very tasty. Added an extra can of maple flavoured beans. Will use this recipe again. Thanks chef John!

Jan 29, 2012

Giving this 4 stars only because it was too spicy for me. It was good, and I should add we ate it the next day loaded with cheese, sour cream and guacamole and ate it as nachos. We liked the nachos as all the condiments and chips cooled down the spice. It's very thick and does has a really good flavor. But like I said (for me) way too spicy. So if you like it hot you will love this chili.

Feb 17, 2014

Chef John this is the most flavorful WONDERFUL chili I have ever made! Absolutely 100% GREAT! What a terrific EASY recipe and better for you than using fatty ground beef. Highly recommended and will most definitely put it on our regular menu. YUM!

Nov 04, 2013

Easy to make. Yes, it was spicy but just the right amount. My husband and I enjoyed the meal while my teens did not. I would make this meal again.

May 13, 2013

I have made this chili at least 6 times, including for two parties. It is great chili and even better with sour cream and cheese. I also add pickles peppers at the end sometimes. If it is too hot reduce the Chipotle chili powder some.

Nov 25, 2012

This is a very good recipe, but I'm not a huge fan of mole and I think for me the addition of the cocoa was not for me. However, many others were very pleased with the taste. I also used black beans instead of pinto beans (personal preference). Some other reviewers complained this was too spicy, not for us. We added jalapenos. We also topped it with greek yogurt (in lieu of sour cream)


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  • Calories
  • 448 kcal
  • 22%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 27.9 g
  • 9%
  • Cholesterol
  • 140 mg
  • 47%
  • Fat
  • 18.9 g
  • 29%
  • Fiber
  • 9.1 g
  • 36%
  • Protein
  • 45.1 g
  • 90%
  • Sodium
  • 1635 mg
  • 65%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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