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

Nov 15, 2011

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

Aug 21, 2014

I heart this recipe so so much!!! I love that the flavor is complex - you can adjust the heat. And what I love most is using the chili spice as a rub on grilled chicken and fish. When I make this recipe, I double the spices, store 1/2 of them in a covered jar, and make the chili with the rest. The spice mix stays on-hand when I'm in a hurry. Rub it together with a T of oil into some chicken thighs and grill for a quick, DeLicious dinner.

Sep 28, 2014

I have recently become obsessed with Chef John's recipes, videos, and reviews. My husband made this chili on Friday night and did not change anything. The flavor and consistency were excellent. Last night I took the left overs and made a pasta bake with 8 oz Campanella pasta and shredded Vermont white cheddar in an 8x8 pan covered @ 350 for 30 min and uncovered for another 15 min. The chili had such wonderful intense flavor that I did not need to add anymore spice. This is very spicy and not for kids as is.

Aug 20, 2014

Very good!! It was very spicey though, I lef out one of the peppers it called for just cause I didn't have it and used only a tablespoon chili powder. Nice flavor though and if you like it spicey use the recommended measurements. I will definitely be making this again!

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!

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.


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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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