My Recipe Box

Turkey Chili


Serves four to six.

Yields 7 cups.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 49

A light but still-hearty chili for cold winter nights.

  • 3 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 8 oz. button mushrooms (about 10 medium-small)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 fresh jalapeño
  • 2-1/2 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. cayenne; more to taste
  • 1-1/2 tsp. coarse salt; more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 can (29 oz.) tomato purée
  • 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can (15-1/2 oz.) small white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 to 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

In a medium Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until they’re just limp and some of the edges are browned, about 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms and mince the garlic cloves and jalapeño. When the onion mixture is ready, add the mushrooms and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until tender and light brown on the edges, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, jalapeño, chili powder, oregano, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Stir until well blended and fragrant, about 1 minute. Loosely break apart the ground turkey and add it to the pot. Gently stir until slightly more separated (don’t stir too much or the chili will be mealy) and coated with the other ingredients.

Stir in the tomato purée and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low or low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce is slightly reduced and thickened, about 20 minutes. Stir in the drained white beans and the balsamic vinegar. Taste and add more cayenne, salt, and pepper or another 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar to taste. Garnish with sour cream, snipped chives, and shredded Cheddar cheese, if you like.

Make Ahead Tips

The chili can be refrigerated for up to two days.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 310, Fat (kcal): 9, Fat Calories (g): 80, Saturated Fat (g): 1, Protein (g): 27, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2, Carbohydrates (mg): 34, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 5, Sodium (g): 1280, Cholesterol (g): 55, Fiber (g): 9,

Photo: Scott Phillips

I have made this twice; will not be making it again. Way too much tomato purée and overpowering tomato flavor. The second time I added two cups plus of water to get it to a consistency that would simmer and not burn because of all that tomato purée.

A staple in our house for years now. Comes together very easily and the flavored are great!

I don't particularly care for using ground turkey in this recipe. I prefer to use leftovers from Thanksgiving/Christmas, both white and dark meat. Shred it a bit and make the chili with that.

I don't want to be really harsh, but the turkey doesn't really bring anything to the dish. I only know there is texture of ground flavor-lacking meat. The most prominent flavor is the tomato by a long shot, and then of course the peppers. I think this chili overall has a nice texture, but my thoughts are why waste the time and ingredients unless you really need to have turkey in your diet and you need some way to turn it into something different. This seems to be more like a tomato gumbo. If there were a seasoning or technique to make the turkey flavor come out a bit more than the level it is at, than it would be worth the work.

This was really tasty, just a little too tomato-y for us. I don't know why it was considered "light" because it was on the heavy side. Will surely make it again on another cool fall day.

Easy, flavourful and versatile. I adapted slightly by adding a medium sweet potato, a small carrot and some dried thyme sprigs that were in my pantry. To add more body to the sauce to balance out the bulk of the additional ingredients, I did not drain the diced tomatoes and mixed in some chicken broth. The balsamic helps to round out and freshen up the flavours. Delicious!

This is a really healthy chili and has become our house favorite. Serve with fresh from the oven corn muffins and a salad.

This is our house chili now. It's lighter but still has flavor. A good one.

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