Turkey Chili

Turkey chili warms the soul on a brisk fall day. It’s perfect for a horse show or football tailgate. The big bonus, this recipe “quick starts” the Chili Filled Bell Pepper recipe. It is also gluten and dairy free and is part of the “three days of gluten free goodness” menu.

A photo to inspire you to reserve half the chili for stuffed peppers!

Technically, this dish is chili con carne meaning chili (chili peppers) with meat. Growing up, my grandmother’s version contained beef and used red kidney beans and we always loaded it up with cheddar cheese and sour cream. This recipe uses a variety of beans each with their own distinctive texture contribution.

Chili powder is the signature spice that creates the aromatic fragrance and spicy flavor that make this combination of meat and vegetables a favorite. You couldn’t have a chili cook off without chiles and ultimately chili powder.

This recipe serves two. Use the leftover chili for the Chili Filled Bell Peppers.


  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 green bell pepper, diced

  • 2 small can green chiles, minced

  • 1 can black beans (15.5 oz.)

  • 1 can red kidney beans (15.5 oz.)

  • 1 can cannellini beans (15.5 oz.)

  • 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz.)

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz.)

  • 3 tablespoons chili powder


  • Heat olive oil in a saute pan or dutch oven large enough to hold all ingredients.
  • Sauté the garlic, onion and pepper in olive oil until translucent.
  • Add the ground turkey and 1 tablespoon chile powder to the pan and cook over medium heat until brown.
  • Rinse the beans and stir them into the turkey mixture.
  • Add the tomatoes and the remaining chili powder.
  • Bring to a simmer and then cook on low heat for 1 hour. 
  • Remember to save half for the stuffed peppers! It will be difficult if not impossible to resist eating several bowls.