This easy turkey chili is my take on a classic: I’ve added extra veggies, dialed in the spices until they’re just right, and made it my own. I like to make this at the beginning of the week because it reheats so well for lunch all week long. Pile the toppings on the ground turkey and enjoy! I hope you love this recipe as much as I do.
Easy Turkey ChiliPrint Recipe
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce + 3 cans (45-ounce) water
- 2 ½ tablespoons chili powder
- 1–2 chipotles in adobo, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- Garnishes: shredded cheese, chopped onions, cilantro, tortilla chips
1. Put the ground turkey into a large pot and add the onions and peppers (if using 85% lean, you won’t need to add oil, if using 97% lean, add 2 tablespoons olive oil for the vegetables to saute). Cook the mixture over medium heat until the meat is browned.
2. Drain off the excess fat if needed, and then pour in the tomato sauce, water, chili powder, chipotles in adobo, cumin, oregano, and salt.
3. Stir together well, cover, and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
4. Stir in the black beans and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
5. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste and serve with desired garnishes.
Chipotles in adobo aren’t that spicy, but they do pack a punch! If you don’t like chili that’s too spicy, I’d start with 1 chopped chipotle in adobo and work from there.
I have the water listed as “cans”, as in, the can that the tomatoes or black beans are in. No need to dirty a measuring cup when you can just add three cans of water! Cooking is an art, not a science.
Can I freeze this?
Definitely! A good rule of thumb to keep in mind with freezing soup is that it’s okay as long as the soup doesn’t contain dairy. This chili recipe will freeze beautifully, but you could also cut the recipe in half easily. This article is a great resource for freezing soup. Make sure you freeze the soup flat, so it stacks nicely in the freezer!
How adaptable is this soup?
Very! So a few things: you can swap the ground turkey for ground beef, chicken, or whatever. It will also work to swap in an extra can of beans if you prefer a vegetarian variation. Maybe use kidney or pinto beans if that’s what you’re going for just to keep things exciting.
Another great thing about this turkey chili is that it leans heavily on pantry staples. I always have tomato sauce, beans, spices, and onions on hand, so all I need to do is pick up some ground turkey and bell pepper.
Okay, but tbh I’ve heard that chili takes all day to cook.
Not true! The key to a great pot of chili that doesn’t take forever to make is many layers of flavor. Here’s what’s making this chili work:
- Sauteing onion and bell pepper with the ground turkey not only smells great but is the first layer of flavor.
- Using a robust blend of common pantry spices like chili powder (you’ll use more than you think!) and cumin give the dish the classic flavor profile.
- Smoky chipotles in adobo come in at the end for a layer of smoky spice that makes it seem like you’ve been cooking it all day long.