I love chili and this Turkey Chili con Carne recipe. Meat and beans seem to be a holy combination. I grew up with beef, kidney beans, and tomatoes being the hallmark of my mother’s chili (besides the side of cornbread).
As I’ve gotten older, I still enjoy a great but simple chili, but when I’m looking to take the flavor to the next level. This is the Turkey Chili con Carne I make for friends and family.
The addition of cinnamon, cayenne, cumin, and Spanish paprika might seem unorthodox, but these spices add a complex hot/savory flavor combination that works well with the meat and vegetables. Feel free to substitute the good quality ground beef in place of ground turkey – while I think ground turkey thighs offer a healthier yet tasty alternative to beef, you will still get the same result.
Don’t forget to serve with some fluffy basmati rice, some sour cream or greek yogurt, and a nice splash of fresh-squeezed lime to finish. If you really want to get Tex-Mex, a spoonful of guacamole could be a nice finish as well.
Perfect and Steamy Turkey Chili con CarnePrint Recipe
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
- 1 pound ground turkey thighs or ground beef
- 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
- 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 bunch cilantro, stems finely minced, leaves chopped
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Fresh limes
- Basmati rice, cooked according to the package’s instructions
1. Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven to medium/medium-high heat, and add the extra virgin olive oil. Once hot, add the onions, carrots, celery, red pepper, cilantro stalks, garlic, and red pepper flakes to the pot, along with a healthy pinch of salt and black pepper, and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent. Add the remaining spices to the pot and cook the vegetables for 1-2 minutes.
2. Add the ground turkey (or ground beef, if substituting) to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garbanzo beans, kidney beans, and tomatoes, and stir well, cooking for an additional 2 minutes. I usually fill up one of the 15-ounce cans with cold water and add it to the chili until the vegetables and meat are just barely covered with water. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir to combine. Bring the chili to almost a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
3. After 30 minutes, give the chili a taste. It will probably need more salt, possibly black pepper. Taste, season, stir and re-taste until you have hit your seasoning preference. Add the chopped cilantro leaves (remember, you added the stems in step one) to the chili and cook for another minute or so.
4. Once ready, put some basmati rice in a bowl and top with the chili con carne. I like to finish my chili off with some Greek yogurt or sour cream and give it a nice squeeze of lime before digging in.