The Best Turkey Chili You Must Try

Turkey chili is all the rage right now, and you don’t want to end up missing out on this party! This recipe is a healthier alternative to a hearty classic. Trust me. It is simply delicious. I’ve been experimenting with how to make the best turkey chili, and – not to brag, but – I’ve nailed it! Of course, you’ll need to put in the work to master this amazing recipe, but it’s worth it. 

This turkey chili is rich, flavorful, and comforting and makes for the perfect cold-weather dish. While turkey is leaner than pork or beef, this dish is still just as thick and tasty. I add plenty of spices, including cumin, paprika, and dried oregano, to make every bite burst with flavors. For this recipe, you will also need to add a dark beer to the chili to get its rich buttery taste. You probably haven’t even noticed, but beer is a quintessential ingredient for all great chilis!  

How does turkey chili taste?

If you’re accustomed to eating beef chili or vegetarian chili, you may be wondering what to expect from a turkey-based recipe. Turkey offers a texture similar to beef but packs an intense, juicy flavor that pairs beautifully with chili beans and spices. Turkey chili is also still very juicy, so it is a great alternative if you are trying to lose some weight. 

What are the health benefits of turkey chili? 

While red meat is good for you in moderation, some people need to minimize their intake of beef. Turkey is a succulent, flavorful alternative to beef that is lower in fat and cholesterol. Turkey is also an excellent source of protein and iron that help the body function. Turkey chili is a filling and hearty low-calorie meal. 

How many people will this turkey chili recipe feed? 

Whether you’re cooking a family dinner or going to a potluck, you’ll be able to keep everyone happy. This particular recipe will feed about eight people, but you can easily double (or triple!) the recipe to accommodate more. The chili also freezes well, which means you can whip up a large batch now and enjoy a simple meal later. 

What can I serve with turkey chili? 

My favorite dish to serve along with turkey chili is classic cornbread, but you might also enjoy chili with pita chips or bread. 

Best Chili Toppings

Chili is a spicy, meaty stew with plenty of unique ingredients. The various ingredients and intense flavor make it the perfect stew to load up on toppings. While you can definitely get creative and add whatever you would like, here are some of my favorites. 

  • Shredded cheddar cheese 
  • Jalapenos 
  • Avocado 
  • Scallion  
  • Cilantro 
  • Crushed tortilla chips 
  • Sour cream 
  • Red onions 
  • Diced tomatoes 

Tips for Making The Best Chili 

  1. Prepare and cook the turkey separately – Cook the turkey in the pot that you want to make the chili. Break apart the ground turkey with a spatula or wooden spoon to prevent clumping. Once the turkey is cooked, add the tomato paste, the adobo chili, dry oregano, cumin, and sauté for a few minutes! Let the turkey meat absorb all the goodness of those ingredients.  
  2. Sauté the vegetables – Cook the onion, celery, and red pepper, and then season them with the correct spices. Once the vegetables are soft, add them to the turkey. 
  3. Add Tomatoes – I used 6 cups of fresh tomatoes that I roasted when it was in season and froze, but if you don’t have fresh tomatoes and have to use three cans of peeled tomatoes. Add some to a saucepan, and add some minced garlic, fresh oregano, and salt. Once everything is incorporated, add the chicken broth and simmer until you have a good, rich sauce. There should be a total of 6 cups of tomatoes. 
  4. Add The Beef – After each of the ingredients has been cooked separately, add them together and bring the pot to a boil. Then add the beer and bring it to a boil. Finally, add the beans and let it simmer for about 10 minutes! 
  5. Make it Spicy – I used two peppers of chipotle chili en adobo sauce, but I didn’t add powdered chili. If you don’t have chipotle, use dry chili! 


Adjust Servings
3 lbs ground turkey
1 large onion (chopped)
4 celery stalks (chopped small)
2 red bell pepper (chopped)
6 cloves minced garlic
6 cups roasted tomatoes (chopped and juiced OR)
3 cans tomatoes (peeled and chopped, cooked with 2 cups of either turkey or chicken broth)
3 tablespoon tomatoes paste
3 cans cannellini beans (or your choice of beans)
2 chipotle chiles in adobo (chopped)
1 jalapeno (chopped)
24 oz dark beer
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons ground cumin (separated)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon dry oregano
2 tablespoons fresh oregano (chopped)


In a deep stock pot, over medium-high heat, add the ground turkey, using a wooden spoon, and break the meat until it is no more stick together.
Note: For best results, prepare the turkey, vegetables, and tomatoes separately.
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Once the meat is done cooking, add the tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of dry oregano, half of the fresh oregano, 1 teaspoon of dry paprika, the chipotle pepper, and 1 tablespoon of cumin.
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Mix everything together and cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat!
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Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. When it's hot, add onion and sauté for 3 minutes, followed by celery, red peppers, and chopped jalapeno. Sauté for 3 minutes until the vegetables start softening. Next, add the garlic, then cumin, salt, and paprika. Sauté for 2 minutes.
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Add the sauteed vegetables over the cooked ground turkey and mix.
After all the ingredients are incorporated, add 6 cups of the ready-roasted tomato mix or the tomatoes you use. Then pour in the beer, mix everything, and let it cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
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Add the beans and cook for another 5 minutes! And it’s all done! enjoy
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Top with a slice of green pepper, cilantro, shredded cheese, and sour cream. I hope you love this amazing turkey chili recipe as much as I do! Give it a try, and tell me about your experience in the comments below.
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