November 28, 2022

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Cooking Is My World

Hearty Turkey Chili – A Southern Soul

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This amazingly flavorful chili is loaded with tender ground turkey and beans in a rich tomato sauce with just the right amount of warm spice. Hearty Turkey Chili is healthy comfort food you can feel good about eating without skimping on taste!

Bowl of hearty turkey chili topped with sour cream cheese and chives.

The “ber” months are here! September, October, November, and December are all favorites of mine, and not just because of the special days they bring us. These months mean it’s time to cook soups, stews, and chilies.

I’m kicking off my comfort food cooking season this year with Hearty Turkey Chili. It’s being added to the list of chili recipes along with my Award Winning Southern Soul Chili, White Chicken Chili, and Bloody Mary Chili.

This healthy chili recipe is loaded with protein and super easy to make. It’s also one of my “make it your own” recipes, since you can swap out the type of beans you like and make it more or less spicy. And that’s not all, you make it in your favorite pot or in the slow cooker.

Here’s to the “ber” months and all that they are!

bowl of hearty turkey chili being cooked low and slow.

Ingredients In Hearty Turkey Chili

  • Ground Turkey – you can use all white meat if you like.
  • Bacon – I used pork bacon, but turkey bacon would also work great.
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Red Kidney Beans – drained and rinsed.
  • Canned Diced Tomatoes
  • Rotel Tomatoes and Chilies
  • Tomato Paste
  • Chicken or Vegetable Stock
  • Chili Powder
  • Ground Cumin
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt
  • Maple Syrup

Scroll down for the ingredient measurements and full instructions.

Bowl of hearty turkey chili topped with sour cream cheese and chives. with cornbread muffins in the background.

How To Make Turkey Chili

With just a few minutes of prep time, a little measuring and stirring, you can have delicious hearty chili in about an hour including cook time.

First, cook the bacon over medium high heat. When the bacon is halfway done, add in the onion and cook until tender. Add in the turkey and cook until browned, then add the garlic.

Next, add in the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, salt and red pepper. Reduce to medium heat and cook for one minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, Rotel tomatoes and green chilies, chicken broth and beans. Stir to combine.

Simmer the chili for 45 minutes allowing deep rich flavor to develop.

Can You Freeze This Recipe?

Yes, you sure can. To freeze, let the chili cool, then place it in an airtight container or a freezer-safe ziplock bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To serve, let the chili thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then heat on the stove top or in the microwave.

Bowl of hearty turkey chili topped with sour cream cheese and chives.

Favorite Chili Toppings

Now this is where things get fun! You can keep things simple and enjoy the chili just as it is, or you can go for broke and load it up with your favorite toppings. I love serving this turkey chili recipe with bowls of different extras so that everyone can add what they like.

  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Chopped Green Onions
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Cilantro
  • Sour Cream
  • Avocado
  • Chopped Jalapeño Pepper
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Bacon Bits

What Goes With Turkey Chili

This recipe is great to serve for a weeknight meal, or lazy weekends. Here are a few ways I like to serve it:

Bowl of hearty turkey chili topped with sour cream cheese and chives.

More Comfort Food Recipes You’ll Love

Last But Not Least…

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Hearty Turkey Chili

This quick, flavorful chili is loaded with tender ground turkey and beans in a rich tomato sauce with just the right amount of warm spice. Hearty Turkey Chili is healthy comfort food you can feel good about eating without skimping on taste!

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Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Servings: 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into fourths
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 10 ounce can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 15.8 ounce cans cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions

  • Cook the bacon over medium high heat in a heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven. When the bacon is halfway done, add in the onion and cook until tender. Add in the turkey and cook until browned, then add the garlic. Stir and cook for 1 minute, being careful not to let the garlic burn.

  • Add in the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, salt and red pepper. Reduce to medium heat and cook for one minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, Rotel tomatoes and green chilies, chicken broth and beans. Stir to combine. Add in the maple syrup, stir, and turn down the heat to low.

  • Simmer the chili for 45 minutes allowing deep rich flavor to develop. Serve hot with all your favorite toppings.

Notes

To Freeze: let the chili cool, then place it in an airtight container or a freezer-safe ziplock bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To serve, let the chili thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then heat on the stove top or in the microwave.