Turkey Chili

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chili, leftover turkey, turkey chili
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Time to Simmer 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 servings
Calories 375kcal
Author Sam Merritt


  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 red pepper diced (about 1 heaping cup) 155g
  • 1 red onion diced (about 1 ½ cups) 180g
  • 3 cloves garlic minced (about 1 Tablespoon)
  • 2 Tablespoon chili powder*
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar packed
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder**
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 11/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper***
  • 4 cups/1 lb cups cooked shredded turkey meat (450g)
  • 2 cups beef, chicken, or turkey stock my preference is beef (475ml)
  • 28 oz canned fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained if you can't find fire roasted, regular diced tomatoes will work instead (795g)
  • ¼ cup tomato paste 66g
  • 1 14 oz can black beans rinsed and drained (397g)
  • 1 14 oz can dark red kidney beans rinsed and drained (397g)
  • 1 4 oz can fire roasted chilis 113g
  • Your favorite toppings: Sour cream, broken corn chips, diced avocado, shredded cheese, etc.


  • Melt butter over medium/high heat in a large pot (I like to use a Dutch oven) until melted.
  • Add onion and peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent (about 5 minutes)
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  • Add turkey to your pot and then add chili powder, brown sugar, cocoa powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
  • turn ingredients well until turkey is covered with spices.
  • Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to fully develop.
  • Serve, topped with sour cream, crushed corn chips, or your favorite toppings.


*My personal preference is to use ancho chili powder, or a blend of the two, but regular chili powder will work. I prefer ancho chili powder which lends itself to a smokier, slightly sweeter turkey chili, but Zach thinks it's too sweet and prefers regular chili powder.
**Please see my post for more information on why we add cocoa powder (it's not going to make your chili taste like chocolate, I promise!)
***This amount of cayenne pepper adds a very subtle heat to the chili. Feel free to increase this amount at your own discretion to suit your tastebuds.


Serving: 1serving (1/8 of chili, does not include toppings) | Calories: 375kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 9465mg | Potassium: 664mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 950IU | Vitamin C: 9.9mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 4.9mg