Turkey chili recipe

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Terrific Turkey Chili is not just your ordinary chili dish. This recipe brings together the rich flavors of turkey with the freshness of zucchini and the crunch of green bell peppers. The blend of spices, combined with the tanginess of salsa and the heat of green chilies, creates a symphony of flavors that dance on your palate.

Whether you’re looking for a comforting meal on a cold day or a protein-packed dish to fuel your day, this chili is the answer. The toppings of sour cream, green onion, and cheddar cheese add layers of flavor and texture, making each bite a delightful experience. Serve it with some crusty bread or a side salad, and you have a meal that’s both satisfying and wholesome.

Ingredients of a perfect turkey chili recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • Ground turkey
  • Taco seasoning mix
  • Coriander
  • Oregano
  • Chili flakes
  • Tomato paste
  • Beef broth
  • Salsa
  • Tomatoes
  • Green chilies
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 zucchini
  • Sour cream (for topping)
  • Green onion (for topping)
  • Cheddar cheese (for topping)


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble turkey into the pot, stirring with a wooden spoon to break apart as much as possible.
  2. Season with taco seasoning mix, coriander, oregano, chili flakes, and tomato paste. Mix until meat is evenly coated with seasonings. Continue cooking, reducing heat if necessary, until turkey is well browned.
  3. Pour in beef broth, and simmer to reduce liquid slightly, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add salsa, tomatoes, and green chilies, and continue cooking at a moderate simmer for ten minutes. Adjust the thickness by adding water if necessary.
  5. In a separate skillet, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Cook onion and green bell pepper, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent and bell pepper is lightly browned. Add this to the chili.
  6. In the same skillet, heat another tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, and cook stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the zucchini to the chili.
  7. Reduce heat, and continue cooking the chili for 15 minutes more. Adjust consistency with water as needed.
  8. Ladle chili into serving bowls. Top with sour cream, green onion, and cheddar cheese, and serve.

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cooking Time: 40 minutes | Total Time: 60 minutes

Turkey chili recipe FAQ

What is the secret to amazing chili?

The secret to an amazing chili lies in the depth of its flavors. Two unique ingredients that can elevate the taste of your chili are coffee and chocolate. Adding a small amount of semi-sweet baker’s chocolate (about 1/2 – 1 ounce) and a shot of espresso or 1/2 a cup of strong brewed coffee to your chili can introduce a rich depth to its flavor profile.

What are the best beans for chili?

While kidney beans are commonly added to chili, it’s beneficial to incorporate a second type of bean or legume. This could be pinto beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc. Beans and legumes are rich in protein and fiber, and they are more cost-effective than meat. For vegetarian chili, you might even consider using three different kinds of beans and legumes to ensure adequate protein content.

What makes homemade chili better?

Several factors can enhance homemade chili:
Vegetables: Incorporating a variety of vegetables, such as carrots, onions, celery (known as Mire Poix in French cooking), red and green peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, corn, or cauliflower, can make the chili a balanced meal.
Spices: Common spices include cumin, coriander, and oregano. Adding a hint of cinnamon can also introduce a unique flavor. It’s essential to sauté the spices to release their flavors and not to overcook the chili, as prolonged cooking can degrade the essential oils in the spices, leading to a loss of flavor.
Heat: Chili should have some heat, whether mild or intense. Fresh chilies, such as jalapenos or habaneros, can provide this heat more authentically than cayenne pepper. The heat level can be adjusted by removing or retaining the seeds and white ribs inside the pepper.

Why do you put cinnamon in chili?

Cinnamon is added to chili to introduce a unique and pleasant flavor. It doesn’t require much, maybe about 1/4 – 1/2 tsp for a pot, but it adds a distinct and delightful taste to the chili.

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