Turkey and Bean Chili

Turkey and Bean Chili – gluten free, soy free, dairy free 

Full of flavor, my Turkey and Bean Chili  is a wide mix of spices and herbs with a hint of brown sugar, for a little sweetness.  A very flexible dish that you can easily sub items with a variety of options, found in your pantry.  I rarely make entrees with ground turkey, but this is one of our favorites and reminds us how much we enjoy it.  Especially when the clouds start rolling in, and the leaves start turning.  Great for a chili (get it chili, chilly) or rainy day.  This is one of those, clean the pantry dishes for me.  I use whatever I have on hand.  If I have an odd number of beans or four different kinds, I use them.  Even if I find a can of barbecue beans or cuban beans, that goes in.  If it is a sweet bean, like a bbq, I omit the sugar.  If I have flavored tomatoes, like italian or with Green Chili’s I use that.  It aids in using the pantry staples, for a fresh start and hopefully no waste.   I am so happy to share this chili recipe with you.  I  have been making this chili for about 10 years now, experimenting and perfecting it with each creation, it is one of my babies, my pieces of art for the tummy.   It always turns out well for me, like an old friend I can lean on and just know, it will be alright.   If you are looking for a Vegan alternative, you can replace with your choice of meat alternative, omit it all together, or exchange for eggplant or  mushrooms and continue to step  3.    

Turkey and Bean Chili is one of our favorite weather changing recipes.  Here in the more southern part of Arizona, we don’t get much of a fall.  We get the leaves changing, when there are trees, the cacti don’t do much, the smell of wood fires come in the evenings when the sun recedes, and more cloudy days come with cooler temps.  That is about it, so we find recipes that remind us of fall and the changing of the seasons.  We just wait for a cloudy day, curl up and watch a couple good movies and eat some great Chili.  I would pair this with either, Big, Sleepless in Seattle,  or You’ve Got Mail.  Yes I love the old Tom Hanks movies  they comfort me, make me smile and remind me of the good old days.  They are movies I never tire of, and that is a rarity indeed.   Enjoy this chili, the cooler weather, and a good movie. 

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Turkey & Bean Chili




  • 1 Tablespoon Canola or Olive Oil
  • 1 Package ground Turkey (about 1 1/2 lb.)
  •  1 tsp. Salt or to taste
  • 2 tsp. Garlic Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Ground Ancho Chile Pepper
  • 1 1/2 TBSP. Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Ground Red Pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Ground Coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • One whole medium-large onion diced (white or yellow)-Throw away outside layer
  • Two green bell peppers diced
  • 2-4 Cloves of Garlic minced
  • 1 finely chopped fresh Jalapeno seeded(optional)
  • One can Tomato Paste (6 oz)
  • 1 TBSP. Brown Sugar (sometimes I substitute with about a half cup ketchup or leave out)
  •  2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 2 cans Black Beans (about 15 oz. each can) Can sub either bean choice for pinto as well. – rinse and drain a couple times!!
  • 2 cans dark red Kidney beans (15 oz)-rinse and drain a couple times!!
  • 1 cup water or your choice of stock



1)  In a small bowl add your Garlic Salt, Ancho Chile, Oregano, Red Pepper, Chili Powder, Cumin, Coriander and Cinnamon, sift and set aside.  This will be your seasoning mix.  

2)  Cook ground Turkey in large Dutch oven pot until about half way cooked, then I sprinkle meat with about 2 TBSP. of Seasoning mix and continue to cook till almost done, about 3/4 of the way.  You will see very little pink.  It’s okay, we will continue to cook it and make sure it is fully cooked before you go to step 4.  

3)  With the 1 TBSP. of Olive Oil add onion and bell pepper to Turkey pot and saute for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno, saute for an additional 1 minute. Don’t over cook.  Here is where you make sure you don’t see any pink, in your turkey and that is fully cooked.  

4)  Stir in tomato paste and remaining ingredients; salt, brown sugar, tomatoes, beans and stock or water then bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer for  1  1/2 hours, stirring every 20-30 minutes.   Make sure to scrape the sides and middle well and check that the heat is not too high.  We want a simmer not a light boil.  This is a slow cooking dish.    


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5)  Taste for salt,  it will probably need a little.  Then serve with some fresh toppings such as; diced tomatoes, green or white onions, chili’s, I like unsweetened coconut yogurt(as a sour cream  sub), or whatever your desires.   I served it with Sweet Jalapeño Cornbread .  EnJoy!  


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If you are looking to stretch your dish you can add more beans, tomatoes and/or vegetables, and increase your stock as well.


You can make this in a crock pot but you need to cook the Turkey first, all of the way done.

Then add Onion, garlic and jalapeno, cook for about 30+ minutes on low in your crock pot.  Then add the rest of ingredients, cook on low for about 4 hours.  If it gets dry or you want more liquid, I add chicken stock 1/2 Cup at a time as it cooks.  Just keep an eye out, stirring occasionally.   

A Turkey and Bean Chili, gluten free, dairy free and soy free.  Also low in calories with only 1 Tablespoon of oil and lean turkey.

Author: Joy

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