Fall is Here: My Favorite Turkey Chili Recipe

October 8, 2012
The weather has started to change, the air is getting cooler. Here in Santa Barbara that means instead of 80 degrees, we're hovering around 70 or so. The nights are getting colder, the mornings foggier, and I'm just now starting to bust out the old winter favorites. This recipe is for your classic comforting chili - fresh vegetables, red beans, white beans, seasoned turkey, rich tomato base - it's absolutely delicious, especially with fresh cornbread.

A few notes: feel free to use ground beef instead of turkey, add in black beans, red bell peppers instead of green - just go nuts. Also, don't leave out the cider vinegar - it seriously makes this chili.

// Turkey Chili //
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
Yields 1 big pot / Serves approx 6


1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 carrots, cut in half long ways and sliced thin
1.5 lbs ground turkey
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups beef broth
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 green bell pepper, chopped

In a large pot (I used a Dutch Oven), heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, cook for a bit until softened. Add carrots and garlic and cook for another minute. 

Add ground turkey and cook through. Add chili powder, cumin, paprika and pepper flakes, cook for another minute. Add tomato sauce, broth, and vinegar, cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Add beans, bell peppers and season with salt and pepper as desired (I actually used very little salt, but add whatever you like). Simmer for another 10-15 minutes or until the pepper are soft. 

Serve with fresh cornbread, shredded sharp cheddar, minced onions, or whatever you fancy. Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite chili/winter soup recipe? Please share! 


  1. Oh! I'm so happy to find this recipe. I was JUST wondering what to do with some ground turkey - and this will be perfect! Definitely on our menu this week...

    1. Oh good! You will not be disappointed...it is such lovely comfort food. :) SO happy that you're back in CA!!