Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili

One of my favorite recipes I have been making for almost twenty years has to be my turkey chili recipe.  I have no idea where the it came from originally.  Back then, my personal recipe book consisted of clippings from newspapers and magazines that every once in a while I would take the time (apparently I had time back then) to write down, word for word, each of my favorite recipes into my handy dandy book. Yes, I've been a food nerd for a while. Don't judge.  All I can say is that I am thankful times have changed.  Thank you, God and Your minions that computers, the internet, and the media have all come together to make my life easier.  Gone are my clippings and manila file folders. Now, it's all saved on the computer or my favorite other place, Pinterest (



Turkey Chili with Toppings

My bowl of turkey chili

I still have my old recipe book.  It's barely holding itself together, but there are some pretty good recipes I consistently go back to including my turkey chili recipe.  I am actually surprised I took a chance back then to make the recipe because it has some very interesting ingredients versus other chili recipes I had tried.  I was not very adventurous back then.  Yet, I am definitely happy I gave it a try.

What is interesting and seems a bit odd are the combination of ingredients into what I firmly believe is one of the best tasting chili recipes you will ever come across.  And, I am not just blowing smoke...or chili powder! Among the regular spices such as chili powder and cumin, the recipe calls for unsweetened cocoa powder and strongly brewed black coffee.  Both ingredients serving to greatly enhance the depth of the other ingredients. You'd never have any idea they are in there. Adding tarragon vinegar at the end and whatever toppings your little heart desires gives it a nice punch that will give


a little nose-clearing heat.  Add whatever toppings you like and enjoy every bite.

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1 to 2 pounds of ground turkey (I usually go for the two because my husband likes a little more meat in the chili)

1 onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour

3 Tablespoons Chili Powder

2 Tablespoons Ground Cumin

2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes

2 teaspoons strongly brewed black coffee

1/4 cup tarragon vinegar (you can substitute apple cider vinegar)

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 15-ounce can kidney or canellini beans, drained and rinsed


1.  In a heavy stockpot over medium-high heat, brown the ground turkey until the pink disappears.

2.  Add the onion, the peppers, and the garlic, stirring often for 5 minutes.

3.  Add the flour, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, and cayenne pepper.  Stir them into the turkey/vegetable mixture and mix well.  Continue letting the mixture cook for 5 minutes in order to let the flavors sink in.  Continually stir to make sure the ingredients aren't sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Browned turkey with flour and spices

4.  Add the can of crushed tomatoes, the black coffee, and the vinegar.  Cook for 3 minutes.

5.  Turn the temperature to low and cover with a lid.  Simmer for 45 minutes.

Turkey Chili

Simmering Turkey Chili

6.  After 45 minutes, add the beans to the pot and continue cooking for 10 more minutes until the beans are warmed through.