Jan 12

Smoky Turkey Chili Recipe with Chipotle Peppers, & Black & White Beans


Smoky Turkey Chili Recipe with Chipotle Pepper, & Black & White Beans

There must be something in the water. Over the past week, my 8- and 5-year old boys have, on their own accord, added several previously gag-inducing foods to their repertoires. Mustard is now being slathered onto sandwiches, salads are in high demand, and black beans are now considered “awesome”. When I made this chili for dinner, there was a back-up can of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup in the pantry. Rich with cocoa powder, packed with black and white beans, and smoky with heat from chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and chili powder, this chili packs a punch and was not what I considered to be kid-friendly. Remind me never to underestimate kids. Two bowl-clearing helpings later, I was honored with two thumbs up. Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather! If you prefer less heat, simply decrease the amount of chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, and chili pepper. On the other hand, if you like to blow steam out of your ears, well… you know what to do. Chipotle peppers are the key to the smokiness in this recipe, and lend a unique flavor to a variety of dishes, such as Crockpot Chicken, Black Bean & Chipotle Pepper Soup.

The recipe:
Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large, heavy pot set over medium heat. Add 2 chopped medium onions and sauté until tender and light brown, about 10 minutes. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin and 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano.

Stir for 30 seconds, then add 2 chopped garlic cloves. Stir for an additional 30 seconds. Increase heat to medium-high. Add 2 pounds ground turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it is cooked through. Add 1/4 cup chili powder, 2 bay leaves, 1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Add 1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes, including juices. Break up the tomatoes with wooden spoon while cooking. A couple of them weren’t breaking up well, so I took them out of the pot, chopped the tomatoes, then added them back to the mixture.

Mix in 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 2 chopped chipotle peppers, 2 teaspoons of the adobo sauce, and 3 cups low-salt chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard bay leaves.

Drain and rinse 1 (15 oz.) can black beans and 1 (15 oz) can small white beans. Add to the chili and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Ladle chili into bowl, and serve with sour cream and chopped cilantro.

Other turkey chili recipes:
Simply Recipes’ Turkey White Chili
A Mingling of Tastes’ Smoky Turkey Chili
Green Lite BItes’ Slow Cooked Mild Turkey Chili
No Recipes’ Chipotle Turkey Chili with Pickled Jalapeños

Smoky Turkey Chili with Chipotle Peppers, & Black & White Beans
From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com
Serves: Serves 8
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 lb. ground turkey meat
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes (including juices)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
  • 2 tsp adobo sauce (from chipotle pepper can)
  • 3 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can small white beans, drained and rinsed
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  1. Heat canola oil in a large, heavy pot set over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until tender and light brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add cumin and oregano. Stir for 30 seconds, then add garlic cloves. Stir for an additional 30 seconds.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high. Add ground turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it is cooked through.
  4. Add chili powder, bay leaves, cocoa powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add whole tomatoes, including juices. Break up the tomatoes with wooden spoon while cooking. If the tomatoes are breaking down easily, remove from the pot, chop, and then return to the mixture.
  5. Mix in tomato paste, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, and chicken broth.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard bay leaves.
  7. Add black and white beans to the chili. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  8. Ladle chili into bowl, and serve with sour cream and chopped cilantro.

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Divina Pe January 12, 2010 at 1:48 pm

I actually thought they were ground beef but they're turkey. I love a good bowl of chili and thanks for sharing this recipe. Glad your kids gave it a two thumbs up, and you might not need any backup of Campbell's soup. 😀


2 Miranda January 12, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Hey there C.C!
I have missed your lovely recipes!!
I have been stuck in MI and my husband is in FL. It has been this way since the holidays!! He is relocating us, but it has been hard to stay on top of things.

Anyway, this looks fantastic. I love smoky chili. Well done!!!!


3 Tasty Eats At Home January 12, 2010 at 2:56 pm

This sounds SO good. You know, we have three picky eaters at home. (One isn't SO picky, but rarely can I get all three to eat the same thing.) Chili, however – even vegetarian chili – is loved among all three. I'd definitely like to try your version out on them too!


4 kathyvegas January 12, 2010 at 3:13 pm

A lovely, fragrant dish that would thaw frozen toes for sure! I love the cocoa in the the recipe, gives it a mole flavor.


5 LollyChops January 12, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Hi Shirley! hehehe

I could not resist!

This sounds like a fantastic chili recipe! Thanks for sharing!


6 Elin January 12, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Hi CC…that look delicious. I wish turkey meat are cheaper here. It is expensive :( Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will substitute turkey with chicken :))


7 wasabi prime January 12, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Heavenly winter dish! I like the use of different beans; nice reminder to mix things up a bit!


8 Claudia January 12, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Cocoa or chocolate seems to be going into all bean dishes these days. This is a very good trend! I love the different beans, the heartiness, the spice, the warmth to drive away winter.


9 Sortachef January 12, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Nice chili recipe – I think my kids will get a kick out of this one. Thanks!


10 Drick January 12, 2010 at 5:36 pm

the addition of cinnamon is a nice touch with the spices … with the chipotle, this must be really great taste experience….


11 Maria January 12, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I love all of the spices going on in this chili. Great recipe!


12 Emily Ziegler January 12, 2010 at 6:08 pm

What a great blend of flavors!

And black beans are my favorite thing to put into chili. It is honestly the best thing since potatoes.


13 Cathy January 12, 2010 at 6:25 pm

What a gorgeous bowl of chili. It's still very much chili weather here in Minnesota–this one is going to be added to the list!


14 The Chickenless Chick January 12, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Lovin the cocoa powder… And what a gorgeous picture!


15 Tasty Trix January 12, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Omg, could your photos get any better?? So pretty.


16 My Man's Belly January 12, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Congrats on getting the kids to all eat the same thing.

This looks and sounds fantastically delicious. A MUCH BETTER version of the Cincinnati chili I had in college.

Love the new picture…btw.


17 Vegetable Matter January 12, 2010 at 8:03 pm

That picture is amazing!!!


18 Rochelle January 12, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Your chili looks fantastic! I haven't tried mine with turkey yet but your photos make me want to give it a try next time I do a batch :)


19 NOELLE January 12, 2010 at 8:45 pm

I agree! The pictures are so crystal sharp. Great recipe.


20 pegasuslegend January 13, 2010 at 1:14 am

This recipe is perfect for this weather delicious!


21 Kalyn January 13, 2010 at 4:36 am

Good work with the new camera, and the chili sounds great!


22 April Cavin January 13, 2010 at 4:48 am

Hmmm… thinking this would be quite tasty for Super Bowl Sunday!


23 Cookin' Canuck January 13, 2010 at 5:07 am

Thanks for all of your comments about the recipe and photos. I am having a great time playing with my new camera, though I still have so much to learn.

We finished up the leftovers of this chili tonight and, as with most chilis and stews, it was even better the second time around.


24 Cristie January 13, 2010 at 5:08 am

What a great mix of beans and rice with great spices to boot! Sounds wonderful.


25 Ruth January 13, 2010 at 2:05 pm

No wonder they loved it! The flavours sound amazing!!


26 Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer January 13, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Looks incredible no surprise it is a hit! Love the flavor combinations. We actually prefer turkey based chili to beef so this is going right to the top of the must make list!


27 Gera @ Sweets Foods Blog January 13, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Anything with turkey chili and chipotle peppers is very good in my book. 😉




28 Hummingbird Appetite January 14, 2010 at 2:16 am

I love chili! I like that you added cocoa to it.


29 bunkycooks January 14, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I am always looking for a turkey chili recipe that has great flavor. Unfortunately, most do not. I look forward to trying this one out! It looks delish!


30 bonnie January 14, 2010 at 3:29 pm

The chili loos awesome, cocoa great added flavor, kids will surprise you…


31 Abigail January 16, 2010 at 2:10 am

Yum yum yum! Made this tonight and enjoying it as we speak! Crazy delicious!! Thanks for the recipe. :)


32 Cookin' Canuck January 16, 2010 at 3:13 am

Thanks again for the rest of your comments.

Abigail, thank you for letting me know that you made this. I'm so glad that you enjoyed it as much as we did.


33 Emily January 17, 2010 at 9:29 pm

I made this chili for the Cowboys game and it was a huge hit! Delicious! A new favorite in my book.



34 Stephanie January 21, 2010 at 1:56 am

This recipe is fabulous! I made it for the Vikings/Cowboys game last Sunday and it was a huge hit. I have several friends who don't eat beef so I was resigned to turkey but I couldn't even tell it wasn't beef! I doubled the recipe and it was perfect for 12 people. Thanks much!


35 mamashack January 28, 2011 at 11:00 pm

that looks delicious! I am might have to fit that in next week


36 Aimee March 29, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Made this this evening when our weather turned cold and rainy-gotta love Texas weather. So wonderful!! Everyone loved it, even my littlest who had her own back up of Velveeta Mac and Cheese handy! Thanks so sharing!


37 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) March 29, 2011 at 4:42 pm

I am honored that someone from Texas enjoyed my chili. Seriously, I take that as a huge compliment. Thank you!


38 4virtu October 2, 2012 at 10:25 am

Happy Tasty Tuesday! We love this recipe and it is featured on our Recipes for the Food Holidays of October! Thanks for sharing!!


39 Abbie November 2, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Hi! This is a pretty old post, I know, but I found it a while ago and have since made it a few times. I have to say, the first time I made it was in Montreal and I couldn’t find chipotles in adobo ANYWHERE. I figured chipotles… Peppers… Pickled hot peppers? Ha. They don’t really have many flavor similarities, but being the pickled hot pepper freak that I am, I really liked, maybe prered, the version with the hot peppers as opposed to the adobo. The smokiness the adobo peppers add is unmatched, though. :)
Anyways, thanks for the recipe. :) I always enjoy making it when the weather gets nippy.


40 Noelle January 8, 2013 at 4:19 pm

I just have to comment to let you know that this has been our go-to chili recipe since we found your post two years ago. We always get tons of compliments on it, because it’s flipping amazing. Thank you :-)


41 Rhea March 6, 2013 at 12:50 pm

This is the best chili I have ever made. It is now a staple in our home. It’s amazingly good and makes enough to have dinner and a few lunches throughout the week, which is key for us!

I actually throw in some stone ground Mexican dark chocolate instead of the cocoa powder, but I’m a chocolate fiend so that may not be for everyone. But it makes it crazy delicious :)


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