Turkey Chili

Prep Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
6 to 8 Serves

If you think of turkey chili as less robust than the beefy original, think again. Our version starts with an ancho-tomato purée made with canned fire-roasted tomatoes or deep flavor.


  • 3 ounces ancho chiles (about 5), rinsed and patted dry

  • 2 cups whole fire-roasted tomatoes (from one 28-ounce can)

  • ½ large white onion, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed

  • 1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • ¼ cup safflower oil

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 pounds ground dark turkey meat

  • ¾ pound cooked smoked turkey necks or wings, skin and bones removed, meat shredded (about 1 ¼ cups)

  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) pink beans, rinsed and drained

  • Sour cream and cilantro sprigs, for serving


  1. Assemble ingredients: Ancho chiles (dried poblano peppers) and canned fire-roasted tomatoes add smokiness, while cinnamon, oregano, and cumin bring spice and warmth. Onion, garlic, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and oil also contribute to the flavor base.

  2. Make flavor base: Remove stems and seeds from chiles; tear into large pieces. Transfer to a blender. Blend with tomatoes, onion, garlic, 1/2 cup broth, cinnamon, oregano, cumin, and 2 tablespoons oil. Generously season with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a saucepan; simmer over medium, stirring occasionally, until thick and slightly darkened, about 20 minutes.

  3. Cook turkey: Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add ground turkey; season with salt. Cook through, breaking meat up, about 5 minutes.

  4. Simmer chili: Stir in tomato mixture, smoked turkey, beans, and remaining 1 cup broth. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve, topped with sour cream and cilantro.

    Turkey Chili
    Yuki Sugiura

Cook's Notes

This recipe can be made up to three days ahead -- in fact, it gets better the longer it sits. Make sure to buy the precooked variety of smoked turkey for this recipe, which requires only brief simmering to heat through.

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