Black Bean Turkey Chili

Stew1-PotGluten-FreeGround Turkey

EASY Black Bean Chili! with ground turkey, black beans, and red bell pepper

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

It’s January! Meaning as pretty as it may look on a sunny winter day here in Northern California, as soon as I step outside I want to turn around and head back in, where it is still toasty warm.

Days like these are perfect for cooking a big pot of chili beans, don’t you think?

The basis for this turkey chili recipe comes from my friend Kelsey’s mom Janeen. It’s one of their family favorites.

Turkey Black Bean Chili in Single Serving Bowl

How To Make Turkey Black Bean Chili

It uses naturally lean ground turkey, plenty of black beans, onions, carrots, and red bell peppers, and can be made in one big pot.

I’ve dressed the original up a little with a bit more seasonings. It’s great over rice, or with tortillas, and tastes even better the next day when the flavors have had more time to blend. Enjoy!

Photos updated, from the recipe archive, first published Jan, 2013.

Black Bean Turkey Chili Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6

This recipe produces a mildly spicy chili. You can easily add more chili powder or some cayenne to intensify the spice level if you wish. You can also add chipotle chili powder or chipotle Tabasco to give a smoky note to the chili.

As for the red bell peppers, Trader Joe's has frozen sliced bell peppers that work well for this dish.


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 carrot, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 to 3 red bell peppers, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • Salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder (more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pound ground turkey (I use ground turkey thighs for more flavor)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp cider or white vinegar
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained
  • Freshly ground black pepper


1 Sauté carrots, onions, bell peppers: Heat the oil in a large, thick bottomed pot (6 to 8 quart) on medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrot, and bell peppers, sprinkle with salt and cook until softened, about 6-8 minutes.

2 Add the minced garlic, chili powder, and cumin and cook for a minute more.

3 Add the ground turkey and break it up with a wooden spoon. Increase the heat to medium high. Stir and cook until the turkey is no longer pink.

4 Add the chicken stock, oregano, bay leaf, vinegar, and tomato paste. Use a straight edge spatula or wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

5 Add the black beans. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook, covered for half an hour, and uncovered for another half hour, or until the the liquid thickens. Remove bay leaf.

Adjust seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with rice or heated corn tortillas.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Black Bean Turkey Chili on Simply Recipes. Thank you!


This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.

If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

45 Comments / Reviews

No ImageBlack Bean Turkey Chili

Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Lynn

    Snowed in! I only have 1 bell pepper. Can I sub jarred roasted red peppers?

  • Michelle C

    I have made this chili several times and my husband and I love it. I did add an extra tablespoon of chili powder and I also added some heat with 1/2 teaspoon on Cayenne pepper at the point where the oregano went in. I serve it with Tostitos as well. Such a great recipe for a cold night. Enjoy!!

  • Maggie S

    Just made this for the first time, and it’s the best chili I’ve made in years! I like tomato-based chili, but it was a nice change to leave it out (although I did keep in the tomato paste). Mine was more soupy than the photo, but that was OK. The only changes I made were to substitute celery for the carrot because that’s what I had, and to decrease the amount of chili powder. As someone else mentioned, the heat of chili powder can vary a lot from type to type, and I know mine is fairly hot. One tablespoon was just right. Thanks for another great recipe!

  • Peggy T

    I’ve made this chili numerous times and slowly ratcheted up the spice/heat. Excellent, easy recipe full of protein and vegetables. To prevent runny chili, I reduced broth to one can. I skipped the tomato paste and substituted with one can of diced tomatoes. I don’t like the tougher texture of kidney beans so I use white or chili beans. Flavorful, hearty meal. Four snaps out of four!

  • Kevin Varela

    Making it right now I didn’t include the cayenne pepper because I was my 4 year old to have some and I did add a can of sweet corn looks delish it’s on the last 30 mins of cooking uncovered, smells terrific I can’t wait to eat lol

View More
Turkey Black Bean ChiliBlack Bean Turkey Chili