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.
How To Make Turkey Black Bean Chili
This chili uses naturally lean ground turkey, plenty of black beans, onions, carrots, and red bell peppers, and can be made in one big pot.
First we sauté onions, carrots, and bell pepper in olive oil. To the onions we add garlic, chili powder, and ground cumin. Heating the spices at this point will help bring out more of their flavor.
To this flavor base we add ground turkey and cook it until it is no longer pink. Then we add chicken stock, more seasonings, and black beans (canned or already cooked), and simmer for an hour. Easy!
Want More Spicy Heat?
As is, this recipe makes a fairly mild chili. Chili powder varies in spiciness, depending on brand, so you may need to make adjustments to your taste.
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.
What to Serve with Black Bean Chili
This chili is great served over cooked rice, with warmed tortillas, or with tortilla chips alongside. You can also use it as a filling for tacos or in a burrito bowl.
How to Store and Freeze this Chili
This chili keeps well (and even improves in flavor) for about 5 days. You can freeze it for up to three months.
Freeze in individual portions in freezer containers or bags with as much air pressed out as possible. Thaw overnight in the fridge, or warm it up straight from the freezer. Either way, the best way to reheat is in a saucepan over low heat on the stove top.
Looking for More Great Chili Recipes?
Black Bean Turkey Chili Recipe
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 tablespoons extra virgin 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)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 2 tablespoons 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 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon 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, and sprinkle with salt. Cook until softened, 6 to 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, about 5 minutes.
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 Simmer the chili: Add the black beans. Bring the chili to a boil, lower to a simmer. Cover and cook for half an hour.
Uncover and cook for another half hour, or until the the liquid thickens.
6 Serve: Remove the bay leaf. Taste the chili and adjust seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with rice or heated corn tortillas.
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