Black Bean Turkey Chili

Here's an EASY chili recipe to add to your list! It's made with black beans and ground turkey, and only takes 15 minutes to throw together. Make it to warm you up on a chilly winter day or for your next Super Bowl party!

Chili with Turkey and Black Beans
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.

Black Bean Chili
Elise Bauer

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

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 75 mins
Total Time 90 mins
Servings 6 servings

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.

Ingredients

  • 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)
  • Salt
  • 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

Method

  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.

    Raw carrots, onions, bell peppers for Black Bean Turkey Chili
    Elise Bauer
  2. Add the minced garlic, chili powder, and cumin:

    and cook for a minute more.

    garlic, chili powder, and cumin Mixed with Black Bean Chili Veggies
    Elise Bauer
  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.

    Raw Ground Turkey Mixed With Cooked Veggies
    Elise Bauer
    Cooked Turkey bean chili in hot pot
    Elise Bauer
  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.

    turkey black bean chili simmering in broth
    Elise Bauer
  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.

    black beans added to turkey chili recipe
    Elise Bauer
    boiling ground turkey chili recipe in pot
    Elise Bauer
  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.

Turkey Chili
Elise Bauer