Sweet and Smoky Turkey Chili

Everyone loves Tex-Mex and Mexican food. Beef fajitas, fish tacos, chili….what’s not to love? Right, Rich? What’s not to love? Apparently everything. My infamously picky husband does not like Mexican food. I keep trying to pin-point what it is exactly that he doesn’t like but generally speaking, if it involves cumin, he’s out.
My solution? Turkey chili. When the craving hits, I make a huge pot and eat it throughout the week or freeze in individual servings for the future. The result? Rich doesn’t have to fake his way through enjoying a meal and I don’t have to live a cumin-less life. Ahh…marital bliss. :)
Over the years, I have tweaked various recipes of turkey chili. It is safe to say that no two recipes are the same. The vegetables vary throughout the year depending on availability. This is the perfect recipe for the end of the week to use up leftover veggies in your crisper. (Crisper? Did I just say that?) Sometimes I use black beans, sometimes I use pinto. And when I’m feeling really frisky, I add both.
Truth be told – as long as you have the fundamentals, you really can’t go wrong with this one pot wonder.Case in point? My friend Taline recently surprised me with a batch of her own turkey chili – a variation of a recipe I had given her months ago. This was my second time tasting her homemade chili and it just keeps getting better. Taline will be the first to admit that she is not the best cook in the world but after one bite of this chili I am here to say that she is becoming quite the skilled home chef. You go girl. Lucky for me – there are leftovers in my fridge as I type.
My spoon is waiting.
5.0 from 1 reviews
Sweet and Smoky Turkey Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Smoky paprika and chipotle peppers in adobo add flavor and depth to this healthy and satisfying turkey chili.
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb ground turkey breast (99% fat free)
  • 2 tbs cumin
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs smoked paprika
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbs. chipotle in adobo- minced (optional)
  • 1 tbs all-purpose grill seasoning
  • 1 medium onion - diced
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 2 c chopped veggies (red/orange/yellow peppers, carrots, celery, etc.)
  • ½ can beer (rest for the cook) -can sub with chicken broth
  • 1 c. chicken broth
  • 1 small can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbs. bbq sauce
  • 1 can beans of choice - drained and rinsed (black, dark pinto, light red pinto, etc.)
  • ½ c. frozen corn
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Greek yogurt and fresh cilantro to garnish
  1. Heat large soup pot over medium high heat and spray with non-stick spray.
  2. Add turkey and spices (cumin through grill seasoning) and cook for 6-8 minutes or until turkey is browned.
  3. Add onion, garlic and vegetables and continue cooking 6-8 more minutes until veggies are tender and turkey is starting to get really brown. (
  4. Don't be afraid to walk away from the pot. We want the meat to caramelize and turn very brown - almost like it's burning.)
  5. Add beer to deglaze the pan and scrape up brown bits on bottom of pan using a wooden spoon.
  6. Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, bbq sauce and bring to a boil.
  7. Add rinsed beans and corn.
  8. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as necessary.
  9. Simmer for 20 minutes or longer and garnish to serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and chopped fresh cilantro. Tastes even better the next day.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 16 oz Calories: 342 Fat: 2g Saturated fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 44.1g Sodium: 1128mg Fiber: 10.1g Protein: 37.5g Cholesterol: 70mg


  1. Anonymous says

    This is probably a stupid question, but the nutritional information… that's for one serving of this, right? :) I want to make this tonight, but I'm on Weight Watchers, so I'm trying to figure out my points!

  2. Jenn says

    I was going to try this but was wondering where the OJ comes into play? I’m assuming it is a substitution for the beer? Is there a big difference in taste either way? Trying to meal plan for the week and this looks yummy!

    • says

      Hi Jenn – No need to use the orange juice unless you want to use it! And yes, I used it to deglaze the pan when I used the beer. Truthfully, it didn’t make a huge difference in flavor but since it was a secret ingredient for the challenge, I had to use it. :) Let me know what you think and how it turns out!!!

      • Jenn says

        Loved this! I thought it was loaded with flavor. I made it for my 19 month old and me while my husband was out of town. It was a little too spicy for her but I think it’s something my husband would actually eat and it’s hard to get him to eat healthy!! Looking forward to trying your smoothies next…:-)

        • Liz DellaCroce says

          I am so glad to hear you liked it!! You can definitely dial down the spice for little ones next time. My 16 month old LOVES chili and in fact we will be having it for lunches this week. :-) Let me know if you try anything else!

  3. Mitchell says

    How big are your serving sizes normally? One cup? Cause I noticed that a lot of your recipes say “serving size: 1” but it doesn’t specify exactly how big that it and I like to be precise with my portions. Thanks!

  4. says

    Great creative recipe!! I am new to your blog and LOVE your whole healthy doesn’t have to taste healthy approach. I have the same deal on my blog. Great to meet a fellow healthy food blogger! Love the recipes and will definitely be back! How do you get the Nutrition Facts Box on your page? I have been looking for a way to add that to my blog. Thanks in advance!

  5. Allison says

    This is probably a silly question. I love this recipe, but how do I make it into a crockpot recipe? Would you just put everything in the crockpot?

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      Not a silly question at all! All you’d need to do is brown the ground turkey in a pan then place in the crock pot with everything else. Enjoy!!

      • Laura says

        Could this be served as an entree with, say, brown rice and a veggie rather than as a soup? If so, I’d really appreciate knowing what if any changes you’d advise! Thanks so much and happy New Year!

  6. Karly says

    Any idea how long the leftover chipotle peppers would last in the fridge? I only ever see recipes needing a tablespoon or so, so there’s always a lot leftover but I hate to throw them out.


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