Turkey and Black Bean Chili


1 1/2 T. olive oil

1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey (breast, thigh, or a combination – preferably a coarser grind like the one available from Whole Foods meat counter but any ground turkey will work)

1 to 2 yellow onions (chopped) the number you need depends on the size of the onion

3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 T. good quality chili powder (I like Penzy’s)

1 t. ground cumin

2 t. ancho chili powder, optional

hot sauce to taste, optional

cayenne pepper to taste,  optional (depending on how much heat you like)

26 oz. crushed tomatoes (I use the San Marzano box but you can substitute an equal amount of canned crushed tomatoes)

12 oz. warm water or chicken stock

2  15 oz. cans of black beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed

Salt and black pepper to taste

Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish

Thinly sliced hot peppers, for garnish–wear disposable gloves when handling chilis if you can

Shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, for garnish

Sour cream, for garnish


  1. Place 1 T. of olive oil in a large heavy pot (big enough to hold the chili) over medium heat.  When heated, add the ground turkey and break up as needed with a wooden spoon.  Cook, stirring often until the turkey is fully cooked.
  2. Line a large bowl with paper towels and using a slotted spoon remove the ground turkey from the pan into the bowl to drain. Do not wipe out the pan.
  3. Add 1/2 T. of olive oil and the chopped onions and stir briefly. Lower heat and saute until the onions begin to wilt (about 2 minutes).  Add the garlic and stir occasionally until the onions are translucent and you can smell the garlic (another 3-4 minutes).
  4. Add the chili powder, the ground cumin and the ancho powder (if using) and stir to coat the onions and garlic.
  5. Add the crushed tomatoes and the water and stir to thoroughly combine.
  6. Raise the heat to medium and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes until the spices meld with the tomatoes.
  7. Add the turkey and the drained black beans and stir to combine.
  8. Simmer for a minute or two and taste adjusting the seasonings as needed with salt pepper and hot sauce and cayenne pepper.
  9. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or so partially covered until the chili is the thickness you  desire.
  10. Turkey chili can be served over white or brown rise or as a dish by itself.
  11. Typical garnishes include sliced scallions, sliced hot peppers (jalapeno), hot sauce, shredded Monterrey Jack cheese and sour cream, but you can include anything you want.

Makes four servings. This recipe can be doubled, or tripled if you want to serve a crowd.

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I am an enthusiastic home cook. I started a blog when my older daughter lived in Paris and had a tiny kitchen, few utensils and a stove with no temperature markings. The purpose was to help her (and eventually her sister) make many of the dishes they love and to learn how to make some new ones. They are now both terrific cooks, but all of us can use a new (or even an old beloved) recipe once in a while.

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