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Amazing Turkey Chili

(recipe, Myra Goodman)

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Three different kinds of chiles — ancho, pasilla, and chipotle — add depth of flavor and subtle heat to this perennial crowd-pleaser. Everyone has a favorite chili recipe, but this version, with its blend of spices, vegetables, and stock, is so rich and complex that it is outstanding. The chili can be also made with beef, but ground turkey is a lower-calorie, lower-fat option, and the chili is so flavorful that no one will know the difference. We like a combination of light and dark turkey, but the recipe will work with either cut. The quantities specified here result in a mildly spicy chili. If you like yours south-of-the-border hot, add more chipotles and cayenne pepper. Serve bowls of steaming hot chili with grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, and garnish each serving with dollops of sour cream. This chili freezes well; defrost it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.


  1. ¼ cup canola oil
  2. 2 medium onions, cut into ¼-inch dice
  3. 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch dice
  4. 3 Tbsp. ancho chile powder (see Note)
  5. 1 Tbsp. pasilla chile powder (see Note)
  6. 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  7. 2 Tbsp. ground coriander
  8. 1 Tbsp. sugar
  9. 2 tsp. dried thyme
  10. 2 tsp. dried oregano
  11. ½ tsp. cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  12. 5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  13. 2½ lb. ground turkey
  14. 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  15. 1 large can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, with their juices
  16. 1 cup tomato sauce
  17. ¼ cup tomato paste
  18. 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, with or without seeds, minced
  19. 2 cans (15 oz. each) pinto beans, rinsed under cold water and drained
  20. 1 Tbsp. apple-cider vinegar
  21. 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  22. Salt, to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the chile powders, cumin, coriander, sugar, thyme, oregano, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.
  3. When the vegetables are soft, add the herb/spice mixture and the garlic, and stir constantly until the mixture is hot and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking up the meat, until the meat is browned, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, chipotle peppers, pinto beans, and vinegar. Stir to blend, and simmer the chili over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is cooked through and has begun to thicken, 30 to 45 minutes.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat, and stir in the lime juice and salt to taste. Serve hot.


The kind of generic chili powder that you find in the supermarket is a blend of several spices. While there is no established formula for making chili powder, it typically consists of about 80 percent chile pepper blended with garlic powder, oregano, ground cumin, sometimes salt, and occasionally monosodium glutamate. Some blends even include traces of clove, allspice, anise, and coriander. Ethnic and specialty markets carry chile powders made from specific varieties of chile, usually without other additives, and that's what's called for in Amazing Turkey Chili.