Recipe: Hearty Fall Turkey Chili

Fall Turkey Chili recipe


As soon as Fall weather makes its appearance here in North Texas (hopefully soon? Fingers crossed!), I will be back in my preferred reading spot, outside on my deck with a steamy bowl of this turkey chili by my side. If you are wondering what I will be reading, look no further than this post containing my list of 8 books not to miss this Fall.

I have pretty much never met a chili recipe I didn’t like. However, I have also mostly been a bit of a purist, preferring 100% all beef chili. Until now. This chili is so rich, thick, and hearty, you will be surprised that it is made from ground turkey.

My husband and I love spicy everything but since we have two little boys we are responsible for feeding, I made this version WAY on the mild side. Feel free to spice it up, if that’s what you like!

Regarding the beer. Honestly, I think pretty much any beer you have on hand will do but the secret to making this so rich, I think, is using dark beer. As dark as possible. I went super dark and used Guinness. The results were delicious.

I read and loved Ruth Reichl’s Save Me the Plums earlier this year (my review) and this recipe was inspired and adapted from her Thanksgiving Turkey Chili recipe.


  • 3 ½ to 4 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 cup roasted tomatillo salsa
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chilis
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from canned chipotle in adobo (or one chipotle in adobo plus sauce, minced)
  • 1 bottle dark beer
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tablespoon garlic salt
  • Juice of one lime


Saute chopped onions and jalapeno in vegetable oil for 5-6 minutes in a large heavy pot. Add minced garlic and cook 1-2 more minutes allowing the garlic to soften but not get too brown. Add oregano and cumin and allow to cook about 30 seconds. Add in ground turkey and cook just until the pink color goes away. Add in the adobo sauce and tomato paste (or chipotle, if using), beer, salsa, chicken broth, and bay leaf. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Gently stir in beans and green chilis. Turn off the heat and add the lime juice. Serve with avocado, cheese and sour cream.

Serves: 6-8

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