Bill’s Award Winning Turkey Chili Recipe


Chili has always been one of my favorite things to cook.  There’s just nothing quite like a big pot of hot, spicy chili on a cold day.  I started developing my recipe a long time ago and it’s gone through a lot of changes over the years.  When Rachael came along I was excited to make it for her, but she thought it was too thick and described it as ‘chili dip’.  In retrospect I think she was correct and this recipe has a more traditional chili consistency.

Rachael insisted that I call this ‘award winning chili’ because I won a chili cook off at work a while back.   This chili is as healthy as it is flavorful and now I’m finally ready to share my secret recipe with the world!  Seriously though, the only ingredient that might be considered a little outside the box would be the semi-sweet chocolate chips.  They add a touch of sweetness, along with a hint of those rich chocolaty tones.

I made this chili colorful by adding 3 different colors of beans and bell peppers.  I just think it looks pretty.  I use dried beans in the recipe because they’re cheaper, healthier, and taste better.  See this article on SquakFox for further info on the virtues of dried beans.  I use the 99% lean ground turkey breast in this recipe to keep it extra healthy, but be sure to add the meat add the very end to prevent it from drying out.

This recipe makes quite a large batch, but chili is an extremely versatile leftover that you can do a lot with.  Below are a few suggestions.

  • Chili dogs
  • Chili cheese burritos
  • Chili burgers
  • Chili poured over corn bread
  • Chili mac and cheese
  • Chili spaghetti
  • Chili omelets
  • Chili nachos
  • Chili cheese fries
  • Chili with Fritos Scoops Corn Chips

You get the idea.  What do you do with your leftover chili?


5.0 from 4 reviews
Bill's Award Winning Turkey Chili
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 10-12
  • 1 cup dried pinto beans
  • ½ cup dried black beans
  • ½ cup dried red kidney beans
  • 6 (14.5 ounce)cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 2 large onions (1 chopped, 1 quartered)
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into thirds
  • 1-2 hot peppers to taste - such as jalapeno, Serrano, or habanero
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + 1 tablespoon
  • 1¼ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 pound (99% lean) ground turkey, browned and cooked
  1. Cook all dried beans together according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, pour cans of tomatoes and chicken broth and turn heat on low.
  3. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade - add garlic, celery, hot peppers, and the quartered onion. Add about a ladle full of some of the juice from the pot and process on high until smooth. Place into the pot with the chicken broth and tomato mixture. Next, add diced onion, green pepper, red pepper, yellow pepper, chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, cumin, paprika, ancho chili powder, granulated garlic, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 3-4 hours. Add in the beans during the last hour or so of cooking time.
  4. In a large pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat. Add ground turkey and fully cook. Stir turkey into the pot of chili right before serving.
This chili is especially good topped with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and minced onion.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 276.3 Fat: 8 g Saturated fat: 1.7 g Carbohydrates: 34.7 g Sugar: 8.8 g Sodium: 861.1 mg Fiber: 9 g Protein: 18.7 g Cholesterol: 26.1 mg

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20 comments… add one

  • Liz @ The Lemon Bowl December 1, 2012, 6:55 am

    I love this chili recipe!!! Love the secret chocolate chips ingredient too!!

  • Steve Davis December 1, 2012, 8:39 am

    Looks Delicious!!

  • Steve Davis December 1, 2012, 8:41 am

    Gotta try this one this week!! Looks Delicious!!

  • Cate December 1, 2012, 7:29 pm

    Looks awesome- I can see why it’s award-winning! And the chocolate is definitely an interesting addition… can’t wait to try it :)

  • Riley December 1, 2012, 9:29 pm

    This looks so yummy! Chili is one of my favorite things to cook too. A lot of food in one pot!

  • Kristi Rimkus December 2, 2012, 10:55 am

    I love a good chili recipe. I’m impressed that you won a cooking contest. This is a must try chili for sure!

  • Jessica@AKitchenAddiction December 3, 2012, 11:25 am

    This sounds wonderful! We love a good bowl of chili on a cold evening!

  • Ashley - Baker by Nature December 4, 2012, 12:58 pm

    Mmmmmm, this is my kinda dinner!

  • TheSpiceologist December 4, 2012, 5:15 pm

    Just talking about Chili this morning! We use our left over for Chili Burgers.. My favorite part of making Chili is toasting my spices to get the essential oils out and then throwing them in! I prefer steak in my Chili but love the healthy alternative as well. Great recipe, Bill! Thanks!

  • Sister Spice December 5, 2012, 5:15 am

    Now I have to try this just out of sheer curiousity. And what do I do with my leftover chili? EAT IT!

  • Jen @ Savory Simple December 5, 2012, 7:55 am

    Great recipe!

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) December 5, 2012, 3:10 pm

    I love turkey chili and the cornbread is a must!

  • Barbara @ Barbara Bakes December 6, 2012, 12:56 pm

    Looks like a winner to me! I bet it would make a great pressure cooker recipe too.

  • December 7, 2012, 7:48 am

    I shied away from turkey for a long time; incorrectly assuming that recipes using it instead of ground beef would be next to flavorless. I was so wrong and now it’s a standard substitution. Bill’s turkey chili sounds great!

  • Sarah | Shine Food January 8, 2013, 12:51 pm

    This really does look good! This would be a great contribution to the Shine Supper Club. We’re celebrating a return to sane eating (finally!).

  • Jenn @comebackmomma February 15, 2013, 6:14 am

    Looks terrific! I always like sharing good recipes with my readers. I am pinning this one. Stop by and link up at my Foodie Friday party too.

  • Mary April 26, 2013, 9:14 am

    What do you do with the chopped onion? I don’t see it used in the recipe.

    • Bill April 26, 2013, 9:44 pm

      The onion gets added to the pot along with the peppers. I updated the recipe. Good catch Mary, thanks!

  • Vicki October 10, 2014, 2:18 pm

    Simmer covered or uncovered?

    • Rachael October 11, 2014, 7:06 pm

      Hi Vicki – Bill says to simmer the chili uncovered.


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