skillet turkey chili

Right around the time quarantine cookies and tacos became a habit this spring, I also realized that that none of my existing chili recipes exactly fit the bill of what I wanted for dinner — namely, to focus on ground turkey, have a minimized ingredient list, and not take terribly long because it turns out that even with all day, every day at home, I just don’t have enough time to plan ahead for dinner and please don’t try to use reason or psychology to suggest there are other forces at play, okay?

what you'll need (cornbread optional, but not for us)

For fun — clearly I’m a party animal — I enjoy plucking random recipes from the archives, dusting them off, and seeing if a tune-up would be beneficial.* Sometimes I dig far enough back that I find photos so ghastly that I react as if a Dali-faced mask leapt out from my laptop screen (yes, I’m in deep). And this was the case with a 2007 Red Bean Chili which I’m not even linking to; it’s that bad. But as I began tuning it up, I ended up leaving almost nothing from the original recipe — it now has a more fitting yield for a weeknight, adds ingredients in what I consider a better order, only uses turkey and beans, the spices are more balanced, and by balanced, I mean, we no longer use 1/3 cup chili powder, thank heavens. I’m sorry to tease you with the inclusion of a pretty cornbread, my favorite thing to make with chili — it’s almost, but not quite ready. But I promise you’ll read about it here first when it is.

cook onions, garlic, spicesadd remaining ingredientsskillet turkey chiliskillet turkey chili

* Here are a few from recent months.

Two more chilis: Three-Bean Chili and Chicken Chili



6 months ago: Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy Cabbage
1 year ago: Chicken Curry
2 years ago: Even More Perfect Apple Pie
3 years ago: Quick Pasta and Chickpeas and Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
4 years ago: Garlic Wine and Butter Steamed Clams, Baked Alaska, Indian-Spiced Cauliflower Soup and Skillet-Baked Pasta with Five Cheeses
5 years ago: My Old-School Baked Ziti and Cannoli Pound Cake
6 years ago: Better Chicken Pot Pies and Better Chocolate Babka
7 years ago: Miso Sweet Potato and Broccoli Bowl and Purple Plum Torte
8 years ago: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
9 years ago: Apple Pie Cookies
10 years ago: Mushroom Lasagna
11 years ago: Quiche Lorraine and Breakfast Apple Granola Crisp
12 years ago: Majestic and Moist Honey Cake, Best Challah (Egg Bread), and Mom’s Apple Cake
13 years ago: Peter Reinhart’s Bagels and Peanut Butter Brownies
14 years ago: Lemon Cake

Skillet Turkey Chili

  • Servings: 4
  • Source: Smitten Kitchen
  • Print

Always good to note: Chili powder is a spice blend for Tex-Mex chili. Chile powder is just made from ground chiles/dried hot peppers. I prefer the latter in chili, and then use the spice balance I want. Chile powders will range a lot in heat; use the level that you prefer. Alternately, or in addition, 1 tablespoon puree from a can of chipotles en adobo will provide a spicy, flavorful kick here. For the turkey, I prefer a blend of dark and light meat. To quick-pickled onions: Cut half of a small red onion into thin wedges. Toss with juice of half a lime, two good pinches of salt, one pinch of sugar, and set aside while you make the chili.

Note: You can watch an Instagram Story demo of this recipe over here.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped small
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons ground chile powder (see Note; to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 15-ounce can black or small red beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 lime
  • To serve: Sour cream, pickled red onions, pickled jalapenos, grated cheddar, cornbread, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and/or thinly sliced scallions

Heat a large skillet — ideally 11 to 12 inches in diameter — over medium high heat. Once hot, add the oil and let it warm up. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and cook until somewhat softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, your first teaspoon chile powder (and more to taste), oregano, and cumin and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Add turkey and use your spatula to break it up and work the onion mixture through it. Cook until lightly browned at edges and no pink remains, about 5 minutes. Add beans and tomatoes and refill empty tomato can with water, setting it aside.

Bring chili mixture to a simmer and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring regularly. Add reserved can of water, 1/3 at a time, if mixture looks dry. Taste for salt and spice and adjust as needed. With a mild chile powder, I’ll add up to 2 teaspoons more, and did so here. If you can, let chili rest 5 minutes off heat before serving; I find that the texture sets up nicely. Finish with the juice of half the lime, and any fixings you like.

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151 comments on skillet turkey chili

  1. Kaitlin Flynn

    I made the 2007 red bean chili a few weeks ago (with ground turkey and the 1/3 cup of chili powder!) and thought it was great- don’t sell yourself short! Looking forward to trying this 2020 version soon :)

      1. Meghan

        Ok. Came back to say that this new recipe is very, very good. Flavorful and less dependent on added spices for that flavor. Even me accidentally chucking all of the two cups of water in at the beginning of the final simmer (these things happen when you’re cooking with a baby on your hip) couldn’t ruin it. Water reduced to a nice thickish, brothy sauce that was very welcome in the final chili.

        1. Ginger

          This chili is just excellent. I like it soupier so added more water and a second can of beans (one can red, one black). I used some Chimayo powdered chile I brought back from New Mexico — and was pleased to read here the difference between chili powder and chile powder.

    1. Grace

      Also a big fan of the Red Bean Chili, it’s been my recipe go-to since you posted it! (Wow I’ve been reading this site for a long time.)

    2. Theresa

      The 2007 Red Bean Chili is a staple in my house! I didn’t think anything was wrong with it, but I look forward to trying this new version for comparison.

  2. Patty

    Timing is everything. Had a pound of ground chicken that either needed to be used or frozen so I subbed for the turkey. Everything else according to the recipe. Used a deeper skillet because I HATE CLEANING MY STOVE. Fantastic and so quick. My tomatoes were fire roasted because that is what I had. I am a bit of a spicy food baby but did1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder and that was perfect for me. I also like my chili thick so did not add additional water. I’m not a huge dinner eater during the workweek, so this will be work lunches for me and hubby. And chili always better the next day. Deb comes thru again. Make this!

    1. Lerri Cooper

      I hate cleaning my stove, too. I ordered a fry daddy online and I love it! Changed my attitude about sautéing! You might want to try one. 😀

    2. Trena Cormier

      So where does one buy ‘chile’ powder? When I search Amazon, it returns ‘chili’ powder (which I already have). And I see one product which is a package of 4 different dried, powdered chiles (each in a different container).

  3. Meghan O

    I’m guessing this could be perfect timing for Canadians with leftover thanksgiving turkey still sitting around? Do you think shredded turkey would work?

    1. Sarah

      It tends to be British although, unfortunately, I’ve never seen free range anywhere. You could try making friends with your local butcher. My old one would mince it to order for me, so long as I gave him a little notice and ordered in bulk (nothing crazy – just a few pounds at a time to make it worth their while!)

    2. Virginia

      I have made other chili recipes with leftover shredded Thanksgiving turkey recipes and they were great, so I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work here! I like smoky flavors with turkey, so I might use a bit of chipotle purée and maybe add a touch of smoked paprika, or a half teaspoon of high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder for a bit of a mole effect.

  4. Cara

    While people are waiting for the corn bread recipe, I followed your lead and bought Chicano Eats this summer. I now have an amazing corn muffin recipe that is remarkably adaptable. Last week I tossed in frozen cherries, and my kids had breakfast for the week. Tonight, I cut way back the sugar and had corn muffins my Southern family are happily with ribs, sweet potatoes and collard greens. And since I have leftover muffins, this turkey chili may be our next rainy night food.

  5. Hazel

    One day, we will be reliably be able to get turkey mince in the UK. Very occasionally I can get chicken mince online, but turkey mince is only around Christmas and only if I search hard. Such a shame because poultry mince is so much more healthy and better for the environment than red meat mince! I bet it’s easier for us to get lamb mince than for you folks though? Available here in any supermarket in varying degrees of quality…

    I will be doing this or something like it with pork mince, handy in my freezer :)

    1. Sarah

      I also live in the UK and can get it reliably in my local Aldi, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons! Keep looking – you almost certainly have a source near you. Good luck!

      1. Haze

        Oh really? Good to know and I’ll check it out. Do you know where it tends to come from? I suppose I’m a bit fussier than I implied and I’m looking for UK grown higher welfare, for environmental reasons :).

  6. LJG

    This looks tasty and is very similar to my go-to weeknight chili, from Food Network: I frequently don’t have chipotle en adobo (or, realistically, am too lazy to dig it out of the freezer and chip a piece off), so increase the amount of tomato paste and add ground chipotle. Delicious topped with pickled jalapenos ( and plantain chips.

  7. Theresa

    Hi Deb! Your 2007 Red Bean chili is a staple in my house! That one uses cocoa powder, but this new version does not. Any reason why you didn’t add it here?

    1. Ellen

      Love your Instagram stories of new recipes. Makes it inviting to try a new one.
      Question: is it important to hear the pan first, then add and heat the oil?

      1. deb

        Yes — I try to write this into all of my recipes. This is an important technique so that things stick less. I hear from people who are switching from nonstick to metal pans that they have trouble with sticking but if you first heat the pan fully, add the oil or fat, heat that too, and then add your ingredients, you’ll find a lot less stickiness.

    2. Alene

      I made this tonight and it was easy and delicious. Even my husband, who is not a fan of turkey chili, really liked it. Now I can delete all the other mediocre turkey chili recipes. I think the lime juice does help it though. I added grated cheddar cheese, sliced fresh jalapeños, chopped up avocados, and the pickled onions on the side. I left everything else the same, except for a tablespoon of chipotle chili adobe sauce and one of the chopped peppers. And, since I have to be gluten free, I made a pan of gluten free cornbread. Now that was delicious, the best recipe gf cornbread I’ve made. If anyone wants that recipe, let me know. Thank you, Deb. This will be on the list, especially because I always have the ingredients.

      1. JayP

        Yes please for the GF cornbread recipe! I have celiac, love cornbread, and the GF recipes /mixes I’ve tried failed the family taste test.


          1. Alene

            I didn’t use the King Arthur flour but I did use her longer version she mentions, with millet flour and some other things. I adore cornbread too and I have never found a good gluten free recipe until this one. Good luck!

    1. marcella

      Oh you are evil! (in the very best way!) I LOVE that recipe but don’t dare make it unless it’s for a party or something because my husband will not eat any and I will eat it all and regret it. Now I”m reminded of it and have really good bittersweet chocolate on hand as well as perfect pears and not hope of any sort of gathering.

  8. LJ

    Just wanted to say, I’ve been reading since the early days of this site, when I was fresh out of college. I now have three little kids and am still cooking all of your recipes with great admiration. Thanks for being my constant cooking companion for more than a decade. I’m always excited for new recipes and can’t wait to cook this one.

  9. Carla Hanson

    I like to make turkey chili from a recipe off the WeightWatchers website. It is similar to this recipe except I add fresh or canned corn, a little Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce and some beer. I use black and pinto beans in my version. It’s that time of year to make a pot of chili.

  10. TinaD

    Nice. Chili has been on regular rotation as a fridge staple (because we run 24 hour ops around here), and I’m getting a bit bored with the house recipe. Looking forward to try this.

  11. Brianne

    This looks delicious! Have you tried Cincinnati Chili? Tiny bits of meat with cinnamon, cloves, chile powder, chocolate, vinegar — so yummy and addictive.

  12. Emily

    I know the old chili recipe you’re talking about, and I’ve made it many times and loved it! My previous job had an annual Halloween party with a soup and chili potluck menu, and I brought it about four years in a row and it was a favorite as the vegetarian option. So…I look forward to trying the new recipe, but the old one definitely has a place in my heart. :)

  13. Katy

    This looks delicious but Deb would you be so kind to link to the cornbread recipe you have used! It looks like an amazing Sunday evening dinner but I cannot find it (this could well be due to my terrible search inputs….)

    1. deb

      It’s not ready yet. :) Here’s what I said above:

      I’m sorry to tease you with the inclusion of a pretty cornbread, my favorite thing to make with chili — it’s almost, but not quite ready. But I promise you’ll read about it here first when it is.

      1. Katy

        Don’t you hate it when morons don’t read what you specifically spelled out to them… sorry Deb! I was way too keen. I live in anticipation!

      2. Robin

        I’m working on new cornbread recipe myself. When the grocery shelves were bare of flours this summer, my farm stand guy sold me a very rough but freshly ground corn meal. He suggested first soaking in buttermilk or yogurt overnight so it wouldn’t be too gritty. I’ve done it once but seeing your picture reminds me I need to revisit.

  14. Elizabeth Black

    I LOVE the red bean chili but also love a good turkey chili. Looking forward to trying this new one. Trader Joe’s has a great selection of ground turkey. Who knew? Thanks!

  15. Sue

    Just made this yummy soup. Just as expected delish and easy. Misread the instructions and used 2 T instead of 2 t of chile powder-didn’t matter a bit. Cleaned out the refrigerator for toppings, spooned the soup over a pile of rice and dinner is served! Looking forward to CORNBREAD recipe!
    Thanks for the great dinner!

  16. Melba KC

    We made this tonight and it was great. Doubled everything except the turkey and added a cubed red pepper and zucchini to replace the missing pound. Served on creamy polenta. Will make again

  17. Laura Jane

    Just made this for dinner, and it was so good! My husband and I both loved it. I misread the recipe and used two cans of beans, but was glad I did. (I used one can of kidney and one can of great northern because that’s what I had, and it worked well without taking it too much in a “white chili” direction, which is not my jam.) I also added all the water (and a little extra) up front but it reduced really nicely while the chili bubbled away– this is not to offer changes to the recipe but to say that if you, like I, cook this while distracted, it is super forgiving. I hate to treat food as binary “healthy” and “not healthy”, but I’ll say that my historically favorite chili recipe is one my dad makes, but I always feel like I might die (or at least nap for a LONG time) after I eat it— it’s just so heavy. This is a really tasty option that we can make more often, and I’m so glad to have found it!

  18. Kathy

    I’m looking forward to trying this chili. So nice and simple with pantry staples. For me, you must have cornbread with chili. Just need to share my most favorite cornbread recipe. It is the one in this great cookbook.
    Dairy Hollow House Soup and Bread: a Country Inn Cookbook
    By Crescent Dragonwagon

  19. Jeanne

    This is really good! I sound surprised because it is so easy, and so simple!

    By the way, I didn’t look at the weight of my package of ground turkey until afterwards, but it was 1.7 lb. instead of just 1, and it was perfectly satisfactory that way as well. I used black beans, and the full amount of ground dried chile, in my case pasilla — though like Sue in the comments above, I think I misread the amount and used tablespoons instead of teaspoons!

  20. Kristen

    In the photos it looks like you have both red and black beans prepped, but the recipe calls for just one can of beans. Were you doubling the recipe or were we meant to use two cans of beans?
    Lookin forward to trying this recipe (and if you’re looking for more cornbread inspiration as you tweak, I love the recipe from The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbok by Diane St. Clair!)

  21. Ryan

    I don’t understand. This recipe has turkey, tomatoes, and beans. Chili doesn’t have any of those things. Not sure how or why you call this dish chili.

  22. Danielle

    This was so delicious, quick and easy! I did add a bit more chile powder since mine was mildly hot but robust in flavor (thanks for the tip on chili/chile), and added 1/4 cup tomato sauce instead of extra water so it would stay moist. Will definitely make this again.

  23. heather tompkins

    Not gonna lie, Deb. I love that Red Bean Chili. I do look forward to trying this and comparing. Thanks for all the work you do to keep us well fed!

  24. Jill

    Like many of the previous comments, I too love the original red bean chili recipe (I’ve made all the chili recipes from your site over the years) and the only one that we found lacking was the three bean chili. I’m excited to make this one and compare the flavor with the original.

  25. Hannah

    thanks for the suggestion to add (or sub) puree from chipotles in adobo! I ended up adding three smashed chipotles in adobo in addition to the 3 (we used 5) tsp of chile powder, though I used ancho powder so it wouldn’t be as hot as guajillo? It turned out to be a nice spice level with the turkey.

  26. Erin

    I made this Saturday while screaming at frustrating college football teams and it was easy and awesome!

    I made a couple of small modifications:
    – Added a good dollop of tomato paste with the garlic and spices
    – When the beans were added, I also added a small can of tomato sauce and some dark Mexican lager.
    – I didn’t add any water at the end because of the above additions.

    Thanks for a great new addition to my chili repertoire!

    1. TinaD

      Oooh, dark beer, there’s an idea for next time. I’ve the leftovers from a Corona variety pack hanging about the house, too. Thanks!

  27. Camille Stephens

    SO. GOOD. This is easily my new winter go-to recipe–I already had everything in my pantry. The only thing I did different was instead of the can of water, I sloshed in chicken broth in little doses and…added a couple tablespoons of pumpkin puree, for extra vitamins and autumn flavor.

  28. Stephanie Berry

    I made this last Friday, and it was delicious. Even though I doubled everything except the turkey (two cans of beans, 28 oz jar of tomatoes), it was barely enough for my family of four, including my younger daughter who eats almost nothing. The lime juice-pickled onions were the best part – the lime juice really added a little punch to the chili. Anyway, I loved this, but will need to make it even bigger next time.

  29. Yum! You posted this just in time, because every Halloween we have chili and corn bread and now I have a new recipe to try! Can’t wait to make this, though, I don’t have a large skillet right now because we are in the transition of moving out of state to Texas so can I use a medium sized pot instead of a skillet?


  30. Deborah

    I have been having a ball going through the archives and seeing how we’ve grown and changed our eating habits and recipes over the years–that red bean chili was one of my favorites to read–but this one is the one I will save for actually making some day–thanks Deb and please don’t ever remove those archives! They also are your good humoured voice and always cheer me up.

  31. Jane

    This recipe is good….annoyingly good. For 5 years, I’ve made my mom’s basic chili recipe for my family and it seemed service-able enough. When Deb posted this new recipe, I decided to try it but with a massive dose of skeptism. Could a chili…a turkey chili….be massively better than the recipe I’d grown up with? Well, folks, I don’t know how with such a small ingredient list (!) But it is. The pickled onions are a great addition too. Anyways, you should try this even if you already have a tried and true chili recipe.
    On an unrelated note, a question out of curiosity for Deb- I went the chipotles-in-adobe-route and interpreted the “paste” term to mean the saucy stuff in the can. It didn’t seem spicy enough for my husband and I so served up my toddler’s portion and then added two finely minced chipotles –which made me think. Is the “paste” term supposed to mean making a paste out of the saucy stuff and a mashed chipotle (vs what I had initially thought)? Thanks for another recipe that will become part of our family’s regular rotation!

    1. deb

      Hi Jane — You can also use the chiles themselves, but I find there’s usually a couple tablespoons of puree in the can. I also find that 1T usually goes a long way, but maybe it varies between brands.

  32. Kim

    I will make this! A great thing to do with leftover chili (my kids loved it growing up; we call it “Hippy Pie” because I got the idea from the original Moosewood cookbook from the 70s—which I STILL use occasionally!): put your leftover chili in a baking dish, top with freshly grated sharp cheddar. Top that with cornbread batter and bake until cornbread is done and chili is bubbling hot. I usually warm up the chili first before putting it in the dish. I’m from Middle Tennessee (Nashville area), and we don’t put sugar in our cornbread, but sweet cornbread might work here if your chili is tangy enough.

  33. Vidya

    Delicious and light. Thanks for another keeper. I added soy chorizo from Trader Joe’s to the mix, and significantly upped the chile powder and it was still not very spicy. Next time, I’ll likely throw in a teaspoon of chipotle in adobo. But easy weeknight meal. HAd it with cornbread and all the other regular fixings. Yum!

  34. Milena S.

    We tried this recipe the other night and it was delicious! Great dinner, with enough left-overs for lunch the next day for the two of us. This will definitely go on the weeknight rotation schedule.

    1. Virginia

      I’m sure you could use any oil you’re comfortable cooking savory dishes with! I used some avocado blend oil that I bought by accident, and it was totally fine.

  35. Virginia

    So, in case anyone is wondering whether this chili would be just as good made with ground beef instead of ground turkey — the answer is an emphatic YES. I didn’t want to go to the store and we had some extra-lean ground beef in the freezer. Even with the 8 minutes it took to defrost in the microwave, I had dinner on the table — including corn bread and salad — in under 90 minutes, start to finish. I wound up using 3 teaspoons of ancho chile powder, which is flavorful but very mild, plus a teaspoon of Penzey’s Chili 3000 blend, which has little kick, and a half teaspoon of smoked paprika just for fun. Delicious. It’s amazing to me that such a quick-cooking, simple chili has so much depth of flavor.

  36. Kanna

    This is deliciously flavorful! I found the recipe forgiving in terms of quantities – I used a 28oz can of tomatoes (puréed half of it), and I didn’t end up needing to add any water as a result. I also used two x 19oz cans of beans (black and kidney) instead of one. It all came together nicely in a big soup pot. Yum. And do make the pickled red onions :)

  37. Trisha

    I must have made turkey chili a little too much recently since the kiddo now says he doesn’t like it anymore. (He is also anti-soup these days.) At least once I served the chili with delicious maple cornbread from the King Arthur flour cookbook. This must mean I have a great mind.

  38. Tara Gutman

    I’m going through a Tara and Deb phase…I just want to cook every recipe here.

    This was a hit! Simple, delicious, healthy weeknight meal.

    Thanks Deb!

  39. madhu

    I don’t know if you’ve heard Deb…. but you’re getting a lot of love over on GFY on a post about everyone’s favorite baked goods. I think a lot of common readers (like me) who are loyal followers of both websites. I did a little cheer to see so many classic smitten kitchen recipes that folks have mentioned as favorites

  40. Jessica

    Thanks! You inspired a delicious quaranweeknight meal. This was delicious and perfect with what I had in the house. I found a skillet cornbread recipe that worked pretty well, but I’m looking forward to yours. Although the one I used wasn’t perfect, it used buttermilk, which I thought was a big plus in texture and moistness.

  41. Kalisha Bowry

    Oh wow!!! I have been making different chilli recipes for a good year and my family LOVES the Red Bean Chilli for the flavour. It’s a staple. I love it!

  42. TinaD

    I made this tonight as a change of pace from my standard beef chili. I made a couple of minor changes: chili powder, not chile, because that’s what I had; two cans of beans, red & black, because I feed boys and it’s better if there’s leftovers; and only 1/2 tsp cumin because the spice has a bottom note of feet that really bugs me, so I tend to shy away. It’s a really good recipe. The lime brightens the turkey nicely, so to anyone thinking of skipping it, I wouldn’t. Next time I may try with white beans and a queso blanco on top (we eat cheese on eeeeverything, but our usual cheddar might be a little heavy here.) Thanks for a winner!

    1. deb

      I’m sorry. Here’s what I said about it:

      I’m sorry to tease you with the inclusion of a pretty cornbread, my favorite thing to make with chili — it’s almost, but not quite ready. But I promise you’ll read about it here first when it is.

      Keep reminding me if I forget! I get distracted by other recipes about 365 days a year.

  43. Angela Stark

    Like many of your readers (and sounds like you too Deb), I make chili every halloween. It’s our tradition :). In prep for the Saturday madness, ok to make this a few days in advance and keep in fridge or will it dry out? Thank you for you beautiful recipes!

    P.S. Anxiously awaiting the cornbread recipe

  44. awads

    I recommend doubling this recipe (gonna need a bigger pot). Our only regret is that there was very little left over (and we are only 3 people!). So good, so easy!

  45. Lee

    I made the chili tonight. I ended up using 2 1/2 tsps of a combination of ancho and chipotle chili powder. When correcting the seasoning, I did add more salt and cumin.
    I served with pickled onions I had in the fridge from another recipe, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and a frozen corn and jalapeño mix in my freezer. The squeeze of fresh lime was great.
    Question: you don’t specify dried ground oregano or dried oregano leaves. I used ground. You?
    Definitely finding a home in my recipe binders. Thank you.

  46. Roz

    GOING IN ROTATION – thanks Deb! (also excited for that corn bread recipe!) I only had chili powder so added some smoked paprika for depth.

  47. Theresa

    I was a fan of the old red bean chili recipe, but I like this new one much better! I misread the recipe and added two cans of beans, black and red kidney beans, but I enjoyed the extra beans. I also added ~ 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder because I liked it so much in the older recipe. Used about half of the 15oz can of water during the simmer process. Don’t skip the pickled onions or the squeeze of lime at the end!

  48. Rebecca Lichtenfels

    This is absolutely excellent!! I used chili powder as I didn’t have chile and it was wonderful and not spicy at all which suits my 3 yo. Only thing is there is definitely not enough in a single recipe. My husband and I used small bowls, gave a little bit to the 3 yo and 1 yo and there was barely a few bites leftover. Hmm. Definitely needs doubling for four adults in my opinion!

  49. Helen

    I couldn’t find ground turkey here in the Netherlands so I subbed ground beef, and used chili powder (which I believe here is just ground chiles, but I can’t confirm) but it was incredibly delicious! My chili powder was spicier than I thought so the dish ended up a bit too spicy with only 2 tsps (I’m a bit of a spice wimp though), so be careful when adding it!
    Served with pickled red onions (delish!) and tortilla chips, a wonderful meal. I’m excited to eat the leftovers I froze (although there wasn’t much left!). Definitely double the recipe if you’re serving more than a few people.

  50. Colleen

    Oh my gosh! I made this exactly as posted and we loved it! Enough for dinner for 2 adults and leftovers for lunch. Which is exactly what I wanted :) Don’t sleep on this one, dinner can be on the table in 45 min. So flavorful and I made boxed corn muffins on the side, which sated my desire for your recipe (for now). THANK YOU!

  51. Abby

    Thanks for another good recipe, Deb! My chili tasted a little flat so I added about 3 TBSP tomato paste. We will make this again soon!

  52. JenW

    Oh, hey! I was going to make boring turkey burgers today, but this looks so much better (and still easy–which is what I like on a busy monday). Glad I checked in. I’ll be making this today.

  53. Michelle

    I made this Friday (to serve Saturday). I tripled the batch and used the higher fat content turkey per your suggestion. I did one can each of red, black and pinto beans and three cans of the Muir Glen diced tomatoes with green chiles. Very colorful, as a result!

    It was so easy and DELICIOUS. Warmed over great on the stovetop in my giant Dutch oven. Served with sour cream, limes, jalapeno jack cheese…and chili cheese Fritos. It was a hit! Only two small bags to freeze.

  54. Alanna

    Simple and delicious! I added a finely diced red bell pepper with the onion and served with the corn pudding. Perfect cold-weather weeknight meal!

  55. Gabi

    You will be sad if you don’t make more of the onions, half a small is not nearly enough. They are yummy and I’m already thinking of more excuses to make them. That being said, this version of chili was not my favorite. I’ve made the one this was based off of from SK and prefer that. I can’t figure out why. I tried a different brand of tomatoes this time and maybe it’s them that I have an issue with. Maybe the addition of broth in the first makes it less tomatoey and I like that flavor better? And please know I say this as a HUGE SK and Deb fan ( and tomatoes too.) But I will be going back to the first one for my chili fix.
    ps ~ Thank you for making the same dishes over and over so we don’t have to.

  56. Kristiana

    I *just* made this! It was so simple and easy I could have cried. I’ve never made chili before so I’m really excited that everything turned out well. The only alterations I made was adding cloves, some pumpkin I was trying to work my way through, and two chipotle peppers from a can of adobo sauce. Everything came together for a smoky finish that wasn’t too spicy for friends with more sensitive palates. It was late so I threw some Jiffy mix together and popped it in the oven. I’m so excited for lunch tomorrow! I don’t think it’s going to last more than a day.

    1. Michelle

      Hi Michelle, another Michelle here! This is the type of chile powder I used and it worked well! It wasn’t very “hot” and I liked the flavor.

  57. Michelle

    Made this yesterday in preparation for the snowy week. Used the 1 tablespoon chipotle en abode sauce instead of the chile powder. Turned out great, delicious, and easy recipe.

  58. JP—Seattle

    I made this last night with ground chicken. I used one large red onion, about 1/3 for the pickled onions and the rest in the dish. I used some celery and carrots that were on their last gasp, and based on other suggestions, I added a squirt of tomato paste to the veg mix. I used two cans of beans – one pinto, and one “bean trio” made up of black, kidney, and pinto beans. I ended up adding about 1 1/2 cans of water total. For spices, I used the cumin and oregano; I only had chili – not chile – powder, and wasn’t sure how much to use as I don’t see the Deb gave alt instructions re how much to use if you don’t have chile powder, so I used 1/2t and an additional sprinkle of that, plus about 1 1/2 teaspoons of Penzey’s Adobo seasoning mix. I had crushed, not diced tomatoes, which worked but as I tasted, it was quite tomato-y (maybe the paste, maybe the crushed tomatoes) so I added a couple splashes of Worcestershire which seemed to balance it out nicely. I served the chili with the pickled onions, a squeeze of lime, a dash of mild harissa, and a sprinkle of shredded cheddar on top. This was relatively easy to put together, and though I was afraid of adding too much spice (having in the past made too-spicy chili that I couldn’t recover) I found that tasting as I seasoned helped achieve the desired balance. I also used my Le Cruset braising pan rather than a skillet, as my largest skillet would not have held this volume (I doubled the beans and supplemented the veg based on comments the recipe as written didn’t produce 4 true servings, and if I’m cooking there had better be leftovers for another meal later in the week :)!). We were very pleased with the results and are looking forward to the leftovers!

  59. Diana

    Wow! This recipe is awesome. So easy and so flavorful! Finished with a cup of elbow macaroni (per my bf’s request), a squeeze of lime, sour cream, pickled jalapeños and shredded cheese. This will be a staple in our home. Can’t wait to make it again.

  60. Leah

    This has become a frequent feature in our dinner rotation. I like my chilli a bit more tomato forward, so I add a couple tablespoons tomato paste. But the recipe is perfect as-is.

  61. Maria

    My family and I have enjoyed all your recipes. Having said that, I don’t know how this recipe makes four servings for what I’m guessing are adults. This would never feed teenage boys, and it barely fed my 24 yr old and my husband.

  62. Sara

    Recipe looks great! I’d like to bulk it up with more vegetables (eg, red pepper, carrots, others?) as we are always trying to up our veggie intake. What would you recommend & should the veggies be sautéed with the onions or added later? (I’m assuming carrots would be added with onions but softer veggies later?) Thanks for any advice!

    1. deb

      I’d saute them with the onions. Poblanos, peppers, greens, corn… all will work! You can also double the beans. You might need more liquid and spice to adjust.

  63. Michelle

    I was preparing this for someone who doesn’t like hot/spicy food, and I used ancho chile powder, only 2 teaspoons. It went over well with those who prefer milder flavors, and I liked it too!

  64. Kat

    In the Chicken Curry, which was published a year to the day before this one, there’s a question about using canned diced tomatoes instead of canned crushed ones. You say in your reply that the canned ones are treated to hold their shape, so you prefer to avoid them. So why do you encourage their use here? Ours did indeed hold their shape, and I might have preferred that they didn’t. Would fresh or crushed be a good substitute next time?

  65. Colleen

    This recipe is so easy and it is oh so good! I TRIPLED it last time I made it so I could have single portions in the freezer for my lunch. Seriously worth it!

  66. k

    As much for my own later reference as for others: this was the perfect way to break in my new Aldi Dutch oven. Doubled the recipe and used half ground pork, half ground beef; used red beans and chickpeas; was short on oregano and used mostly chili (rather than chile) powder, with generous amounts of sweet and smoked paprikas as well; goosed it up not with all salt, but with a teaspoon of roasted beef base. Garnished with cilantro, jalapeño, plain yogurt, and Triscuits. The most flavorful, enticing chili I’ve made in so long. A keeper, Deb!

  67. Andrea

    This is CRAZY good! I didn’t make any changes and used shredded cheddar, sour cream, and cilantro as toppings. AMAZING! (and unlike normal chili, it’s light enough to eat anytime of year)

  68. Julie

    My husband said this was the best chili ever. I used chili powder as that is what I had. Added a chopped adobo chili, and a chopped orange bell pepper. Served with your perfect, forever cornbread. Huge win for dinner!

  69. Elle

    I just won a chili competition at work with this (very substitute-filled) chili! Woop woop!! I used what I had on hand and tripled the recipe: beef instead of turkey, 28 oz can whole San Marzano tomatoes, and a 15 oz can tomato sauce. Deeeeeelicious!

  70. Nicole Flateboe

    I came here looking for a different chili recipe of hers that I’ve made. But then I realized, it’s in her cookbook. Dot get me wrong, this recipe is fine. But let me tell you, the recipe in her book “kitchen keepers” is 1000x better and a different technique than I imagined using for chili. I suggest buying that cookbook you’re looking for an excellent, different style chili. And there’s lots of other great recipes of course too ;)