Quick Turkey Chili

Flavorful, fast, easy, and a touch spicy.

Quick Turkey Chili

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Caleb Clarke; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins

Twenty minutes is all you need to put this flavorful and filling turkey chili on the table.

If you're from Texas, by all means, leave the beans out. But for everyone else, the combination of savory tomatoes, ground turkey, and kidney beans is spiced up thanks to taco seasoning and chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (a secret ingredient we love to have on hand for homemade pepper jelly , chicken tacos , even scalloped potatoes ). Most of these ingredients are pantry and fridge staples, which means making this 20-minute turkey chili is easy on a last-minute kind of night.

We like red bell peppers in this recipe because they're easy to find and tender, which means they soften more quickly in the chili-making process. But you can also use poblano peppers if you like a little more heat. Just make sure you get the poblanos nice and browned in the first step—they have tougher skins than their bell pepper cousins.

Most turkey chili recipes call for browning the turkey before adding the liquid and other ingredients. Normally, we'd recommend that, too. But for this recipe, we didn't—and the results were still fantastic. In fact, the turkey is more tender from the gentle simmer in the chili. If you have the time, feel free to brown the turkey before adding the taco seasoning and tomato paste.


  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (from 1 medium onion)

  • 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper (from 1 bell pepper)

  • 3 Tbsp. taco seasoning mix (from 1 [1-oz.] envelope)

  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste

  • 1 (14 1/2-oz.) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 1 lb. ground turkey (white and dark meat)

  • 1 (15-oz.) can light red kidney beans , drained and rinsed

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. finely chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (about 2 canned chiles)

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

  • Toppings: shredded Cheddar cheese , sour cream, sliced avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, and tortilla chips


  1. Heat oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium-high. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add taco seasoning and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until spices are fragrant and tomato paste has darkened, about 1 minute. Stir in crushed tomatoes and water, scraping bottom of Dutch oven to release any browned bits. Add turkey, and stir to break into smaller pieces. Stir in beans, chiles, and salt. Bring to a simmer, undisturbed, over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until turkey is no longer pink, about 8 minutes.

  2. Ladle evenly into 4 bowls, and serve with desired toppings.

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