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Spicy Turkey Chili

January 31, 2021 (Last updated February 10, 2023) · Nicole Triebe

This classic spicy turkey chili recipe is just like grandma used to make! This simple chili recipe combines turkey and beans with a flavorful tomato sauce and spices for comfort in a bowl!

We’re in the middle of snowmageddon here in Chicago, and I was craving a big bowl of chili to warm up! This spicy turkey chili is one of my favorite one-pot meals! If you love easy, tasty and comforting recipes you need to make this. It’s packed with lean ground turkey, two types of beans and the perfect blend of spices, cooked until all of the ingredients come together. 

spicy turkey chili in pot on stove

Substitutions and additions

Beans: A traditional turkey chili recipe calls for kidney beans, but you could also substitute black beans or pinto beans! If you want to make this chili recipe vegetarian, you can also increase the beans and eliminate the meat alltogether!

Beef: If you prefer beef in your chili, make sure you choose a coarsely ground 80/20 (also known as a “chili grind”) that you can grab up from your local butcher. You will need a cut that has sufficient fat to hold up to the simmering process and will produce a texture that isn’t dry.

closet up shot of spicy turkey chili with garnishes

How do I make spicy turkey chili?

  1. First, heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and cook until onions are translucent.
  2. Next, add the ground turkey and stir until the turkey meat is crumbled and almost completely browned.
  3. Add the chili powder and spices and stir until combined.
  4. Add the Worcester sauce, whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans. Stir to combine.
  5. Finally, bring the chili to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Stir often so that the chili doesn’t stick to the bottom of the dutch oven. Serve hot with your favorite toppings!

What should I top my chili with?

In addition to the chili ingredients listed in this recipe for chili, you may also want to have these things as toppings.

  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Crackers (I personally like topping mine with crushed Cheezits or Goldfish!)
  • Sliced avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Diced onion

What should I serve with spicy turkey chili?

A big bowl of this spicy turkey chili goes really well with my rosemary cornbread muffins or Copycat Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

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Spicy Turkey Chili

  • Author: Nicole Triebe
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American



1 tbl olive oil

1 pound ground turkey

1 onion, chopped

1 tsp worcestershire

1 (28 ounce) can canned crushed or whole tomatoes

2 (16 ounce) can tomato sauce

2 (16 ounce) can kidney beans – drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

¼ cup chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp black pepper

2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt


Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions to the pot and cook until translucent.  Add turkey to the pot, and cook until evenly almost completely brown.   Mix in chili powder, garlic, cayenne pepper, black pepper and salt

Mix in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and beans. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for one hour.  Garnish with toppings of your choosing.

Keywords: chili; soup; turkey

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  • Reply Kenneth Gladman December 6, 2017 at 1:01 am

    When the weather turns cold I love to cook soups and chillis. The important part to making the recipe work is getting quality ingredients. Be sure and do your research on where you get your ingredients before buying.

  • Reply Lori Baker September 13, 2020 at 10:31 pm

    Delicious chili…hot and yummy!

    • Reply Richard Kight November 6, 2022 at 8:51 pm

      I used left over turkey,chopped up fine. Also used homemade tomato paste instead of sauce. Turned out great.

  • Reply Allison February 14, 2021 at 1:51 am


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