Monday, December 5, 2022
HomeDessertTurkey Chili (Nice for leftover Turkey!)

Turkey Chili (Nice for leftover Turkey!)

My thick, hearty, and simple Turkey Chili is ideal for utilizing up leftover Thanksgiving turkey! This recipe has an unimaginable taste (due to a sneaky key ingredient), cooks in a single pot, and might be in your desk in underneath an hour.

Bowl of turkey chili topped with sour cream, avocado, and shredded cheese.

Leftover Turkey Chili

After spending Thanksgiving day chopping, roasting, baking, and simmering, it’s possible you’ll end up avoiding the kitchen within the days after. Positive, leftovers are often plentiful, however even these get outdated after a couple of days. When you’re trying to change issues up from the standard Thanksgiving-leftover taste profile, I believe this turkey chili is likely to be simply the factor to boost your dinner rotation.

Not solely is that this recipe extraordinarily straightforward, however it additionally repurposes rather a lot of leftover turkey! I like recipes like this (you’ll additionally discover me having fun with turkey pot pie and turkey chowder), as a result of let’s be actual, chilly turkey sandwiches can solely be loved for thus lengthy…

At the moment’s turkey chili is just like (and even simpler than) my greatest chili recipe. There’s very minimal prep-work concerned, and the toughest half is letting it simmer for half-hour.

The flavour is unimaginable too, with numerous spices (make it as scorching or gentle as you need), veggies, and beans. It’s a hearty dish that you just’ll end up craving lengthy after your Thanksgiving leftovers are gone!

What You Want

Bowl of chili made with leftover thanksgiving turkey.

This turkey chili has a fancy taste, thanks partly to at least one vital ingredient that could seem a bit uncommon to you. Belief me although, it’s magical!

  • Shredded turkey. Leftover Thanksgiving turkey works completely right here! Simply shred it up properly such as you would a rotisserie rooster. If you’re making this outdoors of Thanksgiving, you could possibly use 1 lb of cooked floor turkey as an alternative.
  • Hearth roasted tomatoes. I like utilizing these for a bit of additional taste; they’re subtly smokey and simply so good! When you can’t discover them, common diced canned tomatoes will work simply advantageous.
  • Chili powder. My desire is to make use of a mixture of ancho chili powder and common chili powder. Ancho chili powder is barely candy and smokey (should you’ve had my potato soup, you understand it’s a key ingredient there!). It’s often offered within the spice aisle of your grocery retailer. When you can’t discover ancho or choose to make use of all plain chili powder, that’s advantageous too.
  • Cocoa powder. Sure, cocoa powder! That is our magical secret ingredient. Perhaps you’ve seen it in chili earlier than… It definitely isn’t my very own invention (chocolate and chilis have been paired collectively for hundreds of years), however it’s one I’ve grown very hooked up to. Both pure or dutch course of cocoa will work right here.

SAM’S TIP: You may make this chili as spicy or gentle as you want; merely regulate the cayenne pepper to style. I like to start out out with only a pinch and go from there.

Bear in mind, that is simply an summary of the elements I used and why. For the complete recipe please scroll all the way down to the underside of the put up!

The way to Make Turkey Chili

Overhead view of chili made with shredded turkey, beans, and more.
  1. Cook dinner peppers and onions in melted butter over medium excessive warmth till translucent, then add the garlic.
  2. Add the turkey and spices and stir till the turkey is properly coated.
  3. Add the remaining elements, carry the combination to a boil, then simmer for at the least half-hour.
  4. Serve with desired toppings (bitter cream and a few crumbled corn chips are non-negotiable) and luxuriate in!

SAM’S TIP: Don’t neglect the toppings! I like topping my turkey chili with diced avocado, shredded cheese, bitter cream, and corn chips.

Bowl of chili topped with sour cream, avocado, and shredded cheese.

Continuously Requested Questions

Why add cocoa powder to chili?

Cocoa powder provides additional dimension to our chili and enhances the prevailing flavors. It provides physique and a refined depth of taste. The bitterness of the cocoa additionally works to steadiness the acidity from the tomatoes.

What it doesn’t do is make your turkey chili style like a pot of turkey brownies, I promise. Whereas you’ll get an preliminary whiff of heat chocolate while you first add it to your pot, the distinct chocolate taste will dissipate and there will likely be no lingering chocolate style.

Can turkey chili be frozen?

Sure! This chili might be frozen in an hermetic container for as much as three months.

Is turkey chili wholesome?

Whereas I definitely don’t promote this as a wholesome turkey chili, it could possibly be a bit extra well being acutely aware than a conventional beef chili. Turkey is decrease in saturated fats than beef, so it’s an ideal substitute right here. We’re additionally together with two sorts of beans, that are excessive in fiber. So whereas that is consolation meals, it does have some advantages too 😊

Bowl of chili topped with sour cream, avocado, and shredded cheese.

I wish to serve my chili with a aspect of buttermilk cornbread, jalapeño cornbread, or biscuits. When you have any leftover home made crescent rolls from Thanksgiving, these would work too!

Take pleasure in!

Let’s bake collectively! I’ll be strolling you thru all of the steps in my written recipe and video beneath! When you do that recipe, you’ll want to tag me on Instagram, and you can even discover me on YouTube and Fb

Bowl of turkey chili topped with sour cream, avocado, and shredded cheese.

Turkey Chili

A thick & hearty Turkey Chili that’s good for utilizing up leftover Thanksgiving turkey! 


Course: Major Course

Delicacies: American

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook dinner Time: 15 minutes

Time to Simmer: 30 minutes

Complete Time: 1 hour

Servings: 8 servings

Energy: 375kcal

Forestall your display screen from going darkish


  • Soften butter over medium/excessive warmth in a big pot (I like to make use of a Dutch oven) till melted.

  • Add onion and peppers and cook dinner, stirring regularly, till translucent (about 5 minutes)

  • Add garlic and cook dinner till aromatic.

  • Add the turkey to your pot after which add chili powder, brown sugar, cocoa powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.

  • Stir elements properly till turkey is roofed with spices.

  • Add remaining elements and convey to a boil. Cut back warmth to a simmer and cook dinner for at the least half-hour to permit flavors to completely develop.

  • Serve, topped with bitter cream, crushed corn chips, or your favourite toppings.


*Chili powder

My private desire is to make use of ancho chili powder, or a mix of the 2, however common chili powder will work. I choose ancho chili powder which lends itself to a smokier, barely sweeter turkey chili, however Zach thinks it’s too candy and prefers common chili powder.

**Cocoa powder

Please see my put up for extra data on why we add cocoa powder (it’s not going to make your chili style like chocolate, I promise!)

***Cayenne pepper

This quantity of cayenne pepper provides a really refined warmth to the chili. Be at liberty to extend this quantity at your individual discretion to fit your tastebuds.


Retailer in an hermetic container within the fridge. How lengthy it will maintain is determined by the age of your turkey, more energizing turkey will maintain for five days, in case your turkey is a number of days left over I wouldn’t maintain for longer than 3 days. This recipe additionally freezes properly.


Serving: 1serving (⅛ of chili, doesn’t embrace toppings) | Energy: 375kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 21g | Fats: 14g | Saturated Fats: 10g | Monounsaturated Fats: 1g | Ldl cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 9465mg | Potassium: 664mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 950IU | Vitamin C: 9.9mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 4.9mg

Dietary data relies on third-party calculations and needs to be thought-about an estimate solely. Precise dietary content material will fluctuate based mostly upon manufacturers used, measuring strategies, cooking technique, portion sizes, and extra.

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