Turkey chili

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Everyone has their own chili recipe, and it can look like a completely different food in different parts of the country. When I moved to the US, I was first introduced to Texas chili, and it was love at first sight. Some people argue Texas is where chili originated in the 1700’s.

While this recipe is a Texas-influenced chili, it is a healthier version using turkey meat instead of ground beef. It also includes beans which are not part of the Texas tradition. I have adapted it from an original recipe by Emeril Lagasse, giving it many twists over time. There’s even an unusual secret ingredient (see if you can spot it)…

Any time I serve this at my house, my guests are bound to ask for my recipe, that I have until now selfishly guarded… My family fights over the last serving and it’s been difficult for me to take a good photo as the chili has generally disappeared before I can remember to grab my camera.

Even though I generally avoid simmering dishes on the stove in the hot summer days, a bowl of spicy chili is welcome year around, so I just suffer for a few hours waiting for the reward…

Hope you enjoy!

Turkey chili

A lean and healthy turkey meat and bean chili, this is a year-round staple at my house. No one can resist its enticing smell and it disappears in no time…
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Dish, Soup / Stew
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bell pepper, black beans, onion, poblano pepper, tomato, turkey
Servings: 8
Author: Veronique Eichler


Emeril's essence creole seasoning (yields 2/3 cup)


  • In a dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium high heat. Add the sausage and sear until brown, breaking apart into crumbles. Remove from pan to a large bowl, leaving the rendered fat, add the ground turkey and brown it, breaking it into crumbles. Remove from the pan and add to the bowl.
  • Add 2 tbsp olive oil, the onions, bell peppers, poblano pepper, and cook, stirring, until onions are soft and start to brown. Add the garlic (pressed or minced) and all spices and cook for a couple minutes until the spices are fragrant.
  • Add the beer and tomatoes, stir well and bring to a boil.
  • Add the meat back in the pan. Add the beans.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 1 hour minimum.
  • For best taste, prepare a day ahead and reheat gently an hour before eating.



Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 1016mg | Potassium: 964mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1949IU | Vitamin C: 102mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 9mg
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  1. May I try to guess …. is the mysterious powder the same I use to add to my piquante sauce for beef tong, as suggested by our dad ?

  2. Maybe family can’t play …..


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