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Turkey Chili with White Beans

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My German Kitchen ... in the Rockies: Turkey Chili with White Beans

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Turkey Chili with White Beans

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My German Kitchen ... in the Rockies: Turkey Chili with White Beans

08 March 2011

Turkey Chili with White Beans

Mr. Rockies' number one food is beans. He actually eats some every day for lunch and is the happiest person in the world if he gets beans for dinner as well. Chili is one of his favorite dishes, but it has to be up to his standards since he is quite the Chili snob.

When we first met and I started cooking for the two of us he politely held back his opinion about my chili. Germans are actually not known for their outstanding chili and he ate what I served, even if the chili contained bell pepper which he truly dislikes. That is true love, right?

Many years have passed and after moving to the US, I discovered the ingredients a good chili has to have. This mouthwatering turkey chili with white beans, cumin, oregano and ancho chili includes some of them. Surprising flavors are brought to the chili with the addition of chocolate and cinnamon. I use good canned beans and have served this chili with ground turkey and ground beef. My family liked both variations, however, the ground turkey will definitely have less calories.

This turkey chili with white beans is very quick to assemble. Be sure to make a big batch since it tastes even better reheated! I think it's an ideal dish to serve when you have a casual get together.

Serves 6-8.


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey (or ground beef)
1/4 cup chili powder (I used ancho chili)
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
3 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
3 15-ounce cans small white beans, rinsed, drained

Chopped red onion
Chopped fresh cilantro
Plain low-fat yogurt or light sour cream


Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions; sauté until light brown and tender, about 10 minutes. Add oregano and cumin; stir 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high. Add turkey; stir until no longer pink, breaking up with back of spoon. Stir in chili powder, bay leaves, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon. Add tomatoes with their juices, breaking up with back of spoon. Mix in stock and tomato sauce. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add beans to chili and simmer until flavors blend, about 10 minutes longer. Discard bay leaves. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium-low heat before continuing.)

Ladle chili into bowls. Pass red onion, cilantro and yogurt separately.

Adapted from

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At March 8, 2011 at 9:11 AM , Blogger Merut said...

No peppers in chili? WHAT?! I kid. I love beans too and chili has rapidly become one of my favorite dishes, especially with ground turkey. This looks really good and easy to whip up. Yummy!

At March 8, 2011 at 9:29 AM , Blogger Chele said...

They look great and with a chilli snob to hand you'll always know when they are up to scratch ;0)
Love the bowls too, very pretty!

At March 8, 2011 at 10:19 AM , OpenID highplainsdrifters said...

Been using nothing but black and pinto all winter, so needed something with white beans to try. Cheers!

At March 8, 2011 at 10:29 AM , Blogger MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College said...

I just found your blog and I love it! I also live in Colorado and your header picture is gorgeous :-) While I don't eat meat I really love a good bean chili, this recipe sounds great! I will definitely be back, I can't wait to see more posts.

Check out my blog sometime!

At March 8, 2011 at 12:56 PM , Blogger Cooking Creation said...

I know a lot of people swear by it but I'm always hesitant to add chocolate to my chili. Maybe I should change that? I'm afraid it will be too strong. It looks delicious for sure! Thanks for sharing! :)

At March 8, 2011 at 2:33 PM , Blogger Kirsten said...

Ich mag Chili auch sehr, sehr gern, auch wenn ich ehrlich gesagt noch nie Paprika dafür verwendet hab ;o) Allerdings auch noch nie Schokolade oder Zimt - muss ich unbedingt mal ausprobieren!

At March 8, 2011 at 3:48 PM , Blogger Susi said...

Schokolade und Zimt im Chili ist ein interessantes Konzept. Hoert sich aber echt lecker an. Muss mal Dein Rezept an meinem Chili Snob ausprobieren.
Great bowls Kirsten!

At March 8, 2011 at 4:02 PM , Blogger Karen Harris said...

My guys love beans too and could eat them everyday. You will have to tell Mr. Rockies that I once had a friend's chili in the UK that consisted of minced lamb and ketchup. We all loved her too and ate what we were given. I'm sure I got even with her with my American cups of tea. Great recipe Kirsten!

At March 8, 2011 at 5:24 PM , Blogger THE OLD GEEZER said...

Greetings from Southern California

I am your newest follower. I invite you to visit my blog and follow me if you want too.

God bless you :-)


At March 8, 2011 at 6:46 PM , Anonymous uebernteich said...

Almost ready for dinner!

At March 8, 2011 at 7:45 PM , Blogger From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

We have been experimenting with chicken and turkey chili's for awhile now. (trying to eat less beef) We will try your version. Looks delicious and seems to be straight forward and easy. Thanks for another recipe worth trying.

At March 8, 2011 at 9:43 PM , Anonymous marla said...

I love having big batches of recipes like this chili available at all times. Healthy and great for grab and go meals.

At March 9, 2011 at 5:55 AM , Blogger Elisabeth said...

Love your turkey chili, and the addition of the cocoa, and beef broth. Certainly gets more flavor from all the goodness of the spice combination.
Pretty pottery, as well, and lovely photos!

At March 10, 2011 at 5:44 AM , Anonymous Lea Ann said...

I probably haven't mentioned it, but I'm somewhat of a chili snob myself. Mine never comes out the same because I don't really have a recipe. I've been known to toss in some cocoa. And I do have a secret ingredient or two. Looks delicious Kirsten.

At March 10, 2011 at 9:15 AM , Blogger Mary said...

This just looks silly delicious! I must try! Lovvve turkey chili!

Great blog; happy I found you!

Mary xx
Delightful Bitefuls

At March 10, 2011 at 4:08 PM , Anonymous irishcoleen said...

Kirsten, you always have such beautiful photos of your food. They just make me want to immediately go to the kitchen and make whatever it is. I will definitely be making this for my "chili snob" husband. I'll keep you posted on the results :)

At March 10, 2011 at 4:29 PM , Blogger Tracy said...

Mmm, this sounds so hearty and delicious! Love it!

At March 11, 2011 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous Nuts about food said...

Love the idea of cocoa in your recipe, back to its origins.
Also wanted to let you know that I linked to your blog and conversion table page (among other links) on my blog, with the name of your blog of course. I hope you don't mind, but I thought it was very clear and detailed. If you do mind, please let me know and I will delete the link. Thanks!

At March 11, 2011 at 11:08 AM , OpenID jennaseverythingblog said...

Oooh, chocolate and cinnamon in chili--sounds unbelievably good! Chili is definitely something I haven't mastered yet, but I look forward to all the 'practice runs.' =)

At March 11, 2011 at 2:28 PM , Blogger Stella said...

Hey Kirsten, besides looking delicious, this turkey chili is kind of beautiful! That color is so nice, and the bowls don't hurt anything either;-) Oh, and I'm totally with your husband on the bean thing (smile)...

At March 12, 2011 at 11:01 PM , Blogger scrambledhenfruit said...

Sounds delicious! Beans are a staple here at my house too- we try to eat them often. :)

At March 22, 2011 at 2:45 AM , Anonymous Cams said...

Forget anything nothing but food...:)


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