Best Turkey Chili Recipe… EVER

My sister shared with me her recipe for Chili years back and I lost the paper it was written on at some point... when I asked her for the recipe again, it changed a bit. Guess she perfected it over time. I've made some changes of my own over time - feel free to do the same.

I cooked this a few days ago. I can testify that it was delicious and well-received by my co-workers - it was for a Cinco de Mayo pot-luck lunch. It was gobbled all up. This also explains putting it in a tupperware container rather than a nice bowl.

This is only a partial ingredients pic - the girlfriend showed up later with the rest... here's a photo followed by a shopping list:

  • 2.5 lbs of ground turkey breast.
  • 3 16oz cans of diced or chopped tomatoes - I used 2 26oz Pomi boxes.
  • (Optional - 1 20oz jar of Matta's hot salsa - favorite local restaurant hot salsa? use that or good store bought - it helps add depth, but isn't necessary)
  • 4oz can of diced green chiles mild.
  • 4oz can of diced green chiles HOT
  • 1 bag of Tillamook Mexican shredded cheese (or shred your own brick of sharp cheddar)
  • Various seasoning for meat include (but not limited to):
    • 1 packet of McCormick Hot Taco seasoning
    • 1 packet of McCormick Hot Chili seasoning
    • 2-3 tbsp of hot red chili powder - I get this from Mexican grocery store
    • McCormick Caribbean Jerk
    • Sea Salt
    • Vegeta (I put this shit in just about everything - it's amazing - I got this at a Bosnian grocery store)
  • Sometimes, I'll add a bit of soy sauce to the meat while cooking. Didn't this time. Sometimes a dash of cinnamon and/or nutmeg is good too. Just season to taste. Turkey gets a little lost flavor-wise in this dish unless you season the crap out of it.

This is not the most flattering pic, but you'll want to flop the turkey meat into a pan and start cooking - you don't need oil or water or anything - cook on medium high and using a spatula, just stab at it until it's all chopped up into little bits...

Start covering your meat with all of your seasonings and keep stabbing and stirring and mixing it all up - if you like to get your hands dirty, you can mash and mix the turkey in a bowl with all your seasonings before it hits a pan. I don't do this because I'm a bit lazy.

You'll want to keep it covered as the fat and moisture in lean ground turkey is just barely enough to cook turkey without using oils or pam or anything and not scorch... uncovered the entire time, it will get dry.

I like to hold off on some of the hotter seasonings until the meat is nearly cooked up in order to keep it pure... just keep cooking, stabbing, seasoning and stirring every so often until it looks about like this:

Now you should be ready to pour in the tomatoes and chiles. Just pour it all in and stir it about until evenly distributed.

Turn down the heat to medium and leave the lid on. Simmer for about 20-30 min.

Only open every 5-10 minutes to stir it around to keep it from scorching at the bottom. It's going to sweat a lot - try to keep the moisture in - let it drip off the lid back into the pan whenever you open it to stir.

The last 5 minutes of cooking, you should turn the heat back up to med-high and leave the lid off and stand over it while stirring constantly... we're reducing the liquid - cooking it away to thicken it all up a bit. When you feel it's the proper consistency, start transferring it to a nice bowl. I have a nice ceramic I usually use, but needed to transport this thing to work in tupperware sadly...

You'll scoop out a layer of chili on the bottom of the bowl, then sprinkle over a layer of delicious cheese... then schlep in another layer of chili... then more cheese... and then one more layer of chili and a final sprinkle of cheese...

Serve with a good restaurant style white corn tortilla chip... we tend to use Tostito's Scoops because they make a perfect mouthful, but anything works really. This stuff is fantastic the next day for burritos or whatever.

It's pretty healthy too actually except for all the cheese and salt.


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