turkey chili

Turkey Chili

Jump to Turkey Chili Recipe

We are all SO over the ice-crusted residential streets and alleys in our Central Oregon town. Driving on them feels like an amusement park ride (at best) combined with the not so thrilling threat of getting stuck or sliding into one of the parked cars that line the streets like sitting ducks (at worst).

 Until this morning, I haven’t had a problem with the ice hills in my yard, but now I’m over them too, for a far less threatening reason than treacherous driving conditions, but way more embarrassing.

As I was enjoying my relaxing Sunday morning coffee, my doorbell rang. Quite rare to begin with but especially at 8:45 am. Just moments before, I had seen a guy stuck in front of our house, chaining up his truck so he could make it down our street, so, thinking it must be him, I went and opened the door in my bathrobe. Having not yet even glanced at a mirror, I was confident I looked frightening, but I thought what the hell, I would likely never see him again, and maybe he really needed help. It wasn’t him. It was my fully dressed cute new neighbor who has the cute wife and cute new baby coming to tell me my not so cute (at the moment) dog had made it into his backyard by climbing the snow pile and jumping the fence.

Ugh. Of course, my own super cute husband had already left for the mountain. So now Scooter knows he can just jump on over there whenever he wants, which is every time he goes out now. Super. And before you tell me to get out there and just shovel the snow pile down, it really is more of an ice pile, so that’s not happening.

I know, way, way, WAY, more serious problems happening in the world but, for what it’s worth, I thought I’d share what’s happening in my own backyard today. Literally. Hope I didn’t take too much of your time.


I suppose I should be thankful he didn’t figure it out sooner. This picture was taken two weeks ago when Bob dug a trench to prevent flooding. And yes, the pile is still almost that high up the fence!

Let’s get back to the food…

If I had to claim a signature recipe, it very well might be this one. It’s my go-to. Always delicious, always nutritious, always a hit with the whole family. Years ago, I posted the recipe for Chili My Way, which has similar instructions, but it definitely deserved a more detailed post with better pictures, so here you have it.


Turkey Chili

(makes about 12 servings)

2 tablespoon olive oil, divided

1 lb ground turkey

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon Mexican oregano (substitute Greek)

2 teaspoons chili powder (I use sweet ancho variety, use what you like)

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (sweet or hot, your choice)

1 bay leaf

2 cups onion, chopped (yellow or white, I usually choose sweet)

1 cup celery, chopped

2 cups bell pepper, chopped

salt and pepper

3 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped

2 15oz cans red kidney or black beans (or one of each), drained and rinsed

1 7oz can mild green chiles

1 15oz can diced tomatoes

3 cups chicken stock

6 oz tomato paste

TOPPINGS (optional)

sour cream avocado ~cheese (cheddar/jack/feta/etc.)

avocado cheese (cheddar/jack/feta/etc.)

cheese (cheddar/jack/feta/etc.)


hot sauce

In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, over medium heat, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, ground turkey, salt, cumin, M. oregano, chili powder, paprika, and bay leaf. Break up the ground turkey and mix in the spices with a spatula, stirring often, until the meat is fully cooked; about 8 minutes. Place cooked ground turkey in a separate, heatproof bowl and set aside.



Add another tablespoon of olive oil, chopped onions, and chopped celery to the pot and cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften.



Add chopped peppers and cook until they are softened, stirring often. Season veggies with a pinch of salt and pepper.



Add the ground turkey back in with the veggies.


Add grated garlic, beans, green chiles, and diced tomatoes.



Add chicken stock, then tomato paste and stir over medium-high to combine all ingredients. Turn the heat down to low or medium depending on your stove), cover, and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes.




Serve hot with desired toppings. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.


Laugh more. It’s good for you.