Turkey Chili that Tastes Like Beef

Janice Krako/ October 2, 2018/ comfort food, easy recipe, healthy, Main Dish, make ahead/ 0 comments

Yes, Turkey Chili can taste as hearty as Beef 

My recipe for Turkey Chili was an experiment.  Could I make a chili as satisfying as a beef chili but using turkey?

Often I find ground turkey lacking a lot of flavor for my palate and usually prefer the heartier flavor of beef over either ground chicken or ground turkey. My addition of low sodium soy sauce in this recipe picks up the umami flavor for that heartier taste more like a beef chili. The exact soy sauce I used is by Lee Kum Kee.  This soy has become my new go to because it isn’t as salty as other low sodium brands I have used and the flavor is deep and rich.

This is a great recipe for a beginning level cook too. Quick, very simple to make, no need for take out and will reheat very well as most stew type dishes do.


Turkey Chili

Cutting cholesterol for better health?

Go leaner with the ground white meat only turkey. Another option is to substitute ground white meat chicken in this recipe would work well also for watching cholesterol. If you use all white meat ground turkey the cholesterol is less than in a blend of dark and white meat or all dark meat grind. Dark meat ground turkey is comparable to the 70/30 grind of beef.

Cholesterol Comparisons in Ground Meat

  • Ground beef 70/30  has 354 mg  per pound
  • Ground beef 80/20 320 mg per pound
  • Ground turkey (white meat) is 304 mg per pound
  • Ground turkey dark meat is 357

The choice is up to you when you cook at home and that’s why home cooking is really the best cooking.   

Enjoy experimenting in the kitchen! 


Simmering Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili that tastes Like Beef Chili

 You could substitute ground chicken in this recipe also.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, TexMex
Keyword: beans, chili, turkey
Servings: 6 people
Author: Janice Krako


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil or very light olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped medium dice
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic minced
  • 1-3/4 cup water
  • 28 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup low salt soy sauce
  • 15 ounce can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounce can kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounce can pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons smoked paprika or sweet paprika can be used
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt adjust to taste at the end of cooking
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce adjust to taste


  • 1) Drain and rinse  the cans of beans in a mesh strainer.  Set aside.
    2) Medium dice the large onion.
    3) Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or heavy bottom soup pot. Add the ground turkey breaking up into small bits with wooden spoon.  Once broken up, allow the meat to sit without stirring so it will brown, stir as the bottom of meat is browned so the rest of the meat will also brown.
    4) Add the onion and cook till translucent.  
    5) Add minced garlic, chili powder, smoked paprika, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper.  Stir well so herbs and spices reactivate their flavor.
    6) Add in all the rinsed and drained beans, soy sauce and water, stir well to mix al the ingredients.
    7) Simmer on low for 45-50 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  
    8) Taste, adjust salt to taste.  Add hot sauce (or not) to taste.
    9) Serve and enjoy!


Serving Suggestions: 

  • Top with shredded Mexican blend or Cheddar Cheese
  • Tortilla chips on the side
  • Hot sauce on the table for personal adjustments
  • Pickled Jalapeños on the side
  • I prefer using large soup size mugs or bowls for serving 
  • Sour cream on top 
  • Cilanto, chopped for garnish

Turkey Chili that tastes like Beef

© Angel’s Food Paradise

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