Southwestern Turkey Chili
Yield: 6-8 servings
This soul-warming chili is loaded with protein-rich turkey and beans and colorful veggies like corn and peppers. You can adjust the heat to taste and/or vary the beans based on what you have on hand. A great way to use leftover turkey, but feel free to use chicken if preferred.


  • 2 tablespoons each olive oil and butter (may use all of one or the other if preferred)
  • 1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup, yellow or red)
  • 1 large or two small bell peppers, seeded and diced (about 1½ cups; I like red, yellow, or a mix)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced*
  • 3 garlic cloves minced (or ¾ teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon each dried oregano, ground cumin, and ground coriander
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon kosher salt (depending on broth used; I use 1½ teaspoons when using homemade, salt-free stock)
  • ¼ cup (36g) fine ground cornmeal or masa harina (corn flour)**
  • 1 quart chicken broth or turkey stock
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups (8-9 ounces) frozen corn
  • 4 cups shredded cooked turkey (about 16 ounces cooked)
  • Optional for serving: crumbed tortilla chips, shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese, chopped avocado, sliced ripe olives, sour cream, chopped cilantro


  1. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil and butter over medium heat, and sauté the onion, bell pepper, optional jalapeño, and fresh garlic (if using) until tender, about 5 minutes.

    Add the garlic powder (if using in place of fresh), chili powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, salt, and cornmeal and continue to cook for 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Pour in the broth and stir until it comes to a boil and thickens slightly.

    Add the beans, corn, and turkey. Bring to a boil again, and then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Taste and add an extra sprinkle of salt, if needed, and then ladle into bowls and top as desired.


*If you like a mild chili, you may wish to remove the seeds and veins from the jalapeño—or omit altogether. Or use half for a medium-hot meal.

**The cornmeal or corn flour works as a thickener while subtly enhancing the flavor. I recently tested with a medium grind cornmeal, and it was not perceptible. So, if that’s what you have, feel free to use it. In a pinch, it could be omitted, and the chili would still taste great.

Storage: The chili will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 5 days. It freezes well too.

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