Turkey and White Bean Chili


The timing of this chili post, when the weather is just beginning to warm up in London and most of the States, may seem a bit odd.  However, let me explain.


I’ve been wanting to post my favorite chili recipe for this entire winter.  Originally I’d thought to tie it in with the Superbowl.  Football and chili, a classic combination.


But Sticky Glazed Chicken Wings won out.  Fast forward a few months and May is upon us and I’m sorting out what to make for our Cinco de Mayo celebration.  And it hits me…. chili would be perfect.


This Turkey and White Bean Chili has a secret ingredient that gives it some Mexican cred…..cocoa powder.  It’s a bit like a molé sauce.  It’s best topped with sour cream, cilantro/coriander, avocado, cheese and a squeeze of lime.  All favorite ingredients in Mexican cooking.

Make a batch, or a double-batch, keep it warmed on the stove, and let guests ladle up their own bowls.  Set out all the toppings and you’ve got yourself a Cinco de Mayo chili bar.  Olé!


1 year ago:  Cilantro Lime Tequila Spritzer with Jalapeño

Turkey and White Bean Chili (serves 4)

Note:  This recipe makes 5 cups (1.25 liters).  If you like more beans in your chili, add another can.  You can also substitute dried beans for the canned beans.  Place ½ cup dried cannellini beans in a medium saucepan, cover with 2” / 5cm cold water and add a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer until the beans are fully cooked, about 3 hours.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 lb (500 grams) ground turkey/turkey mince

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 bay leaf

½ tablespoon cocoa powder

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

14 ounces (400 grams) canned/tinned whole peeled tomatoes

2 cups (475 ml) water

3 tablespoons tomato paste/puree

15 ounces (400 grams) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Toppings:  Fresh cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped onion, sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, avocado slices, lime wedges

Heat oil in a medium or large pot over medium-low heat.  Add onions and sauté until soft and beginning to brown, stirring often, about 7 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.  Add oregano and cumin and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.

Add turkey, increase heat to medium-high and cook until no longer pink, breaking up with a spoon, about 8 minutes.  Stir in the chili powder, bay leaf, cocoa, salt and cinnamon.  Add tomatoes with their juices and break up with a spoon.  Add water and tomato paste, stir well, and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes.

Add beans to chili and simmer until flavors blend, about 10 minutes.  Serve chili with desired toppings; add a bit of water if too dry, especially when reheating.

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