Easy Turkey Chili is the simplest one-pot meal.  Lean ground turkey is cooked with vegetables and spices along with a secret ingredient to take the flavor to the next level.

Turkey chili in a white bowl topped with grated cheese and cilantro

The phrase “One pot meal” was searched on Google over 2 million times this past month! Everyone loves a one pot meal because, by nature, they’re typically so easy to prepare and oh so convenient.

I chose to use turkey for this dish  since due to the warmer weather being here, turkey makes for a lighter tasting chili but you can, of course, use beef if you like.

The bowl of chili from overhead on a round wood board with a spoon

Given that, and even though I did use turkey, there’s no skimping on flavor here. This chili is just as rich and delicious as beef chili due to my use of that secret and magical ingredient I previously mentioned.

Turkey chili secret ingredient

Dark Belgian beer. Oh yes! This is Gulden Draak (Dutch for Golden Dragon) and it’s one helluva beer. It’s a true Belgian ale that’s sweet, rich and, thanks to my husband’s suggestion, the perfect flavor enhancer for this chili.

Belgian beer being added to turkey chili

This is a healthy turkey chili, but if you want to make it even more healthy, you can omit the beer and replace with more beef stock.

Its complex flavors add such a depth and darkness to the chili, you really don’t know there’s turkey and not beef. If  you want to leave out the beer, just replace the same amount with extra beef stock, but you won’t get the same flavor. I was not paid to feature the beer or provided with the product, I am just a huge fan of Gulden Draak and it happens to be one of my true favorites.

A white bowl filled with turkey and bean chili garnished with cheddar cheese and cilantro

Chili toppings are endless

I like to keep it simple when it comes to the toppings. Of course, cheese is a must! A good, sharp white Vermont cheddar is what I prefer and to add freshness, a bit of chopped cilantro will do just fine.

The toppings are a personal choice, so you can add just about anything your little heart desires. Jalapeños, onion, bacon, chopped tomatoes, sour cream and more.

2 chili pies in cast iron skillets topped with polenta

I’ll leave you with this parting thought: When you’re eating this chili and thinking how good it is, just think about how good it’s going to be tomorrow because leftovers are always better and I have a great leftover recipe, chili polenta skillet pies (picture above). They are so easy and quick to make.

Yield: 4

Easy Turkey Chili

A white bowl full of turkey and bean chili topped with cheddar cheese and cilantro

 Lean ground turkey is cooked with vegetables and spices along with beer for a deep rich flavor.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup (56 grams) yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 pound (453 grams) ground turkey or chicken
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste/concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons mild chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 12-ounces (354 ml) bottle dark beer , optional replace with more beef stock
  • 14 ounces (410 grams) diced, chopped or crushed tomatoes
  • 14 ounces (410 grams) can tomato puree/pasata
  • 2 cups (473 ml) beef stock/broth
  • 14 ounces (410 grams) cooked kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 14 ounces (410 grams) cooked black beans, drained and rinsed


  1. To a large saucepan add the oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, pepper and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes until they start to soften.
  2. Add the meat and break up and cook until browned. Stir in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste/concentrate until well mixed into the meat and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano until well combined. Cook, stirring often for about 2 minutes to bring out the flavors of the spices.
  5. Pour in the beer and stir to deglaze the pan scraping all the bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer for about 3 minutes until the liquid is reduced.
  6. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato puree/passata and beef stock/broth and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes.
  7. Stir in the cooked beans. Serve hot with your favorite toppings.


You can also use amber beer. If you don't want to use beer, substitute same amount of beef stock.

To make the chili spicy, add your favorite hot sauce to taste.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 3678Total Fat 24gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 17gCholesterol 31mgSodium 10494mgCarbohydrates 684gNet Carbohydrates 0gFiber 131gSugar 265gSugar Alcohols 0gProtein 158g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.