3-Bean Turkey Chili

Turkey chili with pinto beans, black beans, and kidney beans. A dash of red wine and cocoa powder make this easy turkey chili recipe even more bold and delicious
3-Bean Turkey Chili |TheRoastedRoot.net #healthy #dinner #recipe

Your weekend needs this.

Life lately in my neck of the woods has been business as usual during the week, then come the weekend, it’s all about synching up the ol’ bunting, shredding the gnar, dropping in, getting that blower pow, carving some pretty sick lines, finding that epic bluebird day.


Or in normal person lexicon: snowboarding in the backcountry.

My inner peace is found at the top of a snow-blanketed mountain. Hiking up, enjoying the view at the top, then riding down through thick fields of powder is my crack. Nothing compares to floating on top of freshly fallen-snow…feeling like you’re surfing on clouds, making your own beautiful tracks in the pristine fluff.

Of course, these trips in the backcountry are always immediately followed by a beer and a big filling meal. I’ve been craving the most turkiest and beaniest of chilis lately. Nothing shmancy, nothing too fatty, just straight-forward ingredients with a bamboozle of spices.

The spices here, guys…

You’re going to think I’m crazy. You’ll see that the recipe calls for a whopping three tablespoons of chili powder – this isn’t a typo. You may be tempted to cut down on the chili powder, but haste: for me, this chili is seasoned to perfection. If you’d like, you can start with a tablespoon or two and see where that takes you before adding more. You can also use your own homemade chili powder rather than store-bought if you’re fond of your own blend.

3-Bean Turkey Chili |TheRoastedRoot.net #healthy #dinner #recipe

In addition to a barrage of spices and seasoning, I also added unsweetened cocoa powder and red wine (petite sirah, malbec, or cabernet sauvignon would be my recommendation) for richness to elevate the flavor.

Lean ground turkey tends to be somewhat mleh unless you add fat and/or flavor, which is why we’re infusing the crap out of this chili with other ingredients. In addition to ground turkey, I used spicy chicken sausage that I picked up from Whole Foods in the meat department – it comes ground, rather than linked – but you can use your favorite ground sausage of choice. Again, the sausage kicks up the flavor of the soup – don’t even think about skipping it!

Let’s talk chili thickness. The consistency of this soup thickens up as you let it sit, but if you’re looking for that mega thick chili to comfort your mind, body, and soul, you can make a roux with butter and gluten-free all-purpose flour (or regular AP flour) and add it to the chili once it has finished cooking. You can also add more chicken broth to thin the chili out if soupier chili is your jam.

Chili toppers. What are your thoughts? I find chili toppings to be just as important as the chili itself. The photo here are an inaccurate depiction of how the chili was actually consumed, as I also added shredded cheese (the pre-shredded Mexican blend’s my jam), along with avocado and hot sauce. Basically, you want the top to look like nachos and as you spoon-feed yourself toppings, you come to realize that SURPRISE! there’s chili underneath.

Point is: cold weather, hearty homemade chili, fuzzy socks, good slow music on the Pandoras…this is a snapshot of the perfect winter evening.

Shred that weekend!

3-Bean Turkey Chili |TheRoastedRoot.net #healthy #dinner #recipe

3-Bean Turkey Chili

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chili, turkey chili
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Author: Julia


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon herbs de provence
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt to taste
  • 1 pound ground turkey*
  • ½ pound spicy chicken sausage
  • 1 28- ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14-ounce can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 14-ounce can pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 14-ounce can can kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup full-bodied red wine such as petite sirah
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven to medium-high and add the onion and bell peppers. Saute, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened and onion has turned translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the jalapeno and garlic and cook an additional 3 minutes,, stirring occasionally.
  2. Move veggies over to one side of the pot and add the turkey and chicken sausage. Brown on one side for about 1 minute (without breaking up the meat), then flip to the other side and brown an additional minute or two. Stir all of the ingredients together without chopping up the meat too finely (this will ensure you end up with hearty chunks of turkey and chicken sausage). Add the beans, diced tomatoes, wine, and chicken broth. Stir well, and bring to a full boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes (or up to 1 hour at a super gentle simmer if you have the time).
  3. Serve with your favorite chili accouterments, such as sour cream, cheese, hot sauce, green onion, and avocado.

Recipe Notes

*I used lean ground turkey breast, but you can also use ground turkey thighs


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  1. Veronica

    This looks delicious, but where are the three beans?? Black beans, kidney, and what? Can’t wait to make this 🙂

    1. Julia Post author

      Hey Veronica! Sorry about that – such a pivotal part of the recipe and of course I forget to add in the beans. I used black, kidney, and pinto. Fixed the recipe, so we’re good to go now 😉 Enjoy!

  2. Debra

    Interesting addition of cocoa powder, wow, be t that gives it a colour and richness like no other! The colours and presentation are gorgeous too!

    1. Julia Post author

      Thanks so much, Debra! I love adding both cocoa powder and wine to chili…they both provide such unique flavor! Let me know if you try the recipe!

  3. Brenda

    Yes, also waiting to hear which beans you used/suggest, canned or dry, with or without liquid from the can, and amounts – thanks!

    1. Julia Post author

      Hiya, Brenda! Sorry for the confusion. I used all canned beans – black, pinto, and kidney. Made the change in the recipe. Let me know if you try it out!


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