The inspiration for this Chipotle Turkey Chili comes courtesy of my awesome sister-in-law, and was born of her desire to head to the pool on a beautiful Minneapolis summer day, not to stand in the kitchen cooking dinner. So in our family it is fondly referred to as “Pool Stew”. I call it Weeknight Chipotle Turkey Chili because it comes together really quickly and doesn’t require a long simmer time. Also, not many people do a Google search for Pool Stew. Whatever you choose to call this recipe, it’s perfect for weeknight meals!
This recipe is also convenient because most of the ingredients are already in your pantry. Canned beans, tomatoes, spices, onion and garlic to name a few. I usually have a package of ground turkey in the freezer too.
The key ingredient in this chili is the chipotle peppers. Chipotles are dried jalapenos that are packed in magical adobo sauce, which is spicy, smoky and amazing. If you can get the chipotles pre-chopped (see jar in above photo) it is really convenient. If not, you can find a can of whole chipotle peppers in the Latin aisle in your grocery store and chop up a couple for this recipe. You can actually chop up the whole can of chipotles and store what you don’t use in a glass container in your fridge, or even freeze them.
There are two ingredients I add to the chili that you may think sound odd, the brown sugar and the soy sauce. Because this recipe is tomato based, it’s nice to add brown sugar to counteract a little of that acidity. It’s not enough sugar to make the chili taste sweet! The soy sauce adds some extra “umami” flavor, or savoriness to the dish. You could also use Worcestershire sauce instead of the soy. If you don’t have these ingredients, it’s fine to leave them out.
Once you have your ingredients assembled, you are 30 minutes away from a hearty, delicious, and healthy dinner. Start by sauteing your onion, garlic and turkey. Then it’s just a matter of adding all the other ingredients to your chili pot and letting everything simmer for 15 minutes. Now comes the fun part. Add your favorite garnishes, and eat! I highly recommend sliced green onion, sour cream and avocado.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ yellow or white onion, about 1 cup, small diced
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 1 pound of ground turkey
- 2 cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 2 cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes, with juice (one can blended smooth*, optional)
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 2-3 tablespoons of chipotle chilis in adobo sauce, or more if you like it really spicy
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- sliced scallions (green onions)
- diced avocado
- sour cream
- Heat the olive oil in a large, high sided pan over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sauté for about 30 seconds.
- Add the ground turkey to your pan. Break up the turkey, sauté until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain any fat, if necessary.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan (not including the garnishes!) and combine well.
- Simmer for 15 minutes (or longer, if you have time), then it's ready to serve! Let everyone garnish their bowl of chili as they like.
*I like to blend the tomatoes from one of the cans in the blender or food processor to make the chili more saucy, but of course that is totally optional.