I first had this dish back in 2009 while visiting some good friends in their Vermont home and we have made it regularly in our household ever since. The flavors are rich and comforting; it is really an all round great dish. I love it with freshly made corn bread, whereas, my husband likes it with a tortilla. It is also great with tortilla chips or over rice. The recipe makes a lot, so it is great for a large group or to have extra to freeze for an easy meal another night. 

We have adapted it a bit to our tastes, if you'd like to see the original it is available on Epicurious - Turkey Chili with White Beans. This dish is honestly, even richer and tastier with beef instead of turkey but we make it with turkey most of the time to keep it a little lighter. 


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 large organic red pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 - 2 pounds ground turkey (free range if possible - it will be healthier for you)
  • 1/4 cup chili powder (Yes, 1/4 cup! It won't be too spicy)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (we like Navitas Natural Organic Cocoa Powder)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 28-ounce can diced or stewed tomatoes
  • 3 cups chicken stock (try bone broth for an even healthier option)
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 15-ounce can small white or black beans, rinsed, drained (For white beans we like Great Northern Beans; for black beans we like Fig Food Company)* 

Optional Toppings/Sides: 

  • Chopped red onion
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheddar cheese or a Mexican blend
  • Tortillas or tortilla chips
  • Corn Bread
  • Rice


Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions, sauté for 5 minutes, add red pepper and continue to cook until onions are light brown and tender, about 5 more minutes. Add oregano and cumin; stir 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high. Add turkey; stir until no longer pink, breaking up with back of spoon. Stir in chili powder, bay leaves, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon. Add tomatoes with their juices, breaking up with back of spoon. Mix in stock and tomato sauce. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. At this point, you can let it cook even longer if you wish/have the time to further deepen the flavor. 

Add beans and corn to chili and simmer until flavors blend, about 10 minutes longer. Discard bay leaves. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium-low heat before serving.)

Serve in bowls with the sides and toppings you have chosen. If serving a large group put out a few bowls each with a topping for your guests to garnish from. 

*Note: When using canned goods be sure to look for cans that are BPA free.