Friday, February 4, 2011

turkey 3-bean chili


serves 8-10


6 strips thick bacon, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
2 1/2 pounds ground dark meat turkey (I use Diestel)
3-4 cups chopped yellow onion (about 2 medium onions)
1/4 cup fresh garlic, minced
2 small fresh jalapeno chiles (ribs and seeds removed), minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 teaspoons ground cumin
2- 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes in puree (such as San Marzano)
2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
1 15.5. oz. can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15.5 oz can organic pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 15.5 oz can organic kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tablespoon canola or extra light olive oil
3 teaspoons salt plus additional to season


sour cream
shredded jack or pepper jack cheese
pickled peppers  



Heat a 5-quart cast iron or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.  Add bacon, cooking until well-crisped.  Remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  Add jalapeno to drippings, stirring to lightly color.  Add garlic, stirring again until fragrant and beginning to color.  Turn heat to medium high and add olive oil to garlic jalapeno mixture.  Add onions, stirring occasionally until translucent and slightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. 

Increase heat to high.  Add ground turkey, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until cooked through.  Drain as needed but reserve the liquid.  Once the meat is no longer pink and begins to brown, stir in the chili and cocoa powders and the cumin.  Stir in bacon.

Add the tomatoes and puree, breaking them up a bit with a spoon.  Add molasses and 1 cup reserved liquid plus 3 teaspoons salt.  Reduce heat to simmer.  Cook, partially covered, for about 30 minutes. 

Add beans, stirring gently, until well combined.  Cook uncovered until meat and beans are tender and chili thickens, at least 30 minutes or longer, as desired. 

Serve with assorted toppings


This chili recipe is loosely adapted from Everyday Food, Issue #10, January/February 2005.


  1. Yum! Definitely going to try this one! Looks scrumptious!! I love reading your writing!!!! I laughed out loud when you were describing your family as the Tillamook cheese spokespeople! very enjoyable! LOVE you!!

  2. you laughed because you know it's true. so glad you enjoy reading. i hope you do try the chili recipe and tell me what you think! love you too. xoxo