Smoky Turkey Chili


There should be no such thing as a small batch of chili, and for good reason. It’s the kind of food meant for having a big group over to cozy up on cold days, for stocking the freezer in advance of nights when you don’t want to cook, or for turning into leftover meals—loaded baked potato with chili, anyone? And this version isn’t your average chili. It draws inspiration from Mexican ingredients like tomatillos, poblano peppers, and even a pinch of cinnamon, plus a mix of beans, corn, and sweet potato to round out this healthy yet comforting recipe. Set out a platter of toppings and let everyone customize their own.

Smoky Turkey Chili Recipe
Photo: Caitlin Bensel
Hands On Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
8 serves


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 3 poblano peppers, seeded and roughly chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • 1 28-oz. can whole peeled plum tomatoes, undrained

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-in. pieces

  • ¾ pound fresh tomatillos, husks removed and tomatillos chopped

  • 1 15.5-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 15.5-oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving

  • 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped

  • Sour cream, sliced pickled jalapeños, and/or grated pepper Jack cheese, for serving


  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high. Add onion and 1 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring often, until softened and lightly browned in spots, about 8 minutes. Add poblanos; cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

  2. Add garlic to pot; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chili powder and cinnamon; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add turkey and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and crush into large pieces.

  3. Stir in sweet potato, tomatillos, beans, ½ cup water, cilantro, chipotles, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high. Cover; reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes are tender and flavors have melded, about 25 minutes. Serve chili topped with cilantro, sour cream, pickled jalapeños, and/or cheese.

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