December 8, 2015 Smoked Turkey Chili

DSC_5319aFor the first time in about thirty years we did not host Thanksgiving dinner. We did celebrate my favorite holiday with friends and family in a collaborative effort that was enjoyed by all. Our contribution included a fall salad, curried butternut squash soup, and smoked turkey breasts.

When we hosted Thanksgiving, the traditional roasted turkey was always on the table along with at least one other turkey variation. We did the puff pastry turkey à la Martha, delicious deep fried turkey, quick but dangerous on a wooden deck on a windy day. We have even smoked ducks, geese, Cornish game hens, but the favorite was and is still the smoked turkey.

We had plenty for the eleven of us who gathered for Thanksgiving dinner and plenty to take home for leftovers. Over the next several days that meant smoked turkey wraps with coleslaw and cranberry chutney and smoked turkey quesadillas, both great ways to use it. With more smoked turkey to “repurpose”, I thought a smoked turkey chili would be a great way to use what we had left.

When I normally make chili, I brown the onion and pepper first, then add uncooked ground turkey meat and brown it. Since I had already cooked turkey I wanted to add it later in the recipe, so the meat would be warmed up, not dried out and over cooked. This recipe is so simple and the smoky flavor of the turkey is great in a chili. You can make this as spicy or as mild as you choose. I used a medium chili powder, cumin and some chipotle powder which added it’s own smokiness.


Smoked Turkey Chili

Serves four to six


  • 1/3c each orange, red and yellow bell peppers, finely chopped
  •  1 cup chopped yellow onion
  •  1 t chopped garlic
  •  2T vegetable oil
  •  4c cooked kidney beans or other beans of your choice
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  •  4-5c medium diced smoked turkey
  •  1c chicken stock
  • 1T chili powder (medium to hot according to your preference)
  • 1t ground cumin
  • 1 chipotle chili powder
  •  1t salt or to taste
    Chopped green onions, with tops (for garnish)


  1. Sauté the bell peppers, chopped yellow onion and garlic in oil over medium-high heat until they are just tender.
  2. Combine the cooked peppers, onion and garlic with the remaining ingredients (exept the green onions). Bring the turkey chili just to the boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer for one-half hour, stirring occasionally.