Turkey Chili

Monday 7 January 2019

I had some cooked turkey in the freezer and I decided to make something with it the other day.  Sometimes, when you cook a big turkey, you end up with a lot of leftovers.  You get tired of it, so I usually freeze about half of it to use later on when we aren't tired of it anymore.  It just makes sense. 

This delicious and hearty chili is something that I like to make with it.  Oh I do love a good turkey soup and a turkey pot pie, but this chili is something else which I really love! 

Turkey Chili

Because there are only two of us, I normally cut the recipe in half.  This gives us plenty to enjoy on the first day, and then I have some ready to freeze for another time.   A full recipe would feed 8 people.  Its nice to know that you can successfully make only half of the recipe.

It uses things I normally have in my store cupboard/larder as well . . .  things like tinned kidney beans, tinned chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato puree/paste  . . .Chili powder . . .

By that I don't mean Chile powder, which is really, really hot and is composed of nothing but ground dried red chilies . . .  I mean Chili powder, which is a mix of herbs and spices meant to be used in Tex Mex or Mexican cookery. 

I made the mistake when I first moved over here of thinking that the two powders were one and the same and just about blew our heads off with extremely hot, inedible food.  You wouldn't want to add a TBS of Chile powder to anything!

Chili powder is impossible to find over here, so I make my own.  Its easily done and works wonderfully in dishes like this.  I have included the recipe below. 

There is also onions, garlic and chopped green peppers in this dish . . .  and then the turkey of course!  You could also use leftover cooked chicken if you wanted to, and to be honest, if you had leftover roast beef or pork, you could use that, substituting the chicken stock with beef stock in the case of leftover roast beef. If you didn't have any leftover cooked roast, you could also use ground turkey, just brown it with the onions and peppers!

I am a great believer in not wasting anything if I can help it! 

You can top your finished chili with some grated cheese if you like.  I like to top mine with some grated strong cheddar, but Jack cheese or a medium cheddar would also be nice.

I also like a dollop of sour cream on mine, but I didn't have any the other day  . . .  mores the pity.  A dollop of sour cream is really nice!

If you want an even heartier meal you can serve it with cooked rice  . . . or if you are looking on the lighter side, you could serve it with crackers . . .

We like to enjoy it with squares of cornbread, which is really delicious.  I use my MIL's recipe for her cornbread/corncake.  Its my favourite.  You can find that recipe here if you are interested.

No matter what you serve it with this simple recipe is guaranteed to go down a real treat with whoever you serve it to!

Yield: 8

Turkey Chili

prep time: 15 minscook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 hours and 15 mins
This is an easy and delicious way to use up leftover cooked turkey (or chicken.)   I like to serve it with cheese grated over top and a square  of cornbread on the side!  A dollop of sour cream would also be nice.


2 TBS olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and chopped
1 large green pepper, trimmed, de-seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 TBS mild chili powder (see my recipe below)
(can use more if you like it spicier)
1 TBS ground cumin
3 (425g) tins of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice (3 15-oz tins), un-drained
1 TBS tomato puree (tomato paste)
240ml turkey or chicken stock (1 cup)
2 (425g) tins of kidney beans, drained and rinsed (2 15-oz tins)
1 tsp dried oregano
fine sea salt and black pepper to taste
3 to 4 cups shredded or cubed cooked turkey (chicken) meat
1 to 3 tsp sugar (optional)

Optional Toppings:
grated cheddar cheese
sour cream


Heat the oil in a large heavy based
pan.  Add the onions and green peppers.  Cook, stirring frequently,
until golden.  Add the garlic, chili powder and cumin.  Cook and stir
until quite fragrant.  Stir in the undrained tomatoes, the beans,
chicken/turkey stock, tomato puree, turkey,  oregano and seasoning to
taste.  Bring to a slow simmer, then partially cover and simmer on low
for about an hour.  Stir in sugar if using.  Taste and adjust seasoning
as required with salt and black pepper.  Ladle into heated bowls and top
 with optional cheese and sour cream if desired.  Pass the cornbread!
Note - you can make this in advance and keep it chilled for up to 2 days prior
 to reheating and serving. You can also freeze it for up to two months.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Yield: 12

Chili Powder Seasoning

prep time: cook time: total time:
A delicious blend of spices suitable for using in Chili and other Tex Mex favourites.


1 tsp oregano flakes
1 tsp dried thyme
1 TBS cumin seed
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 TBS smoked paprika
1 TBS sweet paprika


Toast the cumin seeds for several minutes in a dry skillet.  Take care not to burn them.  Put them into a spice/coffee grinder with all of the other ingredients.  Blitz to a powder.  Store in an airtight container in a dark area.  Will keep for up to six months.
Created using The Recipes Generator

This really is a fabulous recipe.  Its so adaptable, easy to make and is a real family pleaser.  I hope you will give it a try. I think you'll agree with me!  Bon Appetit! 


  1. Haven't made a chili this season..I will:)I like it more than J does..a few things are starting to be this way:)

    1. I will be cooking for Todd all week. Its tough being married to the stick man sometimes! He cannot afford to lose weight and I cannot afford to put it on! xoxo

  2. "I am a great believer in not wasting anything if I can help it" That's a great philosophy and one I learned in my childhood as well. We never throw food away and I'm very creative at transforming leftovers into another meal.

    This sounds really delicious and ideal for this cold weather. I have some turkey in the freezer, so I will try this. The recipe for your spicy chilli mix is a keeper as well. I am often forced to buy taco mix etc as I don't really know how to blend my own. Tex Mex was not something I grew up with. It's handy to know these things as you can use the spice blend in other dishes as well. I've already made use of several of your spice blends already.

    1. I love spice blends and mixes Marie. I usually make my own now because they are fresher than what you can buy and it is an exercise I enjoy. I use them also! I hope you enjoy the turkey chili! I think its delicious and quite healthy as well! Happy New Year! xoxo


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