Protein packed smoky turkey chili with quinoa, black beans, corn, and spices. It’s a one-pot stovetop chili that comes together so easily. Perfect to enjoy throughout the week or to make for later. It freezes well too!
Turkey Quinoa Chili
There’s no doubt that chili is one of my favorite foods to make. I’ve shared everything from White Chicken Chili with Apples, Lentil Chili, Creamy Chicken Chili, to Leftover Turkey Chili Recipe. I mean we just love chili. Period.
Today I’m sharing another chili recipe. This one is made with ground turkey, quinoa, veggies, beans, and a delicious blend of spices, including cinnamon. But don’t worry, your chili won’t taste like cinnamon. It adds warmth to the chili and enhances the smoky flavor of the chipotle pepper.
It’s extra hearty and filling too. You’ll want to double batch this recipe because it tastes even better the next day and freezes well too! Plus it’s made entirely on the stovetop in one pot. So no need for any fancy equipment. How great is that?!
Best Secret Ingredient for Chili
Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. They just might be the star of this recipe. Not only do they add heat but also depth of flavor to turkey chili.
You can find them in most supermarkets. They’re dried, smoked jalapeños in a tangy, slightly sweet red sauce. With just the littlest amount you get intense smoky chile heat. But don’t worry this turkey chili is not crazy spicy. The smokiness and heat are very subtle.
And if you can’t find chipotle peppers in adobo sauce use smoked paprika instead. Depending on taste, you can substitute anywhere between 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon.
How to Make Turkey Chili with Quinoa
- Step 1: Heat olive oil in a large heavy-duty dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and red peppers with a pinch of salt. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft.
Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Step 2: Add ground turkey and cook for about 5-7 minutes, while breaking it up with a spoon. You want to cook the meat until no longer pink. It does not have to be fully cooked through.
Katya’s TIP: If turkey meat starts to release water during cooking, increase the heat. You want those juices to stay in the meat. Also, make sure you’re using a large enough pot and not overcrowding the meat too much.
Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook while stirring for about 1 minute or until flavors blend together.
- Step 3: Stir in bay leaf, black beans, tomatoes, chipotle pepper, and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste for salt before adding the quinoa and corn.
- Step 4: Add in the corn and quinoa, and cook 15 minutes longer until tender, covered. Discard bay leaf and stir in cilantro.
I also like to add a squeeze of fresh lime juice at the end. It brightens the chili up a bit but it’s totally optional.
What to Serve with Turkey Chili
One of the best parts about chili is all the individual toppings. You can get as creative as you like. We like to keep it simple by creating a toppings bar so everyone can get a little of what they love.
Things such as sour cream, some type of greens like cilantro or green onions, avocado, and something crunchy like tortilla chips are some of our favorite chili toppings. But you can add just about anything you like.
Storing Leftover Chili
Turkey chili will last in the fridge for up to 4 days. It truly does taste better the longer it sits. Keep it stored in an airtight container.
You can also freeze chili for up to 3 months in freezer-safe containers or bags. Let chili thaw out in the refrigerator overnight then empty contents into a soup pot and reheat over warm heat.
More Quinoa Recipes to Try:
- Black Bean and Veggie Chili with Quinoa
- One-Pot Chicken and Quinoa in Mustard Sauce
- Salmon Quinoa Cakes
- Butternut Squash and Cranberry Quinoa Salad
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Protein packed smoky turkey chili with quinoa, black beans, corn, and spices. It’s a one-pot stovetop chili that comes together so easily.
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 2 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
- 3 ½ cups water (or chicken stock)
- 1 cup frozen corn
- ½ cup dry quinoa, rinsed
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
- Lime, optional
- In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and red pepper with a pinch of salt and cook until soft, about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add ground turkey and cook until no longer pink while breaking it up with a spoon, about 5-7 minutes. Turkey meat does not have to be cooked through.
- Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for about 1 minute while stirring constantly.
- Add bay leaf, beans, tomatoes, chipotle pepper, and water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste for salt before adding the corn and quinoa.
- Stir in corn and quinoa, and cook for 15 minutes, covered, or until tender. Discard bay leaf. Stir in cilantro. Add juice of 1 lime, optional. Serve with toppings of choice.
- Turkey: If turkey meat starts to release water during cooking, increase the heat. You want those juices to stay in the meat. Also, make sure you’re using a large enough pot and not overcrowding the meat too much.
- Chipotle Pepper: You can substitute anywhere between 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika for the chipotle pepper. You’ll get that smoky flavor from the paprika but not the heat. If you like your chili with some heat, stir in diced canned chiles or fresh jalapeño.
- Leftovers: Leftover turkey chili can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days. It will thicken the longer it sits. You can also freeze the chili up to 3 months. Thaw out overnight in the refrigetator and reheat on the stovetop over medium heat.
Keywords: quinoa chili, turkey chili, stovetop chili