turkey chili in soup pot

Smoky Turkey Quinoa Chili

  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex


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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for about 1 minute while stirring constantly.
  4. 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.
  5. 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