This turkey and black bean chili is full of robust flavors with a touch of sweet and a touch of savory that makes it the perfect combination. What might surprise you is the main ingredient–it’s not ground turkey, but shredded cooked turkey.
This recipe happens to be my favorite soup to make during the cold winter months. I love the aromas it fills the house with and the unique flavors that pop in my mouth. And anytime I make it for a potluck or get-together, everyone raves about it.
How I discovered the recipe
This turkey chili recipe was shared with me when I was a teenager visiting a friend’s church function in Arizona. They said the recipe was secretly shared by a chef from a resort in Utah called Deer Valley Resort. I have seen variations of this recipe on the Internet called Deer Valley Resort Turkey and Black Bean Chili.
I don’t know if it truly originated from a resort, but whoever decided to put all of these ingredients together is a genius. It…is…so…delicious! And in my opinion, it’s not really a chili—I feel like it’s more of a thick soup.
How I prepare this turkey and black bean chili
Since the main ingredient is shredded turkey, it’s great to make after the holidays with leftover turkey. If I don’t have any leftover turkey on hand, I just cook a large turkey breast and a couple of turkey legs (because I prefer the dark meat!).
It does take a little extra time to prepare this dish because it involves a lot of dicing, and I like to dice the ingredients VERY fine. One of the ingredients in the recipe is celery, and my husband doesn’t like celery. However, if I chop it really fine, he doesn’t even know it’s in there—score! Tip: I usually put the turkey in the oven to bake while I’m dicing everything. Alternatively, you can cook the turkey in the Instant Pot.
The original recipe uses brown sugar, but I substitute coconut sugar instead. I do this for two reasons—first, the brown sugar makes it too sweet, and second, the coconut sugar is a healthier alternative. The hint of sweetness really helps give this turkey chili the added flavor it needs. I just don’t like my main dish to be overpowered by sweetness, so that is why I use the coconut sugar.
this recipe is worth the effort
I hope you give this dish a try because it does not disappoint. My husband is a pretty picky eater, and he really likes this turkey and black bean chili. His favorite is still my Grandma’s Chicken and Dumplings, but on a cold day he doesn’t complain when I make a big pot of hot soup, chili, or dumplings.
Turkey and Black Bean Chili
- 1 stick butter (I use grass fed butter)
- one 4 oz. can mild green chilies
- 2/3 c. finely chopped red onion
- 2/3 c. finely chopped celery
- 2/3 c. finely chopped red pepper
- 2/3 c. finely chopped leeks, white part only
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T. oregano
- 1/4 c. flour
- 4 c. chicken stock or chicken broth
- 2 1/2 c. thawed frozen corn
- 4 c. cooked, shredded turkey
- 2 cans of black beans, drained
- 2 T. chili powder
- 2 T. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 c. coconut sugar or brown sugar
- In a large stock pot, melt butter and sauté chilies, onion, celery, pepper, leeks, garlic, and oregano over moderate low heat until softened—about 15 minutes.
- Gradually add the flour cooking over low heat until the mixture is golden—about 15 minutes.
- Gradually stir in the chicken broth.
- In a blender, puree 1 ¼ c. of the corn.
- Add corn and remaining ingredients.
- Cook until heated through.