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Turkey Chili

4 servings

If turkey chili sounds like a throwback to the days when lean meats like turkey were substituted for fattier pork and beef, fear not. This chili is actually tastier made with ground turkey than other ground meats, meaning that flavor is not sacrificed for health. Sweet potatoes are on the starchier side but they come with plenty of vitamins and fiber.


  • 2 sweet potatoes (optional)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 can (14 oz/398 mL) red or white kidney beans
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 2-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 lb/450 g ground turkey
  • 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) whole tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup/125 mL full-fat sour cream
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Salt and pepper



  1. Assemble, prepare, and measure ingredients. Peel and cube sweet potatoes (if using). Chop onion. Mince garlic. Rinse and drain beans. Chop cilantro stocks and leaves. If using sweet potatoes, preheat oven 425°F/220°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, toss sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until fork-tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. In a heavy-bottomed chili pot over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add onions, garlic, cumin, paprika, chili powder, and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are soft but not beginning to brown, 8-10 minutes.
  4. Add ground turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon so you don’t end up with little turkey meatballs, and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until turkey is mostly brown. Add beans and tomatoes (with their juices) and simmer for 15 minutes, breaking up tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Add roasted sweet potatoes (if using) and simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  5. To serve, ladle chili into four individual bowls, garnish with a dollop of sour cream, and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Offer lime wedges on the side.