the life and times of J T Frey

Turkey Chili

Every time we go to Dutch Wonderland we leave the park right around dinner time and inevitably stop at the nearby Panera. Just as inevitably, our daughters want the mac-n-cheese kids dinner (it's NOT a bowl of Kraft orange easy mac, so we don't argue). For me, a soup-and-sandwich combo is always satisfying, and my favorite selection soup-wise is their turkey chili. This recipe is an ode to that hearty, tomato-free bowl of delicious.


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 10.5 oz can black beans
  • 10.5 oz can black eye peas
  • ½ a red bell pepper (diced)
  • ½ a green bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 poblano pepper (roasted, skinned, diced)
  • ½ a red onion (diced)
  • ~3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp chicken base
  • 2 cup water

Garnishes for service:

  • diced tomato (salted and drained)
  • diced red onion
  • shredded cheddar
  1. In a large saute pan over medium heat, brown the ground turkey in 1 tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with ~ 1 tbsp of the chili powder and ½ tbsp of the salt.
  2. When the turkey has given up some moisture and is cooked just through, remove from the pan. Sprinkle the flour over the turkey and mix briefly to distribute it.
  3. Add another 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan and lower the heat to medium-low. Begin sweating the vegetables.
  4. When the vegetables are very soft, add 1 tbsp chicken base and cook briefly (about 5 minutes at the most).
  5. Add back the turkey and any liquid that was with it. Stir to combine and sprinkle with another 1 tbsp of chili powder and the other ½ tbsp of salt.
  6. Continue cooking another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add the water and stir well.
  8. Bring the mixture to a slow simmer. Taste and add more chili powder or salt to your taste. Add the beans, too.
  9. Put a lid on the pan and continue to simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Lower the heat and leave uncovered until ready to serve. Stir occasionally.

Serve with corn bread and the garnishes. Makes enough for our family of four.

Written by Jeff Frey on Sunday December 4, 2016
Permalink -