chipotle turkey chili is healthy, comforting, & full of modern flare – smoky heat of chipotle peppers, sweet bites of sweet potato, nutrient-dense kale, & a little touch of cinnamon for some warmth. the perfect cozy comfort food dinner to use up thanksgiving leftovers!
chickpea chipotle chili!!!!
how’s THAT for a little alliteration to start off your week!?!
ALSO, how about we kick this week off on a super delicious & cozy note. i’m so excited to share with you this chipotle turkey chili.
it’s a recipe i first tried last year in the days following thanksgiving to use up leftover turkey we had in our freezer/fridge from a) testing & posting about how to spatchcock a turkey, b) hosting our annual friendsgiving, & c) hosting, for the first time ever, thanksgiving dinner with our families.
so, like, 4 turkeys. 😳
if you’ve ever made 4 turkey dinners in the course of 1 month, you know that the LAST thing you want is to eat another friggin turkey dinner to get through your leftovers. fuh real. 🙅🏻🙅🏻🙅🏻 something straight up magical needed to take place in order to transform all of turkey into something that sounded remotely appealing after turkey overdose 2016.
& that’s exactly what happened: magical chickpea chipotle turkey chili with sweet potatoes, shredded kale & cinnamon.
ooooh lordy, is this chipotle turkey chili GOOD.
it’s so good, in fact, that i couldn’t wait to share it with you. i was planning on posting this after thanksgiving, as a “let’s use up your leftovers!” solution, but i just couldn’t wait another month. a month is basically an eternity, you know?
this chipotle turkey chili is too good to keep to myself. it just had to happen asap. when it comes to chili, i love the classics, but i also love mixing things up a little bit & giving chili some modern flare. this & chipotle turkey chili absolutely delivers on the “modern flare” front.
chipotle turkey chili is loaded with onions & peppers, of course, but replaces jalapeños with chipotle peppers. the chipotle peppers add amazing smokiness & warmth. in place of kidney beans or black beans, this chili calls for chickpeas, which i think have a little bit more texture (in the best way!) than other beans. they totally hold up to the slow, long simmer that develops the flavor in this chili. & for an extra punch of nutrients – sweet potatoes & kale. healthy comfort food, yes please. ✔️✔️✔️
oh, & wanna know where the ✨magic✨ comes in? cinnamon. YAS. cinnamon is just the thing that brings this entire chili together. its warmth complements the spice of the chipotles & balances out the sweetness of the sweet potatoes.
& it’s exactly the thing that keeps you coming back to your bowl of chipotle turkey chili, spoonful after spoonful after spoonful.
cozy, modern, magical chili. autumn comfort food vibes on high. it just does not get better.
a few things to keep in mind about chipotle turkey chili:
- guess what! turkey is pretty readily available year-round! most grocery stores carry turkey breast all year. if you can’t find it in the fresh meat cases, have a look in the freezer section. i love using turkey breast in recipes – it tends to be less expensive than boneless skinless chicken breast, & it’s so much more approachable than roasting a whole freaking turkey.
- & you can obviously use chicken instead of turkey. using chicken breasts or thighs is totally fine. the ultimate shortcut? use store-bought rotisserie chicken!
- chipotle turkey chili is ALL about the toppings. i mean, if you ask me, any chili is all about the toppings. i go with pepper jack cheese, a big dollop of the best guacamole ever, chopped cilantro for freshness, & crushed up cornbread crisps (aka cornbread crackers from trader joes…they are SO addictive!). add whatever toppings you like to make this chipotle turkey chili your own!
- meal prep friendly! chili is totally weeknight friendly, especially if you do a little bit of meal prep to cut out some time during the week. i’d suggest chopping up the onions & peppers in advance (store them in an airtight container or Ziplock bag in your fridge). all you need to do to get your chipotle chicken chili going during the week is a heating up some oil & tossing the veggies on in. my favorite meal prep shortcut, though? making a pot for our sunday supper & eating the leftovers throughout the week as my lunch. 😋
- freeze the leftovers. like most soup/stew/chili recipes, this recipe makes a big ‘ol pot, enough to serve maybe 8 people. if you have leftover chipotle turkey chili, know that the leftovers freeze beautifully. transfer cooled chipotle turkey chili into freezer-safe containers or bags & freeze for up to 3 months.
if you like this chipotle turkey chili, here are a couple more magical autumn comfort food meals you’ll also totally love:
- easy marsala pasta with spicy sausage & mushrooms
- healthy white chili with pulled chicken (& beer!)
- homemade pasta bolognese with bucatini
- all pwwb mains
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, deseeded & diced
- 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, stemmed, deseeded & diced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 3 small sweet potatoes, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3 chipotle peppers (from a can, with adobo sauce), minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 12-ounce bottle of beer (use your favorite light beer)
- 1 15-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
- 4 cups pulled turkey breast (or a mix with dark meat, or chicken)
- 4 cups finely shredded kale
- for serving: chopped cilantro, grated pepper jack cheese, crushed tortilla chips, crackers, cornbread crisps
- Sweat the aromatics: Add the olive oil to a Dutch oven or a large pot and heat over medium until shimmering. Add the diced onion & peppers, seasoning with 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft & the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the sweet potatoes. Stir to combine.
- Add the spices: Add to the pot the garlic, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, chipotles, and tomato paste. Add in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt. Stir to thoroughly incorporate all of the spices with the peppers, potatoes & onions. Cook for about 2 minutes, to allow the spices to warm up & release their aromas.
- Deglaze the pot with the beer, slowly pouring it in and using a wooden spoon to scrape up the blackened bits that have formed on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil & allow the beer to reduce slightly (this concentrates its flavor!), before adding in the tomatoes, garbanzo beans, & turkey (or chicken!). Stir to combine.
- Bring the chili to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 10-15 minutes, allowing it to thicken slightly. About 5 minutes before it's ready to be served, add in the shredded kale.
- Serve with your toppings of choice. Pepper jack cheese, guacamole, chopped cilantro, & crackers are always great choices!
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