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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

California Turkey Chili

10 MINPrep Time
90 MINCook Time
by Giada De Laurentiis
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
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I use a lot of warming spices in this flavorful chili, making it a perfect go-to in the colder months. 


California Turkey Chili

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

90 minutes


Giada De Laurentiis

Image of California Turkey Chili


    For The Chili:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic (smashed, peeled and chopped)
  • 2 large poblano chiles (stemmed, seeded and diced)
  • 1 celery stalk (chopped)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (dark meat)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (crushed)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 cups low-salt chicken broth (preferably organic)
  • One 15 to 16-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans, rinsed and drained)
  • Simplest Quinoa and Pine Nut Pilaf (recipe follows)
  • Assorted garnishes (such as chopped onion, shredded white Cheddar, chopped tomatoes, avocados, sour cream,)
  • For The Quinoa Pilaf:

  • 1 1/4 cups whole grain quinoa (about 7 ounces)
  • 1 3/4 cups low-salt chicken broth (preferably organic)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro or Italian parsley
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts


  1. Heat the oil in a heavy, large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, poblanos, celery and onions. Saute until the vegetables soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the turkey and saute until no longer pink, breaking up the turkey with the back of a spoon, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over and stir to blend. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, sugar, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, cinnamon and cloves. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring to blend. Add the broth and beans. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the flavors blend and the chili thickens to desired consistency, stirring often, 20 to 30 minutes. Season with more salt and pepper.
  2. To serve, spoon Quinoa and Pine Nut Pilaf into deep bowls. Ladle chili over. Serve with garnishes.

For the Quinoa and Pine Nut Pilaf:

  1. Place the quinoa in a fine sieve. Rinse under cold running water 1 full minute. Set aside to drain.
  2. Bring the broth, salt and pepper to a boil in heavy, medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the quinoa. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the quinoa is tender and all the broth is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let the quinoa stand, still covered, for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Scatter pine nuts on a small rimmed baking sheet. Toast the nuts until golden, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet.
  4. Mix the cilantro and pine nuts into the quinoa.

1 comment

  • Author's avatar image
    Sherri Holihan - Jun 09

    This is excellent! I know it seems like everyone can make chili- turkey or beef. But this truly has a great flavor, very balanced, a little spice but not too much. Everyone in the family loved it. It's simple to make. A winner. I'm making it again today:)

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