Gluten-Free Three-Bean Turkey Chili Recipe

Healthy Turkey Three Bean Chili, originally uploaded by A Gluten-Free Guide.


My sister-in-law, Jenn, is becoming one of my favorite food confidants. She recently called me asking for advice on salads to make. While, I love this salad, I recommended that during winter she explore some warm and hearty soups and wait for warmer weather for her salad adventures. Since we are both looking for healthy everyday recipes, I decided to experiment with turkey chili and report back on the results. This healthy, heart-warming winter recipe is surprisingly rich and flavorful without a lot of fat or calories. While cinnamon and cocoa powder may usually be associated with sweet rather than savory recipes, they add a complexity to the flavors here that won’t disappoint. If you are looking for another savory recipe that highlights chocolate, try my homemade gluten-free tamales recipe.

While there are a lot of ingredients in the turkey chili recipe, it’s still pretty simple to prepare. Since I was cooking for just little ol’ me, I froze the leftovers in single serving containers and was able to enjoy the fruits of my labors for lunch or dinner for much longer, whenever the craving struck. The optional topping of cilantro and plain low-fat yogurt or light sour cream really highlights the spices. I hope Jenn enjoys the chili as much as I did.

Turkey Chili Prep, originally uploaded by A Gluten-Free Guide.


Gluten-Free Three Bean Turkey Chili Recipe (adapted from Epicurious)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 seeded minced jalapenos
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
1/4 cup chili powder
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
3 cups chicken stock or canned gluten-free broth
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 15-ounce cans small white beans, rinsed, drained
1 15-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained

Chopped fresh cilantro
Plain low-fat yogurt or light sour cream

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions; sauté until light brown and tender, about 10 minutes. Add oregano and cumin; stir 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high. Add turkey; stir until no longer pink, breaking up with back of spoon. Stir in chili powder, bay leaves, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon. Add tomatoes with their juices, breaking up with back of spoon. Mix in stock and tomato sauce. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add beans to chili and simmer until flavors blend, about 10 minutes longer. Discard bay leaves. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium-low heat before continuing.)

Ladle chili into bowls. Pass cilantro and yogurt separately.

Pin It

Amy Stapleford, M.Ed. said,

December 15, 2007 @ 5:42 pm

Cocoa powder?! Wow–that makes a lot of sense, but I had never thought of it!

By the way, I am an avid reader, though first-time commenter. Thank you–I love your blog!

jdbauer said,

December 15, 2007 @ 8:52 pm

OH MY GOD it looks so incredible! The ingredients are right on and I can taste it already. I’m definitely going to try this!!!

byebyegluten. said,

December 17, 2007 @ 12:05 am

i was thinking about what to cook for dinner when i saw your post, so it’s on the stove now! thanks so much for sharing… one question though, do you cover the pot while it’s cooking?? thanks!

Catherine said,

December 17, 2007 @ 12:12 am

Amy – thanks for reading, I hope to see your comments more often now!

jd – how did it turn out?

byebye – I didn’t cover the pot, hope you find it just as scrumptious as I did.

» Seared Pork Tenderloin with Cocoa Spice Rub Recipe | A Gluten Free Guide said,

March 7, 2008 @ 5:31 pm

[…] you over with another winter recipe to warm your hearth during these cold days. After making this Three Bean Turkey Chili, a savory dish with the surprising ingredients of cinnamon and cocoa powder, I was intrigued. I […]

» Food Crush and GIVEAWAY - Chocolate Tortilla Chips | A Gluten Free Guide said,

March 8, 2009 @ 7:56 pm

[…] Even though I have used chocolate in savory dishes like gluten-free tamales and my healthy turkey chili recipe, I was less than enthused.  However when I finally tried these, my tastebuds were tantalized.  […]

» Gluten-Free Foods - Winter Approaches | A Gluten Free Guide said,

October 26, 2009 @ 1:19 am

[…] of all kinds, sweet potatoes and pumpkins and stews.  I’m going to make some hearty bean and chili dishes.  Oh I’m not looking forward to bundling up in heavy jackets and braving the snow, […]

emi said,

November 1, 2010 @ 5:15 am

I just made the chili for a Halloween gathering. It was a huge hit with lots of requests to share. The cocoa powder is such a great addition. Yum!

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.