Smoky Black Bean & Turkey Chili

I have been making a lot of chili recipes lately. A combination of the weather, sports climate, and our enormous supply of canned beans has been providing us with all the excuses to make “chili night” quite the regular occurrence. Actually, I think in the last month I have made 5 separate recipes based on what I had on hand. What can I say…we really love chili around here! So, after all of those experiments, I think I found a new one I had to share with all of you. :)

We are usually beer chili eaters, but when I decided to make a batch on one of our super busy days it was either beer-less chili or a run to the store at 8 AM to pick up a 6-pack. Since I don’t even know where to find beer that early in the morning, I rummaged through our pantry, put on my thinking cap, and came up with this yummy tomato-based alternative.

By combining diced tomatoes and tomato sauce to make the base, we came up with a hearty thick chili consistency complemented with turkey, black beans, and hickory smoke flavoring. The spicy flavors were more of an undertone to our usual spicier chilis from a subtle combination of green chiles, chili powder, and cumin. Although we used ground turkey sausage in ours, I want to make this again with some shredded turkey next time. Yum!


Smoky Black Bean & Turkey Chili

Serving(s): 8 regular bowls


  • 10 oz. crumbled turkey sausage (or shredded cooked turkey)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 (14 oz. can) diced tomatoes
  • 3 (14 oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon hickory smoke powder or liquid smoke


  1. In a medium non-stick skillet, brown meat on medium-high heat until cooked through. Drain off extra grease.
  2. While meat is cooking, chop onion. Prepare large stock pot and add remaining ingredients. (adding onion and cooked meat when ready)
  3. Bring chili to a boil, stirring occasionally, then turn heat to simmer. Let simmer for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, uncovered. (The longer it simmers, the better fused the flavors will be)
  4. Serve hot with your favorite toppings (we used sharp cheddar shredded cheese, low-fat sour cream, and saltines).  For leftovers, transfer chili to a plastic container, cover, and refrigerate (excellent the next day too!).

8 Responses to “Smoky Black Bean & Turkey Chili”

  1. Anna says:

    I love the high protein content of black beans. Nutritious and comforting, great for the chilly evenings. Thanks for the post!

  2. Brooke says:

    The smoke! That’s what it was! Sooooo good!

  3. Eliana says:

    Hmmm – this has delicious and comfort written all over it. It’s just perfect for this time of year too.

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