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Spicy Turkey & Veggie Chilli

Spicy Turkey Chilli is a perfect one-pot wonder loaded with vegetables, herbs, warming and grounding spices.  I have made this recipe many times; full disclosure, I have rarely measured it out!  It changes by season, ingredients, spices on hand, the vibe in the moment ~ adjust it to suit your taste and pantry.


This recipe is dedicated to my very special, longest private chef-clients ~ 7 years of Monday’s in your kitchen has been a great source of goodness and joy in my life!  What a privilege it has been to share in your family dinner-time space, watch the children grow from tiny ones to heart-centred, smart, gracious and confident young people, to witness incredible parenting, share in real-life and family growth.


The world is truly a better place because you all are in it ~ I am forever grateful & will miss you all fiercely.


  • Serves6 - 8
  • Cooks in 30 mins
  • Prep time 15 mins
  • Grounding

    Spices, herbs and foods that are grounding, warming and calming with earthy rich tones and flavours.  These foods help the body relax are generally rich in anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial nutrients.

  • Warming Spices
  • High Fibre

    High fibre foods are an important part of a healthy digestive system. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are high in fibre.

  • Anti Oxidants

    Anti-oxidant are phytonutrients that can help slow & prevent cellular damage from free radicals that can cause disease. Many plants contain anti-oxidants.

  • Protein

    Recipes with protein-rich ingredients.  Examples of high protein foods include; eggs, meat, fish, seafood, poultry, dairy, quinoa, teff, millet, wild rice, oats, buckwheat, amaranth, sorghum, wheat, nuts, seeds, hemp seeds, peas, beans, lentils, legumes, soy, tofu & tempeh, broccoli, brussels, spinach, kale, mushrooms, nutritional yeast.


✓ adds to shopping list

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion – diced small
  • 4 garlic cloves – diced small
  • 2 celery sticks – diced small
  • 1 lb | 454g turkey - ground & local
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • spice blend
  • 1 large can | 3 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups water - rinse out tomato can
  • 2 cups butternut - diced ¾″-2cm
  • 1 can black beans - 14oz |400g
  • 1 bell pepper diced ¾"-2cm
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce | tamari
  • 4 handfuls spinach or kale leaves - chop small
  • 4 scallions – finely sliced
  • 1 cup cilantro, stems + leaves - fine chop

Spice Blend

  • 1 ½ tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ tbsp cumin - ground
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2-3 tsp chipotle chilli powder
  • 2 tsp aleppo chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp cacao | cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp coriander - ground
  • 1 tsp salt + pepper


Turkey & Veggie Chilli


IN A SAUCEPAN stainless saucepan on medium heat


ADD add olive oil, onion, garlic, celery, sauté for 2mins stirring occasionally until onion softens 


ADD ground Turkey and brown it – on high heat – stirring every minute or so.


ADD tomato paste and all the spices; cook 1-2 mins stirring until spices are fragrant.


ADD tomatoes, water, butternut (if using), bell pepper, drained & rinsed beans.


LID ON low simmer for 15 mins – stir occasionally.


CHECK with a fork that the squash and pepper are tender.  IF not continue to cook for another 5 mins, lid-on.


ADD Soy sauce | Tamari – TASTE spice and salt level, adjust to your taste, check all vegetables are cooked.  TURN off the heat.


STIR in spinach | kale + cilantro and scallions.


SERVE in bowls garnished with extra fresh cilantro.


Serving Ideas
with cooked rice or quinoa
with sides of lettuce leaf tacos or cabbage style slaw
with guacamole
with sour cream or my cashew sour cream for a dairy-free option
with fresh lime wedges and toasted tortillas.

Tips + Suggestions

SWAP TURKEY for ground chicken or ground beef – from your local farmer, pasture-raised = conscious cooking.


*SPICES – add smaller amounts if you don’t like a lot of spice – we love lots of spices & full flavours, so this recipe is bold on spices.


SWAP chilli my go to’s; cayenne, red pepper, chipotle, Urfa, Marash, Aleppo.


FRESH CHILLI substitute; red chillies or jalapenos; finely chop with or without the seeds depending on your spice level, wash your hands thoroughly with cold water and soap or wear gloves


BEANS substitute or mix it up using black beans, pinto beans, red kidney beans, adzuki beans


SWAP Butternut for sweet potato, yams, winter squash, carrots, honey-nut or pumpkin or add a mix.


ADD MORE vegetables like diced zucchini, peas, corn.


MAKE-AHEAD this is almost better the next day as the flavours deepen.


FREEZES well so make a double batch and freeze in portions

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