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Kalyn's Kitchen

Turkey and White Bean Chili with Chocolate (Video)

Turkey and White Bean Chili with Chocolate uses lean ground turkey, white or pinto beans, Ancho chile powder, and cocoa powder! Use Chili Recipes for more tasty ideas with chili!

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Turkey and White Bean Chili with Chocolate found on KalynsKitchen.com

I wasn’t the biggest fan of ground turkey when I first tried this Turkey and White Bean Chili with Chocolate, but ground turkey has really grown on me through the years.  I’m glad that when I saw a recipe in The Bon Appetit Cookbook for chili that used white beans, ground turkey, and just a taste of unsweetened cocoa powder, I was game to give it a try.

This recipe is a bit spicy with very generous amount of ground Ancho chile powder, some regular chili powder, a little ground Chipotle chile, plus dried oregano, ground cumin, and cocoa powder for that hint of chocolate that makes it so good.  (You can certainly use a bit less of the spicy chili powders, which I would recommend if you’re making it for kids.)

Here in Utah we’re hoping for some warmer weather, but I have some of this in the freezer for those remaining cold days I know are still coming.

Turkey and White Bean Chili with Chocolate found on KalynsKitchen.com

How to Make Turkey and White Bean Chili with Chocolate:

(Scroll down for complete printable recipe.)

  1. I mixed up the beans with one can of pinto beans and two cans of white beans this time.  You’ll need 3 cans of beans, rinsed well, or you can start with a lb. of dried white beans that have been soaked overnight and cooked.
  2. Put the drained beans into the soup pot with the tomatoes and beef stock, and start to simmer on low.
  3. Brown the chopped onion in 2 tsp. of the olive oil.  When the the onion is soft and starting to brown, add the dried oregano, ground cumin, Ancho chile powder, regular chile powder, and Chipotle chile powder (if using) and saute about one minute to release the flavors; then add the spices to the soup pot.  (If you’re making for kids I might reduce the amount of chile powder and leave out the Chipotle chile powder.)
  4. Add the other teaspoon of olive oil to the pan and cook the ground turkey until it’s nicely browned, breaking apart with the turner as you cook.
  5. Add the turkey to the soup pot, deglazing the pan with 1 cup of water and adding that as well.  Also add the bay leaves and unsweetened cocoa powder with a pinch or two of salt.
  6. Simmer on low until all the flavors are well combined and the chili is slightly reduced and thickened, about 1 hour, although it can go a little longer.
  7. Stir in the chopped cilantro.  (Forgot to take a photo of that!)
  8. Serve hot, with sour cream and/or grated cheese if desired.

Turkey and White Bean Chili with Chocolate found on KalynsKitchen.com

More Tasty Ideas with Turkey:

Slow Cooker and Pressure Cooker Turkey Recipes Index ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
Ground Turkey Green Chile Soft Tacos ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Ground Turkey Buffalo Meatballs ~ I Breathe I’m Hungry
Ground Turkey Soup with Rice, Kale, Mushrooms, and Butternut Squash ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Slow Cooker Thai Red Curry Turkey ~ The Perfect Pantry

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Turkey and White Bean Chili with Chocolate

This Turkey and White Bean Chili with Chocolate uses lean ground turkey, white (or pinto) beans, Ancho chile powder, and cocoa powder for a chili recipe that tastes so good!


  • 1 lb. dried white beans, soaked overnight and cooked (you can substitute three 15 oz. cans of beans; I
  • used 2 cans of white beans and 1 can of pinto beans)
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups homemade beef stock or 2 cans (14 oz.) beef broth plus 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 4 T ground Ancho chile powder
  • 2 T chile powder
    (If you don’t have Ancho chile powder, just use 6 T chile powder, or maybe a little less if you’re making for kids)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. ground Chipotle chile powder (optional, I use Penzeys; I would omit this if making for kids)
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup (more or less to taste) chopped cilantro (optional)
  • sour cream and/or grated cheese for serving (optional)


  1. To use dried beans, soak beans overnight or all day in cold water.
  2. Pour out water, add fresh water to cover, and cook beans at a low simmer about 1 1/2 hours, or until soft but not mushy. (Be sure beans are as done as you’d like them, because when you add them with tomatoes they won’t soften a lot more.)
  3. Drain beans and put in heavy soup pot.
  4. To use canned beans, drain beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse well with cold water (until no more foam appears.)
  5. Put beans, tomatoes and homemade beef stock into a medium-sized soup pot and start to simmer.
  6. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in heavy frying pan, add chopped onion and saute until onions are soft and just starting to brown, about 8 minutes.
  7. Add dried oregano, ground cumin, ground Ancho chile powder (I use Penzeys), chile powder, and ground Chipotle chile powder (I use Penzeys )and cook about 1 minute, or until it’s fragrant.
  8. Put onion/spice mixture into pot and continue to simmer.
  9. Add 1 tsp. more olive oil to frying pan and add turkey.
  10. Cook until well done and starting to brown, breaking apart with turner.
  11. Add turkey to soup pot.
  12. Deglaze frying pan with 1 cup water, scraping any browned bits off bottom of pan, and add to pot.
  13. Add bay leaves, cocoa powder, and salt to the pot.
  14. Simmer on low heat until all ingredients are well blended and tomatoes are starting to break apart, about one hour, or a little longer if you prefer.
  15. Turn off heat and stir in chopped cilantro if using.
  16. Let sit five minutes, then serve. Can be served with sour cream and/or grated cheese if desired


Recipe adapted by Kalyn from The Bon Appetit Cookbook.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Beans are considered a “good carb” on the South Beach Diet and are approved for any phase, but they’re a limited food so use portion control for Phase One. Chili with beans is probably too high in carbs for a low-carb diet plan.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, you can sign up for a free membership with Yummly and use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information. Another option is entering the recipe into this Recipe Nutrition Analyzer, which will calculate it for you.

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    27 Comments on “Turkey and White Bean Chili with Chocolate (Video)”

  1. This has all the great flavors of a mole sauce, so what's not to love?!

  2. Alaswhatever, either chicken or turkey stock would be just fine in this.

  3. This looks amazing –I’ve been dying to try the chocolate-meat combo, but until now have only come across recipes with red meat, which I don’t eat.

    Which brings me to my question: If I replace the beef stock with chicken or turkey stick, would that ruin the flavor?

  4. Hey Kalyn – this looks so yummy! Chili is such a great easy meal and the chocolate gives it an elegant twist. In a similar-but-opposite way, I’ve recently gone crazy for chili-infused chocolate cake. It’s a great combo!
    Congrats on your blog mention and on the printer-friendly recipes… one day I hope to figure that out too!

  5. Katie yes, 3-5 hours a day. I know it’s crazy! That does count time spent reading other blogs and writing things for Blogher. I do spent a lot of time, but I love doing it!

  6. I’m becoming a confirmed fan of using cocoa as a spice. I’ll have to add it to chili next time.
    I don’t use ground turkey – can’t get it here, but our beef is really low in fat so….
    Congrats on the nice article about you and your blog!
    3 – 5 hours a day!?!?!?

  7. Thanks Mimi. I’m so glad you’re liking phase one. Isn’t it just almost magical how your waist shrinks and your energy level goes up? And this is the *hard* part of the diet. See why I love it so much!

  8. Great article, Kalyn. I’ve been waiting for it.

    The soup looks great, BTW.

    (On Day 13 of Phase One and still loving it.)


  9. Hi Norah,
    How fun to hear from you! Please do keep in touch.

    Tanna, the touch of chocolate was great in this. Must use it more often.

    Christine, is it one more day now. You’re such a great mom!

    jmb, welcome. Isn’t The Blog That Ate Manhattan a great blog. Nice to find fellow South Beach fans.

    Merisi, hope you’ll like it.

  10. Thank you so much for this great recipe! Even though spring has sprung here in Vienna, I shall cook this chili on one of the cooler days.

  11. Hi Kalyn,
    i came over from TBTAM, after the South Beach comment. I’ll be back to look around some more. It looks chock a block full of good things. Glad I found you.

  12. This looks so good Kalyn. I saw this in BA and put it on the “back burner” for when I’m not cooking vegan. I love the idea of using the chocolate. Think I might deglaze with beer instead of water. Mr. CC would like that!

  13. Gorgeous photo! Pretty much chili is just good especially with beans. I’ve tried the chocolate with spicy dishes and it does seem a little like magic! Sort of taste it but not, just seems better.

  14. How funny that I open the paper up today and see your name in the paper. I was just thinking about you the other day. I know I never had you as a teacher but you’ve always been a role model to me after helping you when you were my sister’s teacher. I’m so glad I’ve found you again. I haven’t had much time today to look at your blog but I will. I hope we stay in touch. If I remember correctly the last time we ran into each other it was at a Mary Chapin-Carpenter concert up in the mountains.
    Norah (Gadd) Baron

  15. Katerina, there is just a hint of chocolatey flavor. Sher answered it for me, it’s more depth to the flavor.

    Sher, yes, chocolate is good. I think this might be my only recipe with chocolate, sigh.

  16. That looks excellant!! A touch of chocolate does add a depth to chili. And it’s always fun to cook with chocolate, isn’t it! :):)

  17. I really need to try this chocolate in savoury meat stew thing. I keep getting this recommendation so clearly it is worth it. Tell me – can you tell it’s in there?

  18. Hi Susan,
    I’d love to take credit, but actually I resisted listing my favorite blogs, because I knew some would get left out, so she picked them from my blogroll, plus from the Food Blog Award winners. But it’s A-ok with me that she picked you!

    I think this is the only recipe I’ve ever posted with ground turkey, but I’ll have to check. I think this was ground turkey breast, which I would only use in a recipe like this where there’s a lot of liquid. As far as why use turkey, there are some people who avoid red meat, so it’s a good option for them. (I’m not one of them, which is one of the reasons I’ve never used ground turkey that much.) As far as South Beach, low fat ground beef is just fine, and I normally use the ground beef with less than 10% fat. Glad to hear you’re having good success with the recipes.

  19. You use a lot of ground turkey where most recipes would call for ground beef. Are you using ground turkey breast, which has almost no fat and not so much flavor, or regular ground turkey? Most of the ground turkey labels I read show that ground turkey that isn’t just breast meat has almost as much fat as 85% lean ground beef. If that’s the case, why use turkey?

    Thanks. I love your blog and have had great success with your recipes!


  20. What a great article! I’m thrilled to see my blog mentioned, and if you had anything to do with that, Kalyn, thanks!