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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. So glad you enjoyed it. I love the idea of using Greek yogurt as a topping.

  2. This was REALLY REALLY good – now going to be my go-to chili recipe. The thing with cooking the onions in an excess of spice was amazing. I added minced garlic while cooking the onions, and also a bit of apple cider vinegar to the pot with the tomatoes and beans. Oh, and I used greek yogurt instead of sour cream as a healthy substitute.

  3. THANK YOU! (It used to say 1/8 cup, which I decided was confusing, but obviously I screwed up when I "improved" it.)

  4. Typo on the chile 2 T cup chile powder?

  5. Thanks Jeanette. I shudder when I see some of the old ones, but I'm having fun updating them!

  6. Love all the rich spices in this chili Kalyn and the chocolate definitely adds extra depth. Always fun to look back on photos – love your updated ones!

  7. Thanks Lydia, it was definitely good!