This healthy turkey chili recipe is made with black beans and Amber Ale then topped with jalapeño cheddar cornbread bites for a tasty weeknight meal on a cold winter evening!
It goes without saying that’s it’s cold in Chicago in the winter! While I know some people who like to “hibernate” I really enjoy having friends over for a nice warm meal, some good conversation and of course a bit of wine too! This black bean turkey chili is something I often make when a small group of friends is coming over. It always gets rave reviews and is generally the star of the evening. It’s also the perfect option for an easy, healthy weeknight meals or packable lunch!
For years my favorite chili recipe was one with a base of ground beef and spicy turkey sausage, however, I have several friends who don’t eat red meat, so I decided to create a turkey based chili for them. Instead of using wine as part of the base, I decided on a nice Amber Ale for extra flavor.
The prep for this recipe is really quick, and unlike some chilis, it really can be served as soon as it’s done. I’ll often prep a double recipe of this chili when I’m entertaining and just let it sit on the stove, or in a crock pot, during the party so guests can help themselves.
This chili gets its amazing flavor from a great combination of spices. It has just the right amount of heat without being too spicy but if you want to give it a little extra kick add a bit more ground chipotle. I topped this recipe with some cheddar jalapeño cornbread bites give it a fun kick and they make a great snack too. I also added greek yogurt, which I think makes a great chili topping and is my “go to” replacement for sour cream. I love to vary the toppings on chili depending on my mood so you can add or substitute your favorite toppings.
This is also a great recipe to make during your weekly meal prep. It keeps for several days in the refrigerator and freezes well too! Even though this chili has a beer base, I still like it with a glass of nice, somewhat fruity red wine! Next time it get’s cold out whip up a bit pot super thick chili and enjoy!
things you may want for this recipe
Bob’s Red Mill Cornbread Muffin Mix – I really like this mix as it’s very versatile and I think it makes the best tasting cornbread and corn muffins you can get from a mix. It used to be available at Whole Foods but I’ve not seen it lately so you may have to order it online.
Black Bean Turkey Chili with Amber Ale
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ pound ground turkey breast
- ½ pound ground turkey thigh
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
- ½ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
- 12 ounces amber ale
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- juice and zest from 1 lime
- 1 cup jalapeño cheddar cornbread bites
- ½ cup plain greek yogurt
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon cracked pepper
- In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat.
- Add onion and sauteé for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and sauteé for an additional minute.
- Add turkey, brown until crumbled and cooked through. Add chili powder, stir to combine. Add remaining spices, stir and cook for 30 seconds. Add Amber Ale and bring to a boil. Add tomato and black beans, return to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and zest.
- Spoon chili into serving bowls. Top with cornbread bites, greek yogurt, cheddar and cracked pepper.
Updated. Originally published November 2014.