Recipe: Spicy turkey chili

I can still vividly remember my first metric century. Not so much the riding part, as the I’ll-eat-anything-at-arm’s-length call sent from my rumbling stomach at mile 50. It was a desperate plea for calories, and even the fumes from a nearby McDonald’s had me salivating like a dog.

Since that ride, I’ve learned to eat more mid-pedal and to slip some protein into my back pocket. But I still live for the post-ride barbecue or diner stop.

This is one of the reasons why winter is so painful. The ratio of chocolate in my stocking to calories burned on the trainer is far from balanced. I learn this painful fact every year when the primal cyclist-side of my brain takes charge at the dinner table and holiday parties.

One of my favorite recipes for getting back on track is turkey chili. It packs a filling protein punch and kicks up the heat, making for a satisfying meal.  Feel free to mix it up by adding more/less spice, pasta, diced or shredded veggies or adding more beans and less meat. Here’s the recipe. Let me know what you think!

Spicy Turkey Chili

*Recipe is for a crock pot, but can easily be done in a large stockpot


  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey (can substitute w/ veggie protein or ground beef)
  • 2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can light kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (or try 2 different types of onions, mixing 1/2 of each)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers*, seeded and minced
  • 2 chili peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 canned chipotle peppers, minced
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch ground allspice
  • Salt to taste

* Experiment with various fresh peppers to find the perfect heat. If this recipe is too tame, leave the seeds in.


1. Heat the oil in a medium skillet. When hot, add turkey, using a wooden spoon to break it apart as it cooks. Remove when evently brown, adding to crock pot.

2. Add onions to skillet. Cook until translucent and add to crock pot.

3. Add remaining items and cook either on high for four hours or on low for eight.


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