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Turkey and Dried Black Bean Chili

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 3 quarts of chili 1x


Turkey and Dried Black Bean Chili - a big batch of turkey chili, starting with a pound of dried black beans.




  • 1 pound black beans, sorted and rinsed
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) water
  • 1 large onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda (optional, but helps soften the beans if you have hard water)

Aromatics, Seasonings, and Turkey

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and minced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced (remove the seeds if you want less heat)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 8 ounces (3/4 bottle) of beer (or chicken stock, water)
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (15 ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes with juices
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Lime wedges for serving


  1. Cook the beans:Pick over the beans to remove any stones or bits of dirt, then rinse. Put the beans, water, halved onion, bay leaves, and baking soda in the dutch oven over high heat. Partially cover the pot and bring the beans to a boil. Lower the heat and gently simmer until the beans are tender, about 2 hours, adding more water if the water level drops below the top of the beans.
  2. Cook the aromatics, seasonings, and turkey: While the beans are simmering: Heat the vegetable oil in the large skillet over medium heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the minced onion and jalapeño, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and sauté until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and oregano, and cook until you smell the garlic and spices bloom, about 1 minute. Add the beer and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits of onion and spices, about 2 minutes. Add the turkey and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook the turkey, stirring and breaking up any large chunks of meat, until the turkey loses its pink color, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and wait for the beans to finish cooking.
  3. Combine the beans and turkey: Fish the bay leaves and onion out of the bean pot and discard. Pour the turkey pan into the pot of beans, stir, and simmer for another half an hour to bring the flavors together. Stir in the 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve, passing the lime wedges at the table.


  • Why not soak the beans? Because lots of sourcestrust say soaking black beans only cuts about 30 minutes from the cooking time, and it washes away a lot of flavor.


  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Category: Sunday dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American