Black Bean Turkey Chili with Beef Flavor

Without the use of tomatoes or bell pepper, you can make this flavorful black bean turkey chili. There’s an unusual vegetable in this version of the recipe. What is it? Carrots! Meanwhile, turkey is a smart choice for those watching calories and fat, but usually doesn’t add much flavor to chili and stews. However, the broth you use is the key. If you’re not watching your fat or calorie intake, there are add-ins that you’ll absolutely love.

Black Bean & Turkey Chili

An already flavorful black bean and turkey chili which you can boost with cooked sausage and bacon, if desired.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Chinese, Southern, Tex-Mex
Ingredient Keyword black beans, ground turkey
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes


  • 1 pound dry black beans (16 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon neutral-flavored oil I used avocado oil, which is has a smoke point of 500°F
  • 1-1/2 pounds organic ground turkey from Costco
  • 1 leftover cooked mild or hot gluten free Italian sausage, chopped small (New York-Style brand) (optional)
  • 1 slice cooked uncured turkey bacon chopped small (from Sam’s Club) (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon dairy-free margarine Smart Balance or Country Crock “Plant-Based”
  • 1 large yellow or sweet onion chopped
  • 14 peeled baby carrots (or 2 large carrots), chopped small
  • 6 cups gluten free low-sodium beef broth Better Than Bouillon “Organic Reduced-Sodium” Beef Base* + water, plus more water as needed
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder or to taste (or paprika for a mild version)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano or minced fresh
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free smoked paprika or paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Fill a large saucepan beans and cover with water by 2 – 3 inches. Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer for about 1 hour. Drain and rinse using a colander; set aside. (This process removes some of the gassiness from beans.)
  2. Preheat a skillet with the butter. Add the onion and carrots; sauté for 8 minutes until the onion is translucent and tender.
  3. Preheat the same large saucepan from the beans over medium-high heat, add oil, and then the turkey. Brown well on the first side, without turning or stirring. Lower heat to medium to prevent burning when necessary. Flip over in sections as it will all stick together. Brown on the other side and begin to break apart. (You’ll break it apart more once liquid is added.)
  4. Add the sausage, bacon, broth, sautéed vegetables, chili powder, oregano, paprika, and salt. Simmer for 2 – 3 hours, adding additional water (not broth), or until the beans are tender. Stir occasionally, breaking apart the turkey. Towards the end of cooking, smash some of the beans on the side of the saucepan using the back of a spoon, which helps thicken the sauce.

  5. Serve over cornbread waffles, cooked rice, into gluten free bread bowls, or plain. We’ve even topped with thinly sliced lettuce, shredded cheese, etc., just like a tostada.


*Better Than Bouillon Organic Reduced-Sodium Beef Base is gluten-free. Not all varieties of this brand are gluten free and their ingredients change frequently. So, read labels carefully. They are available online at,, and

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