Recipe: Turkey Two-Bean Cocoa Chili

As we hurtle towards spring, and a global pandemic threatens, I decided I had to post my favorite chili as a last celebration of chilly (RIM SHOT!) winter nights. In my mind, this is the perfect chili, made even more perfect when you top your bowl with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of cilantro, and a few slices of red onion. Those bright flavors punch up the rich, slightly spicy stew perfectly.

Could I say “perfect” more?

So if you still have a few cold nights ahead (what, not everyone else lives in 70s-and-sunny weather year-round?!), give this a try before spring tantalizes us with brighter, lighter meals. For a full (perfect?!) meal, serve alongside (perfect) buttered Guinness Beer Bread from I promise you’ll (perfectly) enjoy.

Turkey Two-Bean Cocoa Chili

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1.5 tsp cumin
1.5 tsp oregano
1 pound lean ground turkey
1/2 lb turkey sausage (I used Italian, but I think any seasoning would work well)
1 heaping Tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
28 oz can diced tomatoes
8 oz can tomato sauce
3 cups beef broth (I use Better Than Bouillon)
2 bay leaves
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp brown sugar
Garnishes: sour cream, chopped cilantro, diced or thinly sliced red onion

Heat olive oil in large pot over medium. Add sweet onion and saute until soft and starting to brown, 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle in cumin and oregano, stir, and cook for 1 minute. Turn heat up to medium high. Add ground turkey and turkey sausage and cook until no longer pink. Sprinkle in cocoa powder, chili powder, cinnamon, and salt and mix until meat is coated. Stir in diced tomatoes with their juices and the tomato sauce. Add broth and bay leaves, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes.

Add beans and brown sugar and cook for 10 more minutes.

Serve topped with sour cream, cilantro, and red onion.

Adapted from Turkey Chili with White Beans recipe on

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