Loaded Turkey Bean Chili

Time to Cook: 
30 minutes
Time to Prepare: 
15 minutes
Number of Servings: 
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This chili has been a favorite in my family for a long time. Often, we've called it "clean out the fridge" chili, because I inevitably throw in whatever bits of veggies are left in the fridge, or whatever kinds of beans are in the pantry. It's a very versatile recipe that can be adapted however you like. Skip the extra veggies, use beef instead of turkey, add a bit of bacon or sausage, more hot peppers for some spice; whatever you desire. Our version usually includes turkey, one can of black beans and one of kidney, with some sweet pepper and either zucchini or mushrooms if they happen to be in the fridge.

I was introduced to the idea of putting a fried egg on top of chili some time ago and at first wasn't sure about it, but once you've tried it you'll be hooked. The rich, creamy yolk adds wonderful flavour and kicks boring old chili up a level, especially when you add a  little cheddar and some green onion. The chili can be made ahead and frozen, besides also making great leftovers. We often whip up a large pot and then portion it up for lunches for busy days later in the month, or in a larger container for insurance on a cold winter night.

Meaty and full of spice, chili is even better topped with a fried egg.


1 onion, chopped finely

2 celery stalks, chopped finely

1 hot birds eye chili (optional), seeded and chopped finely or pinch hot pepper flakes

1/2 sweet pepper, chopped finely

1 cup mixed veggies: mushrooms, zucchini, shredded carrots, chopped finely

two 19 ounce cans of beans (kidney, black beans, mixed beans), drained and rinsed

two 28 ounces cans of crushed tomatoes

1 – 1 1/2 lbs ground turkey thigh

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

pinch hot pepper flakes

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Chopped avocado

Thinly sliced green onion

Fried, basted, or poached egg

Shredded cheddar cheese


1. In a large, deep fry pan, saute the onion and celery with a little olive oil until softened, about 3 minutes or so. Add the pepper, hot pepper and other vegetables, continuing to sauté over medium heat until they are softened as well.
2. Scrape the sautéed vegetables out of the pan and onto a plate. Set aside. Add about 1 tbsp more oil to the pan and add the turkey, breaking it up and moving it around. Saute over medium heat until no longer pink and cooked through. Drain off any juices. Add the reserved vegetables, chili powder, cumin, hot pepper flakes (if using), and give it a good stir. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add the brown sugar and vinegar, stirring and cooking for 1 minute.
3. Stir in the beans, then pour in the crushed tomatoes. You may not need both cans, depending on how thick you like your chili. Bring the mixture to a bubble before turning down and letting it simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
4. Ladle into bowls and serve each topped with an egg, a sprinkle of green onions, a bit of cheddar, and if desired, a bit of avocado and a drizzle of sriracha for some heat.
This would be especially good served with some cornbread or fresh biscuits.