Turkey Chili – A completely revamped old family recipe


Chili was an old family staple growing up. It’s so warm and comforting in the winter. When the temperature dips low enough to switch on the heater, my mind immediately goes to this recipe. To be clear, this is not “Texas-style” chili. My mom grew up in Michigan. This is probably more appropriately called a stew, but we call it chili in my family. So there!

My mom’s version had been gradually modified over the years to accommodate my allergies and preferences. The original recipe used hamburger, onions, tomato juice, kidney beans, sugar, ketchup and worcestershire sauce. As you can see from the recipe below, Things Have Changed. LOL.

I don’t eat red meat, so hamburger is out and turkey is in. The tomato paste and water is a more environmentally friendly option than a big can of tomato juice. The ratio to make tomato paste into juice is 4 parts water to 1 part paste.


I used to add corn kernels for sweetness instead of sugar. Later, when I was diagnosed with the corn allergy, it was corn out and apple in. I missed the colorfulness of the corn in the soup so I swapped out some of the kidney beans for edamame and cannelini beans. Yeah, I’m an artist. It’s got to be pretty. ūüôā

The worcestershire sauce was the hardest to substitute. I struggled with getting the right umami flavor to compensate. I finally settled on a combination of cinnamon, cumin and liquid aminos.

So there you have it. A turkey chili that is almost, but not quite, entirely¬†unlike¬†my mother’s chili! (A little Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reference. LOL.)

Turkey Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Family chili recipe updated for allergies
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 8
  • 1 lb ground turkey (organic if you can, at minimum hormone free)
  • 1 medium organic onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 7 oz jar organic tomato paste (I use Bionaturae to avoid the plastic liners in cans.)
  • 4 cups filtered water (or chicken stock)
  • 2 tbsp organic lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp organic garlic, roasted
  • 1 tsp each: ground organic cinnamon, organic cumin
  • ¼ tsp organic red pepper flake, optional
  • 1 tsp organic liquid aminos (or organic soy sauce or worcestershire sauce)
  • 1 cup each: organic kidney beans, organic cannelini beans, organic edamame
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium organic apple, chopped (or 2 tbsp organic coconut sugar or ½ cup organic apple juice) optional
  1. Heat sauté pan and brown turkey and onions in olive oil.
  2. Add tomato paste, garlic, and spices. Stir into turkey and onion for 30 seconds. Then add filtered water an lemon juice.
  3. Add beans and apple then simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Adjust seasoning as needed, then serve!
Pick a mealy apple that will dissolve in the soup. The purpose here is to add sweetness. I find that it rounds out the flavor really well, especially if you add the red pepper flakes.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 211 Fat: 4.4 Saturated fat: .6 Unsaturated fat: 1 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 17.1 Sugar: 7.9 Sodium: 320.3 Fiber: 3.7 Protein: 17 Cholesterol: 36.1


It is possible to make a white turkey chili by substituting the tomato paste and water with chicken stock. I tried that for a while when I was avoiding nightshades and it’s pretty good. It’s different but still very enjoyable.

This post was shared on Simple Meals Friday, Saturday Night Fever, Wellness Wednesday, Fresh Food Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Your Whims, Wake Up Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesday,  Mostly Homemade Mondays, and Natural Living Monday.
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