The Sea Salt

Southern California Surfing Food

Mary’s Turkey Chili


We had some of our family in town for the past few weeks.

They flew in from New York, Berkley, and even a car full that made it all the way from Boston.

None of them were from the Carpenter or Ober clan, but most of them I have known my whole life. We did crossword puzzles on the kitchen floor, wrapped gifts on Christmas Eve while listening to Jingle Cats (yes, a whole amazing album of Christmas carols sung by cats. A VB tradition), and ate more than enough delicious cheese and homemade apricot jam.

I really like to be able to chill and drink and glass of wine with my guests before dinner instead of being tucked away in the kitchen. This chili is perfect for that because you can make it early in the day and just let it do its thing until it is dinner time. It is filling and flavorful, and you can customize it (add butternut squash or carrots instead of meat), and top it with avocado and sour cream. I like to serve it with cornbread drizzled with honey and a sprinkle of sea salt.

 Mary’s Turkey Chili


*feeds 8-10 depending on how big your bowls are.

  • 2 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 large yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 jalapeno, fined minced (I remove seeds)
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 cup, plus 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp corriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1.5 lbs ground turkey
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce, plus half can water
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • Sour cream, cheddar cheese, green onions, Cholula, avocados to garnish.


  1. In a large stockpot, heat EVOO over medium heat for about 30 seconds-1 min.
  2. Add onions, garlic and jalapeno, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until onions are slightly translucent.
  3. Add spices (cumin through cayenne pepper in list above), and stir to combine with the onions.
  4. Cook over medium low heat for about 1-2 minutes (toasting the spices really adds a nice depth of flavor).
  5. Add turkey and cook over medium heat, until turkey is no longer pink. Chop it up with your spoon as you go.
  6. Add beans and tomatoes and stir to combine over medium-high heat.
  7. Cook for about 10 minutes until chili looks like it is close to a boil.
  8. Either continue to simmer on the stovetop (covered) for 1 hour, or put chili in crockpot set to low for at least 6 hours (I like to remove the top for about 15 minutes or so right before it is time to eat, to let the chili thicken up just a little).
  9. Taste, and season with a little salt if it needs it.
  10. Garnish with desired toppings and enjoy.

Mary's Turkey Chili

Mary's Turkey Chili

Mary's Turkey Chili

Mary's Turkey Chili


Author: The SEA SALT

Cooking and surfing in Southern California

2 thoughts on “Mary’s Turkey Chili

  1. chili is definitely something i often make, and i love how you can use turkey instead of beef and no one really notices. i respect and appreciate the beaniness of your version. 🙂

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