Tailgate Turkey Chili

I just realized that I haven’t posted a chili recipe yet this year!  So before the weather warms up and we’re not thinking chili anymore, that’s what I’m going to do today.

If I remember correctly, this was either the first or second recipe I ever posted on the old website years ago.  To this day, I still hear clients mention things like “I made your Tailgate Turkey Chili last night.  My family loves it.”  

Since you can put this together ahead of time and let it sit finished in the crockpot, it’s perfect for when guests come over.  I’ve probably made this more than any other dish because it always seems to go over so well.

In my opinion, the key to this recipe is the chipotle chilies in adobo sauce.  If you’ve never used them before, you can find these spicy chilies in a small can in the Mexican section of your grocery store.  I typically use between 4-5 of these chilies along with a little sauce from the can and the result is a pretty spicy chili.  If you prefer things more on the mild side, I’d suggest starting with one and going from there.

On occasion, I’ll serve this up with a little Ditalini pasta on the bottom of the bowl and top it with some Monterey Jack cheese and cilantro.  I’ve also been told it’s good with some added corn kernels and/or tortilla chips.  The possibilities are endless!

You might be thinking, why Tailgate Turkey Chili?  Honestly, I don’t remember.  But I think it has to do with the fact that when I originally put this recipe out it was football season and you could bring it along for all of your tailgate purposes.

So there you go!  Enjoy.



  • 2 pounds pasture-raised ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, 4-5 minced 
  • 2 – 15 ounce cans diced tomatoes with mild chilies
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice, plus 2 teaspoons grated orange rind
  • 2 – 15 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Fresh chopped cilantro (for garnish)



  • Brown the turkey over medium-high heat.
  • Transfer browned turkey to a crockpot.
  • Combine the remaining ingredients with the turkey in the crockpot and mix well.
  • Cook on low for 7 hours.
  • Before serving, taste and add more salt and/or chipotle chilies if necessary.