turkey bean chili

Turkey Bean Chili

If you look on the upper right hand side of my site you will find a photo –and link– to my forthcoming book, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook.  You can pre-order order it by clicking on the book cover image in the sidebar to the right, which takes you over to amazon.com.

I have been working on the book for the past 8 months, well, actually the past 10 years, that’s when I really began cooking and writing down my recipes after making them, at the urging of a friend who seemed to like my food.

I signed with 10 Speed Press last summer and pumped this thing out, working literally night and day.  My children are so happy to see it done.  There have been quite a few nights when I bounced up from snuggling one of my boys and went back to work for several hours.  Now, we can go back to unlimited, endless snuggles!

The book is a labor of love and I had a fantastic time writing it.  I’m a bit bewildered now that it’s done, though happy to have some of the RAM in my brain back for other purposes.

The most challenging part of writing the book has been getting healthy food on the table each night while creating new recipes and endlessly testing old.  These quick and easy chili fixins’ became a go to dish during the writing of the book.

Print Recipe
Turkey Bean Chili
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 1 lb ground turkey (dark or light meat your choice)
  • 1 cup beans (white, black or pinto -your choice), soaked overnight and cooked
  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil
  2. Add onion and saute until soft, about 10 minutes
  3. Add cherry tomatoes, water, garlic, oregano, chili and salt
  4. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes over medium heat until tomatoes are soft and beginning to fall apart
  5. Add turkey meat and cook for 10 minutes, until turkey is cooked through, yet still tender, stirring to break up turkey meat
  6. Add beans and their cooking juices (not too much or dish will get too watery)
  7. Serve

I have a new model in the “action photo” above where I capture the portrait of “child eating chili.”  This would be my older son’s friend Aiden.

They are on the same baseball team again this year –though they have now graduated to majors.  Aiden is a wicked lefty hitter and amazing pitcher and shortstop.  He is one of the best baseball players of his age that I have ever seen (though I’m not sure how much that’s saying given my ultra-limited baseball experience of one season as a coach in AAA little league).

And he loves my Turkey Bean Chili.  A big eater, I so enjoy having him over to our house. The boys often sit together at the table for 40 minutes or more, devouring everything I put in front of them.  Which makes me one satisfied cookbook author.

Update: here’s a nice little article on beans that I found in the New York Times.  Per the questions about what type of beans I used here, they are super soft mystery beans that I received in our farm share (CSA) last year from Shannon of Abbodanza.


  1. Leah says

    HI Elana,

    Came across your site a while back now, love your recipes! Love that they have minimal ingredients! I am new to Paleo and noticed this recipe has beans? I thought Paleo avoided beans? I prefer to eat Vegetarian if I can so was excited to see the beans! Help! I’m confused now!

  2. Anne says

    How many people does your turkey bean chili recipe serve? (The number doesn’t show up on my screen when I view the recipe.)
    Thank you!

  3. Nicole says

    I had left over diced up sweet potatoes, so I cooked them on the stovetop first then added in the onions and continued on with the recipe…Came out Perfect! (used organic canned beans) ….But, fast, simple and delish! Just what I wanted on this Monday evening! Thank You Thank You! I am so thankful for your website and your recipes….I have changed my eating lately w/ the Gluten free ways due to a constant battle of a bloated stomach and I have finally found the remedy! Ahhh…It only has taken 42 years! Better late than never! :)

  4. A. B. Kinard says

    I really enjoy your recipes! I’ve had to change my eating habits for health reasons as well for my overall well-being. Thank you for sharing your creative ability with others!

  5. Lesley says


    I have been battling with Candida Albicans and gluten and other allergies. Your book has been somewhat of a life savior! I love the bread and crackers that I was not able to eat. Your recipes are super yummy and edible in egards to my allergies and candida diet.

  6. Jaime says


    I made this last night and it was really good, except I ended up with a lot of tough tomato skins separated from the rest of the tomato. Did I cook the tomatoes too long? Would that make the skin MORE tough? Thanks so much.


  7. ~M says

    This was great! I used my pre-cooked and frozen black beans and added 1/4 cup water and a touch of Herbamare. I also added a bit of diced serrano pepper and diced avocado.

  8. says

    I’ve made this twice now and I really like it. I had a turkey chili recipe that I used to make so often that I’m bored to pieces with it and I didn’t think I would every want to try another recipe, but this one hit the spot.

    I read your joy of food entry again today and enjoyed it all over again. I remember the first time I read it thinking how much my thoughts on health aligned with yours. It great to find a kindred spirit with regards to health. I look forward to your book!

  9. Tara says

    Your recipes look so delicious I can’t wait to try some. Do you recommend any organic brands of almond flour? If not how could I make some myself without a vitamix, would a coffee grinder work? Also do you recommend any organic stevia brands, the astraya sounds great but I try to only eat organic and its hard to find a stevia that doesn’t taste weird. Thanks for the help, Tara

  10. mare says

    I am just curious if Elana is posting recipes that are GF or were her dietary choices. Some people, myself included, will save recipes that I would eat with modification.

    Just wondering, was all. I don’t mean to offend her, or you, with the question.

  11. says

    Elana, congratulations on your book! I have no doubt that the recipes will be amazing. I can’t wait to pick up one of myself and for all of my foodie friends. Cheers to that!

  12. mare says

    Hi Elana,
    I appreciate you presenting GF options but I do wonder how it is your recipe choices (at least in recipezaar) flip from vegan to omnivore so easily?

  13. Shari says


    Congratulations!! The book itself looks edible.

    Brava also for the section on your site-Elana recommends..and especially “Where obesity grows” –
    isn’t it great to see George Will quoting Michael Pollan :) and also that the Obama’s have done wonders planting a veggie garden that they view from their window at the White House! Yes!!

    all the best,


  14. says

    Chili is a go-to recipe for the days we have our kids. This looks like a yummy, simple one. I will definitely have to try! Congrats on your book!

  15. says

    Congratulations Elana!
    And congratulations for having some more RAM in your brain back too! Finishing a big project is always a great feeling.
    I let out an excited shriek that startled my husband when I saw your cookbook on the homepage, is that pathetic? All your yummy recipes are just too good!
    This chili looks fantastic. I am working up the courage to try beans, but this is going on my to-do list. Since I haven’t had beans before I do not know what the different ones taste like, and I’m just nosey, what type of beans do you prefer? And do you like the flavor of the white or dark turkey better?
    I am totally going to pre-order your cookbook now! Yippy

  16. says

    Congrats, Elana! The book looks terrific. :-)

    I also made chili today … my vegetarian version (you never miss the meat with portabella mushrooms and the variety of beans in the recipe). Yours looks great, as always, of course. Love the addition of your new models! It’s so much fun to feed youngsters, isn’t it?


  17. Debbie says

    Just wanted you to know I pre-ordered your book! Coincidentally, I made a nice chili tonite. We loved it. Chili is so comforting.

  18. says

    Oh my gosh, this is so exciting!!

    That recipe looks great. We can’t tolerate beans yet… well, I haven’t tried yet. Maybe I will!!

  19. says

    The simple goodness of your recipes is one of the main things I keep coming back! I will try this chili with aduki beans and turkey, and then maybe buffalo meat later. I will definitely be buying your book! Congratulations Elena!

  20. says

    first of all, i am thrilled about your book! i can’t wait to get a copy of it myself! your recipes are always a hit at our home (needless to say, my family and friends love you lol).
    as for the recipe, this sounds amazing! i am going to have to make it this weekend!

  21. Beth says

    This looks so tasty!
    Especially since we are having a “cold snap” to celebrate spring ;)

    Congrats on the book.
    I found it on Amazon.ca and it is available for pre-order there too.

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