« Recipe for brown sugar and walnut puff pastry swirls | Main | The Pantry Alphabet: B »

Smoky turkey, black bean and corn chili recipe {gluten-free}


Often the best soups in my kitchen result from adding extra liquid -- stock or broth, juice, or water -- to stews or pasta dishes. Culinary magic works the other way around, too, and this smoky turkey, black bean and corn chili proves that a great soup can morph into an equally great something else. Use a bit of tough love and withhold some of the liquid in this recipe for chipotle turkey, black bean and corn soup, and watch a glorious chili emerge from the pot. Substitute freely: red beans for black, ground chicken (or beef) for turkey, fresh corn or tomato in season. The mild green chile peppers plus green Tabasco (also mild), with a hint of chipotle, add up to warmth rather than searing heat, and if you like your chili on the sweet side, squirt some agave nectar into the pot at the end.


Smoky turkey, black bean and corn chili

From the pantry, you'll need: olive oil, ground turkey, onion, canned green chiles, barbecue sauce, chipotle peppers in adobo, canned black beans, canned chopped tomato, chicken stock, agave nectar.

Serves 8-10.


2 tsp olive oil
1 lb ground turkey (I use 93% fat-free)
1 small onion, chopped
2 oz canned diced green chiles (mild)
1 cup chipotle barbecue sauce, or 1 cup of your favorite smoky barbecue sauce + 1 chopped chipotle pepper in adobo
15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup roasted corn kernels (I use Trader Joe's)
1 cup canned chopped tomato
1 cup chicken stock, homemade or store-bought, or water
10 shakes of green (jalapeño) Tabasco
1 Tbsp agave nectar (optional)
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
Optional garnishes: lime wedges, sour cream, cilantro leaves, strips of toasted tortillas


In a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, heat the oil, and brown the turkey over medium heat, stirring frequently. When the turkey is browned, add the onion and green chiles, and stir for 1 minute.

Stir in the barbecue sauce, beans, corn, tomato and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until most of the liquid evaporates and leaves behind a nice, thick chili. Season with green Tabasco, agave (optional), salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish individual portions with sour cream, cilantro leaves or strips of toasted tortillas. Serve hot.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
South End Deep Root Chili
Quick and easy black beans and rice
Vegan black bean and sweet potato stew
Green chile turkey meatballs
Turkey-green-chile chili

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
New Mexican stew with ground turkey and green chiles, from Gluten-free Goddess
Smoky turkey chili with chipotle peppers, and black and white beans, from Cookin' Canuck
Turkey chipotle wraps, from Full Bellies, Happy Kids
Black bean and turkey burgers, from Branny Boils Over
Taco pizza with refried black beans, from Eclectic Recipes

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Wonderful! I'm wondering if there might be a way to replicate the smokiness with Liquid Smoke vs the (usually) sugar-laden BBQ sauce. Thoughts?

This sounds like something we need for dinner tonight -- a nice bowl of warmth for the hubster who has been working quite late! Love the corn and black beans.

Sounds delicious. I am hoping for no more chili weather, but I know that's just wishful thinking.


I never thought about the relationship between liquid and soups and stews, but you are so right!

Alanna, you surely could use liquid smoke (I don't use it, but I know there are good non-chemical brands on the market). The BBQ sauce lends a sweetness that we really love in this chili, more sweet than hot, that sets it apart from some of my other recipes.

Kellypea, corn and black beans (and ground turkey) are always in my pantry. In fact, every ingredient in this chili is a pantry staple in my house. The combination is fantastic.

Kalyn, I'm a year-round chili eater, especially these "lighter" turkey chili variations.

Pam, a little liquid more or less makes all the difference!

Another perfectly awesome way to sneak ground turkey past my red-meat loving husband!!
and I do think corn and black beans are a match made in heaven!

I really like the contrast of smoke, crunch (corn) and citrus (lime garnish) - something I want to emphasize more in my cooking.

Carol, I promise this chili is good enough that if you don't tell him, he won't care that it isn't beef!

TW, I love that combination, too. I love using lime to cut through some of the sweetness.

You can never have too many good chili recipes, I say!

Donna, so true! I love black bean chili recipes, especially.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.