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President Obama's chili recipe, with some (not political) advice {gluten-free}

President Obama's chili recipe, kicked up a notch.

Anyone who knows me in real life or follows me on Facebook knows how proudly I support President Obama, but despite the fact that today is a special election day in Massachusetts (please vote!), this post isn't about politics. It's about chili. I found the recipe for the president's chili online, and I have to tell you, I have issues. Well, one issue. Mr. President, I hope you don't think it presumptuous that I've altered your recipe just a little bit. With all due respect, it needs more heat. The flavor is great, and really, I've never used turmeric in chili before, so that was fun. Now, you've got to spice it up! In the recipe, I've called for up to three teaspoons of hot sauce, but that's just a guideline. When it comes to chili, every cook has the right to choose.

President Obama's turkey chili (The Perfect Pantry).

President Obama's chili

From the pantry, you'll need: olive oil, onion, garlic, ground turkey, cumin, oregano, turmeric, chili powder, red wine vinegar, canned chopped tomatoes, hot sauce.

Adapted from the President's recipe on Dash. Serves 4-6; can be multiplied.


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
Several cloves of garlic, chopped
1-1/4 lb ground turkey
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning (or dried basil)
1 Tbsp chili powder (I love Penzeys Chili 3000)
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
26 oz canned chopped tomatoes (I use POMI)
1 29-oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1-3 tsp hot sauce (Tabasco, or your favorite)
3-4 cups cooked white or brown rice, for serving
For garnish: grated Cheddar cheese, sour cream, onions or scallions, avocado chunks, to your taste.


In a 5-quart Dutch oven or soup pot, sauté onions, green pepper, and garlic in olive oil over medium heat, until the vegetables are soft (2 minutes).

Add ground meat and brown, stirring frequently to keep the meat from sticking. Stir in the cumin, oregano, turmeric, basil or Italian seasoning, and chili powder. Cook for 2 minutes, to bring out the aroma in the spices.

Add the vinegar and tomatoes. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Then, add the kidney beans, and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and hot sauce, to taste.

Serve over white or brown rice. Garnish with (optional) grated cheddar cheese, onions, and sour cream.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Slow cooker turkey, black bean and squash chili
Turkey mole chili
Turkey and white bean chili
Smoky turkey, black bean and corn chili
Slow cooker vegan spicy pinto bean chili with corn and kale

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Slow cooker turkey tomatillo and pinto bean soup with corn, from Everyday Maven
Pinto beans with bacon and jalapeños, from Simply Recipes
Ground turkey and bean stew with cumin, green chiles, and cilantro, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Tuscan-style pinto bean soup with kale, from Lisa's Kitchen
Quick quinoa and turkey taco stew, from GreenLiteBites

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.


You are too funny! Well, maybe the Obama family serves the chili to families with kids and visitors so can't heat it up too much. In our house, my husband is the chili maker and tends to make it too hot if I don't remind him better. This chili looks great and I now think it is darn good chili weather over here!

Jamie, it's going to be in the 90s (F) here today. They say that hot food cools you down in hot weather, so it might be darn good chili weather here, too.

I love that Penzeys Chile 3000 as well! Keeping my fingers crossed for the election!

Kalyn, that chili powder is really a perfect blend for almost everything. The weather is hot hot hot here today, so I hope people get out to the polls!

@Lydia @Kalyn I love that chili seasoning, too. Penzey's, in Saint Paul, is right up the street from my house. Very tempting and fragrant any time of the year. Thanks for this recipe, Lydia. I've heard Michelle Obama talk about bringing turkey chili on trips to keep her eating well; I'm happy to see the recipe. I make my turkey Italian sausage chili (with lentils and beans) in my crock-pot. I'll try this one there, too. Too hot to keep the stove on.
Hope there are a lot of voters out today.

Alyce, this recipe would be a snap to make in the slow cooker; just add the beans in the last half hour so they don't overcook. I use my slow cooker more in summer (to keep the kitchen cool) than I do in winter!

I think you need to hold a Chili Smack Down at the White House. Just you and the Prez. That would be SO excellent!

TW, I'm game if he is!

Lydia, if you like it, I'm sure I will too! ...and the vinegar -- I don't remember seeing that in a chili recipe before, either.

Susan, I admit I was surprised at how good it is. A splash of vinegar to finish a stew is fairly common, and used here in the chili, it's really very good.

Choice is important--in chili and in everything else.

I'm off to see if I have some 3000 in my spice drawer.

sounds good -but I have to say - I would need to bump up a few things,mostly the hot sauce!!
thanks for the reminder about summer season slow-cooker use!

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