Turkey Chili and Cornbread

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I used to hate chili. I know I start a lot of stories here that way but it’s because it’s true. When I was little, I was kind of a picky eater. I liked everything sweet but I wasn’t a fan of other things, like salad and chili.

Luckily, times have changed and I’m now a chili believer. It’s the perfect thing to eat on a cold fall night when all you want to do is get under the covers and binge watch “Mind of the Chef.” I’d recommend making this first.

A lot of chili recipes call for ground beef or sausage. I still don’t love ground beef so I subbed in ground turkey. It’s leaner than beef so the texture is a little different, but taste wise it’s just as good. It cooks up fast and tastes delicious with spices.

Chili isn’t chili without cornbread, in my humble opinion. So I decided to make some cornbread to go along with this dish. You might be thinking, eh, I’ll skip that step and buy bread from the store (or skip it altogether). I’d advise against that.

Cornbread is actually one of the easiest things to make. You mix together the ingredients, spread it into a greased pan, pop it in the oven, and it’s ready in less than 30 minutes. Yeah, that’s not as easy as buying bread from the store, but the from-scratch kind tastes better. It’s also good for dessert with honey.

So yeah. I’d recommend that you make this turkey chili and cornbread as soon as possible. When you’re cooking, you can listen to this song. Whenever I hear it, it reminds me of fall.

Turkey Chili (adapted from the NYT)


1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 pounds ground turkey
2 cups coarsely chopped onions
2 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 large sweet red pepper, cored, deveined and coarsely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, cored, deveined and finely chopped
1 Tbsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
3 cups canned diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth, fresh or canned
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 15-oz cans of red kidney beans, drained
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese for serving
lime wedges for serving


Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over high heat and add the turkey. Cook, stirring and breaking up clumps with a wooden spoon, until the meat is light brown.

Add the onions, garlic, pepper, jalapeño, oregano, bay leaves, chili powder, and cumin. Stir together and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, salt and pepper, stir, and bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Stir in the drained beans and cook the mixture, stirring every so often, for about 10 minutes.

Serve the chili with shredded cheese, lime wedges, and cornbread. Enjoy!



cooking spray to grease pan
1/4 cup butter
1 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt


Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and set aside. Melt the butter and allow it to cool slightly.

Whisk the yellow cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a large liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, whole milk, and egg.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined (don’t over mix). Spread the batter in the prepared pan (the batter will be lumpy) and smooth the top.

Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean. Enjoy!

About Emily Wasserman

Bonjour! My name is Emily and I'm a writer based in St. Louis. I'm also a home baker with a small business, Amélie Bakery. I'm a self-proclaimed francophile and love French pastries and baking.
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