Turkey Chilli Con Carne

Made with Turkey Mince, this chilli con carne recipe is super delicious, leaner than using beef and tastes great with nachos. This turkey chilli con carne will go down a treat on movie night.

Turkey mince is a well used substitute for beef mince in our household and in my opinion, doesn’t alter the flavour in this dish, at all. I simply beef it up with a stock cube like this turkey lasagne.

A few good reasons for using turkey mince instead of beef is that it’s leaner, cheaper and better for your heart.

If you want a kids chilli con carne, a few adjustments to this recipe is perfect for young children. I find that children prefer this chilli con carne when I use turkey mince as it isn’t as heavy. Just alter the spice level depending on how much heat your children like and use a stock that is lower in salt.

Of course, if you love your beef, this recipe will taste just as good if you substitute the turkey for beef instead. The choice is yours.

Chilli con carne is also a great make ahead dish. The flavours will actually improve if it’s left in the fridge overnight or when frozen. I like to make a big batch, freeze it and whip it out when I need some comfort food.

You can serve your chilli piled high with toppings or simply serve it as turkey chilli with rice.

What is Chilli Con Carne

Chilli con carne, also known as simply “chili” in the USA is a dish originating in Mexico or Texas. “Con carne” is Spanish for “with meat”. Around the world, you can often find vegetarian and vegan versions of chili without meat and instead, replaced with beans. The vegetarian version is known as “chilli sin carne” or “chilli non carne”. However, beans in chilli isn’t considered authentic.

In this chili recipe, you will find a mixture of both lean meat and beans in a medium spicy tomato sauce.

Close up photo of Chilli con carne atop of nachos with jalapeños and avocado

How to Make Turkey Chilli Con Carne – Tips and Guidance

Chilli con carne is made in one large pan, either a large frying pan with deep sides or a wok.

After all the ingredients are added in order, the chilli is simmered over a low/medium heat until the liquids have reduced and the chilli has thickened. You can choose where to stop, depending on how liquid you like your chilli.

Simmering the chilli over a low heat, gives the flavours some time to develop as it cooks. Don’t be tempted to turn up the heat to cook it quicker.

However, for the best chilli flavours, I recommend making this ahead, cooling it and storing in the fridge overnight before heating and serving. Chilli con carne tastes much better the following day.

It’s freezable too, meaning that you can make a double batch and save some for another day. Just let it cool completely before packaging and storing it in the freezer. It’ll last up to 3 months.

This chili recipe is super versatile. If you want vegan or vegetarian chilli or “chilli sin carne” omit the meat, add more beans and replace the stock with a vegetable version. There you have it, vegan chilli sin carne, ingredients are easily substituted and you won’t miss out on any of the flavour.

If you’re making a this chilli for kids, used a mild smoked paprika and a low sodium stock, you can use a little less chipotle paste too if you prefer. The chilli will still have some heat but won’t be overwhelming for young children.

What to Serve with Chilli Con Carne

You can serve your turkey chilli con carne with:

Recipe FAQ’s

Can I freeze this recipe?

You certainly can, just be sure to defrost in the fridge overnight before thoroughly heating it through.

Can I use a different meat for the mince?

Yes this will also work well with beef or chicken mince.

What Should I serve it with?

Sour cream, guacamole, nachos, cheese, jalapeños and shredded lettuce work really well, but it also pairs well with rice too.

Can I make this chilli vegetarian or vegan?

Yes you can, I recommend using another can of beans, perhaps black beans and use vegetable stock instead.

Full view of Turkey chilli recipe with nachos and toppings

Turkey Chilli Con Carne

Author: Becky
Made with Turkey Mince, this quick and simple chilli con carne recipe is super delicious, leaner than using beef and tastes great with nachos. This turkey chilli con carne will go down a treat on movie night.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 385 kcal


  • 1 Red Onion finely chopped
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1 Red Pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 Yellow Pepper thinly sliced
  • 800 g Turkey Mince
  • 1 small bunch Fresh Coriander chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves crushed
  • 2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Hot Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 800 g Canned Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Chipotle Chilli Paste
  • 3 tbsp Soft Brown Sugar
  • 400 g Can of Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 400 g Can of Black Eyed Beans or Black Beans drained and rinsed
  • 250 ml Beef Stock
  • Splash Worcestershire Sauce


  • Fry the onions in a little oil with a pinch of salt until soft.
  • Add the peppers and fry a little longer until soft.
  • Add the turkey mince and cook until browned and cooked all the way through.
  • Stir through the fresh coriander, garlic and spices and cook for another few minutes until aromatic.
  • Stir in the chipotle paste, tomatoes, sugar and beans.
  • Pour in the beef stock and a splash of Worcestershire sauce and turn the heat down to low.
  • Simmer until the liquid has reduced to your desired level and the chilli con carne is thick.
  • Serve immediately or cool to store.

Recipe Notes and Guidance

See recipe guidance and tips for more detail. 
  • For the best flavours, make this a day ahead. 
  • You can freeze it for up to 3 months. 
  • Simmer it gently, this allows the flavours to develop as it cooks. 
  • You can replace the turkey mince for beef or chicken mince. 
  • You can make this vegetarian or vegan. Omit the mince, replace with an extra can of beans and swap the stock for a vegetable version. 
  • You can make this for children. Substitute the hot smoked paprika for a mild one, a low sodium stock and less chipotle, depending on how hot you want it. 

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 385kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 36gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 633mgPotassium: 1116mgFiber: 11gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1105IUVitamin C: 77mgCalcium: 130mgIron: 6mg
Keyword chili with beans, chilli con carne for kids, turkey chili
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