Turkey Poblano Chili

Turkey Poblano Chili

Everybody has their favorite chili. It’s one of those “my mom’s better than you mom” kind of things.

For the record … MY mom makes THE BEST chili. This is not up for discussion.

Maybe your mom didn’t make your favorite chili (shhhhh … I won’t tell). Maybe your favorite chili comes from a spouse or a restaurant. Some people like it thick … some like it thin … with beans … or without … ground beef … pork … chicken … spicy … mild … on a hot dog … or fries …

The point is chili is versatile.

I happen to be one of those eaters who likes chili in all its variations. When I found a recipe for Turkey Poblano Chili, I was curious about the use of turkey but truly all-in with the poblanos. I started growing poblanos in my garden a few years ago and I just can’t get enough of them (see post on Iowa: Home of Giant Poblanos and Stuffed Peppers Mexican Style). I switched up a few things and really love the result.

This is when I remind you that a recipe with a long list of ingredients is not necessarily a difficult recipe. Do not be intimidated by this list. Trust me … you will enjoy the process and LOVE the result.

Simple sides like corn bread, tortilla chips, or polenta are all good choices to complete the meal.

If your mom makes chili like this, I’m impressed.

She can’t beat my mom’s chili, but I’m impressed.

Turkey Poblano Chili

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 31 minutes
Servings 3 quarts


  • 5 large poblano chiles
  • 3 tablespoons olive/avocado oil divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey white & dark
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Salt divided
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho Chile powderor chili powder blend
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano lightly crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 cups turkey or chicken broth/stock divided
  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 1 15-oz can pinto beans drained
  • 1 15-oz can can hominy drained
  • 2 15-oz cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Fresh limes
  • Radishes
  • sour cream
  • Toasted pumpkin/pepita seeds
  • Green onion
  • Shredded pepper-jack cheese
  • Pickled or fresh jalapeño slices


  • Roast the poblanos: Cut poblanos lengthwise in quarters, removing the stem, seeds and membranes. Lay the pepper pieces, skin side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the skin side with one tablespoon of olive/avocado oil, and place under the broiler for 5-6 minutes, or until skin is blistered and charred. Remove the peppers from the broiler, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam (5-10 minutes). Place pepper pieces on a cutting board and gently scrape the loose skin from the peppers (no need to remove all the skin). Dice 3 of the peppers (12 pieces) into 1/2” pieces; set aside. Cut the remaining 2 peppers (8 pieces) into thin strips; set aside.
  • Chili: Heat a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat. Drizzle remaining olive/avocado oil into pan and add ground turkey, breaking the turkey up as it cooks. When browned (no longer pink), add salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, chili powder, oregano, cinnamon, onion, and garlic to the pan. Reduce heat to medium and stir to distribute spices evenly; cook for 3-4 minutes or until onions begin to soften. Add 2 cups of turkey/chicken broth/stock, tomato juice, beans, hominy, tomatoes, and the reserved poblano pepper strips. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Poblano puree: Place remaining reserved diced poblanos in a food processor with a small handful (at least 1/4 cup) fresh cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice. Pulse until evenly chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the broth/stock and process into a thick puree.
  • Add the remaining 1/2 cup of broth/stock, the puree and corn to the soup, stirring to combine. Simmer gently for 30-40 minutes to break-down tomatoes and combine flavors.
  • Garnish with sour cream, toasted pumpkin seeds, sliced radishes, finely diced onion, shredded cheese, and jalapeño slices.


As (almost) always, this soup is better if made a day in advance.

Chili is a staple for cold days, game days, and soul-comforting days. Mix things up a little with this slightly smoky, mildly spicy version made with ground turkey, poblano chiles and a blend of sweet corn and hominy.

2 thoughts on “Turkey Poblano Chili”

  • So I try to make one pot of soup every week. I am about 3 weeks behind now on recipes of yours I want to try! Stop posting so quickly! (Just kidding.) it’s just everything you post sounds so yummy I want to try it and two people can only eat so much!

    • I promise 3 posts/week will not be a regular thing! We run into the same problem with big batches but there’s always someone who would LOVE a quart of homemade soup!

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