This turkey chili mac is one of those super delicious meals perfect in many ways. It’s made in one pot and is ready in 30 minutes.
Filled with hearty flavors of turkey, beans, and macaroni, this simple recipe makes a great meal that even picky kids will love!
In Make Mine Veggie, check out our vegan version…
Start by choosing your pasta. We like elbow macaroni or fusilli, but any pasta will work.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Because cooking rates may vary, start checking pasta for doneness about 4 minutes before specified time. When pasta is al dente, drain in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain again and set aside.
Heat oil in a large heavy duty pot. Add onions and cook for 4 minutes. Add peppers and garlic and cook for another minute.
Add turkey and cook until browned, breaking up any big chunks with a spatula or spoon. Drain any excess fat by moving turkey to one side of the pan and tilting pan to allow the fat to collect, blotting it with paper towels.
Stir in chili powder, cumin, paprika, and a little salt and mix through until turkey is fully coated in the seasonings.
Mix in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beer or chicken broth, and beans. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the pasta and toss well to combine.
Serve topped with shredded cheese and add a little spice by garnishing with sliced jalapeños.
The Battle of the Beans
Kidney beans are ideal for chili because of their versatility. However, some swear that pinto beans are the bread and butter of chili. We used red kidney beans and black beans because that’s what we had onhand.
Great northern, cannellini, white and navy make their own kind of chili, white bean.
How about garbanzos? Choose your favorites. After all, there are lots of ways to make a great chili.
Beer or Broth?
My mom made the best chili ever! She would make a big pot on a cold afternoon. We would all be cozy by the fireplace, watching football and eating chili…and more chili. There were never any leftovers. I never did get mom’s recipe, and I’m not sure she even had one. But one ingredient I do remember was the beer.
There are many gluten-free beers. A heavier beer will add a more flavorful dimension than a lite beer. However, the type of beer you should use is up to you. If you’re not sure, try an Ale or IPA.
Or…if you’re not into beer, vegetable, chicken, or turkey broth makes a great substitution.
Make Mine Veggie!
There are so many options to making this vegan. In the photo above, we diced 8 ounces of mushrooms and cooked for 8 minutes. We added the onions and followed the same recipe, eliminating the turkey. You can also add a can of pinto beans or garbanzos in place of the turkey. We used fusilli pasta. Why not add steamed veggies at the last minute, like broccoli and cauliflower florets? Sounds great!
Whichever you choose, this chili mac is really a one pot wonder.
Turkey Chili Mac
Yield 6 Servings
Free of: gluten and top 8 allergens.
Filled with hearty flavors of turkey, beans, and macaroni, this turkey chili mac is simple to prepare and makes a great meal that even picky kids will love!
6 ounces dry weight elbow macaroni pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup gluten-free beer or chicken stock
1 cup cheddar style shreds, such as Daiya
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced (garnish)
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water, draining well. Set aside.
- Heat oil in large heavy duty pot (or casserole pot) over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 4 minutes, stirring often. Add peppers and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add turkey and cook until browned, breaking up any big chunks. Drain any excess fat.
- Stir in the chili powder, cumin, paprika, and salt and mix through until turkey is fully coated in the seasonings.
- Mix in the beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beer or broth. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium-low and simmer while stirring occasionally, until the chili thickens, about 10 minutes.
- Add the cooked pasta and gently toss to combine.
- Portion into bowls. Top with cheese and sliced jalapeños.
Make Mine Veggie!
Substitute any of the following for the ground turkey:
- 8 ounces chopped mushrooms, button or cremini
- 2 cups steamed veggies, such as broccoli and/or cauliflower florets
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1 (15-ounce) can pinto or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
If using mushrooms, start the recipe by sautéing mushrooms for about 8 minutes. Add onions and proceed with recipe, omitting the turkey.
If adding steamed veggies, add during the last 5 minutes.
For corn, also add during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
For the extra can of beans, add with the kidney and pinto beans.