30 Minute Spicy Ancho Turkey Chili Recipe - Skillful Cook
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30 Minute Spicy Ancho Turkey Chili

49 reviews / 4.8 average

Spicy Ancho Turkey Chili delivering big flavors with turkey, black beans, ancho chili powder, tomatoes, and farro. So much yum and cozy in one meal!

So here's the deal: I'm obsessed with this chili.

It's hearty, zippy, and feel-good with Tex-Mex toppings that make my head spin in the best possible chili-loving way. And I know say this almost all of the time about 99% of the foods that I make and eat, so I totally understand your doubts (obsessed? or overly dramatic?), but someone might need to put a restraining order on me to keep me away from the absolutely cozy-to-your-toes combination of smoky ancho, ground turkey, nutty farro, and fire roasted tomatoes.

Ancho Turkey Chili in a pot with toppings.
Ancho turkey chili in a bowl with toppings.

Flexible + Simple

This is the kind of recipe you can throw together pretty easily. It's flexible, simple, and so very comforting in that big ol' dutch oven.

Get some ground turkey from the freezer (or ground beef, or ground chicken, whatever!), a can of black beans, an onion from the shelf, lots of yummy spices, some canned tomatoes and salsa, and your favorite grain from the back of the pantry (farro is a dream).

It's also SUPER FAST because procrastination is my name and 30 minute meals are my game.

Ingredients in bowls for Ancho Turkey Chili.

Let's Talk About That Farro

The chili starts with ground turkey that's browned with a handful of jalapeños, red onions, and garlic and then made wonderfuller with a generous dusting of smoky ancho chili powder and cumin. Then comes the fresh salsa and crushed tomatoes with the black beans and - wait for it - the farro.

I'm about to go weird-foodie-semi-vegetarian-rogue on you in three, two, one —>

The farro is absolutely MY FAVORITE part of the whole chili - that cooked brown-rice-like grain gets tossed in at the end and it makes for a great chili texture by adding a little bit of chewiness and a nice warm nutty flavor.

And just so you can mentally prepare yourself for how this will all go down, this big bowl of healthy-delicious chili requires a handful of your fave tortilla chips as well as every other chili topping in the book because we ♡ toppings. Also perhaps a ridiculously comfy couch, and sweat pants and a hoodie that is five hundred sizes too big. But now I've said too much.

Chili in a serving spoon and in a bowl.

You've Got Options Here

I would also like to say that you can most definitely make this without the turkey because the farro more than makes up for the texture and heartiness of the ground meat. And all the veggie people cheered! You could also go the other way and omit the farro (but you guys! SAD!) and you could also use a different kind of ground meat. Like beef.

Final word today: please do not ignore the toppings. I know you won't, because we're food people who love our toppings something fierce. Green onions, sour cream, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, and a few cilantro leaves are going to put you on a chili magic carpet and take you straight up to cloud nine.

Add all those toppings and stir it up and it starts to look like a mish-mash of spicy Tex-Mex everything in a bowl, right? Yes. Just how I like it. Chili mish-mash perfection.

Ancho turkey chili in a bowl with toppings.

More Delicious Chili Recipes

Watch How To Make This Recipe

Common Questions About Ancho Turkey Chili

I really love eating sweeter chili (not too spicy). How can I make that happen with this recipe?

If you like a sweeter chili, add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste to the meat mixture before adding the salsa, tomatoes, and water.

Is 30 minutes really enough time for this chili?

This chili (like most chili recipes) will taste better after it hangs out for a few hours or even a day or two, so if you have time to throw it in a slow cooker and let it get all delicious for a few hours before serving, I would totally recommend that. But it still tastes good in 30 minutes if that's all the time you have!

Can I make this chili vegetarian?

Sure! Just replace the turkey with more beans and swap out the chicken broth for veggie broth. We also have a Vegetarian Chili recipe that's out of this world!

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Ancho Turkey Chili-5

30 Minute Spicy Ancho Turkey Chili


Spicy Ancho Turkey Chili delivering big flavors with turkey, black beans, ancho chili powder, tomatoes, and farro. So much yum and cozy in one meal! 


Units Scale
  • 1 cup farro (another grain like brown rice or quinoa would work)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups water, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 jalapenos, minced (remove ribs and seeds if you don't want it to be spicy)
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • one 14-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup salsa (works best with a “fresh” salsa brand like Salsa Lisa)
  • two 14-ounce cans crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • toppings (sour cream, cheese, green onions, tortilla chips)


  1. Bring the chicken broth and 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the farro (or rice or whatever grain you're using), cover the pot, and reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes or until all liquid is evaporated.
  2. While the farro is cooking, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and jalapeños and saute for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning the garlic. Add the turkey and cook until all the meat is browned and broken apart into “crumbles”. Add the black beans, ancho chili powder, chili powder, cumin, salt, and salsa and simmer for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and however much of the remaining 2 cups water that you feel like you need to get the right consistency. Simmer for a few minutes while the farro finishes cooking in a separate pot.
  3. Add the cooked farro to the pot of chili and stir to combine. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions, and tortilla chips.


  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex

Keywords: spicy turkey chili, turkey chili, ancho turkey chili

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I just moved from Tampa, FL to Seattle, WA last week…which means I need to stop eating oranges and fruity things and start eating comforting bowls of this chili.
    I am kind of obsessed with the farro in here, as that is currently my latest jam. You bettah believe this is happening forever and always. Pinned!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    I prefer ground turkey in my chili too…turkey chili for life.
    Awesome news segment, you really didn’t seem nervous! My hands would be shaking so hard I’d drop the muffin in the glaze (um, delicious).

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Food Blogger Shame. Whyyyy do we do this?? 😛
    This chili, yes please! The farro will be a little risky for me, but I’ll give it a try (since you’re like begging me with these pictures!).
    Also, how brave are you guys going on tv? Hats off…

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    You are on TEEEVEEE!! How fun! And yes to chili, it is one of the best things about Fall, that and my hoodie and steaming bowls of coffee. Cannot wait to make this chili this weekend.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Mmmm! I love a healthy chili recipe. I’ve been on a Mexican food kick recently, so I definitely LOVE the addition of ancho chili and salsa. Cannot wait to try this chili recipe! Perfect fall comfort food <3

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    LOVE the sound of this chili … especially with the chewy farro added. I like that you used turkey (=makes it lighter so you can add more yummy toppings).
    Well done re. the news segment! (the link didn’t seem to take me to it, though … am I missing something?)

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks so amazing. As a HUGE fan both of using ground turkey and chili, this is right up my alley. Although I am not looking forward to jackets and sweaters, I cannot wait for perfect fall food like this!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I’ll admit I am totally digging jackets and sweaters. But I am not going to be ready for boots, hats, mittens. WAH!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks SO perfect & cozy for this fall whether that’s been coming on here in New England! I’ve never actually tried faro, but it looks like it give the chili a really nice extra heartiness. I can’t wait to try this one.

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    At first I was a little disappointed when it was clear that summer was definitely over, but it’s chili like this that makes me excited for colder temps! I could eat this everyday…awesome recipe!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      oh no oh no oh no, lately I’ve gotten a little paranoid about my accent. When we went to Aspen, servers at restaurants told us without a doubt mine was the strongest Minnesoooota accent of all my friends. I guess someone’s gotta represent. 😉

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Congrats on the news seg – you did a great job of hiding your nervousness Lindsay! And those maple glazed muffins sound delish – as does this chili – love the farro in it – farro has had me furrowing ma brow, but I need to just bite the bullet -or saucepan and make me some of this chili -with farro!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Oh my. I was shaking so bad and I could hardly breathe. Hahahaha – bravery and gusto on camera is not my strength. YET!

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      Let me start by saying chili is my favorite food, I make it once a month all year round. I’ve made this chili for 5+ years and it’s hands down my favorite recipe. I’ve brought it to work, parties, etc.. and everyone LOVES it 🙂

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    You did great on TV! And those muffins look tasty!
    I think I’m gonna be eating a lot of chili this fall/winter and def agree, this is one of the meals that you can totally wing!

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    I just had to research farro to figure out exactly what kind of grain it is! Looks like it is wheat derived which means it will be off-limits for some of my family. This chili looks amazing though so I will be trying it with another grain!

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Can’t wait to watch the video clip! In the meantime, chili has got to be one of my favorite fall-time foods (especially with Frito Scoops!). Always thought it had to be made for hours on hours on hours on end to taste good. Now there is hope!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Just make sure you boil it long enough. Also, it makes for fantastic leftovers because it continues to soak up moisture (read: sauce and flavor) and so I’d add a little water or broth the next day to re-liven it a bit. YUMMMM.

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    I cant wait for the weather to cool down here in LA (triple digit lately). Foods like this just taste that much better when eaten cold. And I see that your profile now says “former forth grade teacher”. That is cool that you have now taken on blogging full time. But I am sure you miss teaching! You guys are like…every food bloggers’ inspiration!

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    oh my goodness! you were on the news! it was so cute and made me smile!!! the craggly was cracking me up… hahaha

    where did you get the ancho chili spice? and the farro?

    i’ve made several desserts for our small group get togethers (choc pb smores, worlds best choc oatmeal cake, simple oat & pecan blueberry crisp, etc) and they are ALWAYS a big hit!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        My Super Target didn’t have it 🙁 have you seen it anywhere else? or do you know of any substitutions?