Beef (or Turkey) Chili

in Beef, Chicken & Turkey, Pantry Staples, Soup, Stew, and Chili, Tailgating Favorites

Shannon\'s Chili

Happy Independence Day to my fellow Texans! Or “Frito Pie and Shiner Day,” however you see fit to celebrate.

Jason and I have our ideas about what good chili is – and is supposed to be. Me – ridiculously spicy with no beans or ground beef (cubed beef cuts only). Jason – no beans, thick and loaded with ground beef. My friend Shannon shared her recipe for chili and it looked exactly like something Jason would like.

I stand corrected. Jason loved it. As in, “you don’t have to make that other kind again” loved it. (“That other kind” being my favorite.) I made a quadruple batch – yep, quadruple – before the baby’s arrival and froze it in quart-sized bags. To say we’ve eaten our fair share of Frito Pie around here is an understatement. You won’t hear either of us complain – Shannon knows her chili.

Shannon\'s Chili

Shannon’s Beef or Turkey Chili

Our favorite chili, perfect for frito pie or gameday.


  • 1 lb ground turkey or lean ground beef
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder*
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin*
  • 1 tsp Tobasco*
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar


*Wild cards. Start with these amounts and then taste after simmering. I usually double the cumin and increase the chili powder by 2-3x. And I pour in the Tobasco until Jason takes the bottle away.
  1. Crumble the ground turkey into a stock pot or large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion and garlic, and cook stirring frequently until turkey is evenly browned.
  3. Drain off excess grease.
  4. Season with chili powder, oregano, cumin and hot sauce.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes and vinegar.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 1 hour.
  7. Stir occasionally to prevent burning on the bottom.


Yields: 4-6 servings

Source: My friend Shannon

Estimated time: 1 hour 15 minutes

16 comments… add one

  • This may be a strange comment and, if it is, I will chalk it up to little sleep last night. But when you say your favorite chili has no beans and no ground beef, what the heck is in it? Curious minds want to know.

    Thanks for this recipe. It sounds great and I plan on trying it.

  • Gotta love chilli! It’s a hearty meal that most homes enjoy. Thanks for your rendition of the loveable recipe! :)

  • Dani – Chalk it up to *my* lack of sleep. I never liked ground beef in my chili, always used cubed tri tip, roast, or sirloin if they’re on sale. Or I just grab the “chili pack” of random meat cubes :) But I’m now a ground beef convert.

  • This looks like a fantastic chili! I think I’ll try it out the next time that I am feeling in the mood for chili.

  • Delia

    I’m with your husband – ground beef, no beans.

  • What a lovely chili! I also agree…beef, no beans!

  • Lizzy

    Yum, that looks delicious!

  • Never made chili with turkey. Going to have to try this recipe out.
    Thank you!

  • foodie – that sounds good too. I might try it both ways!

  • Amanda

    I may have my Southerner badge revoked for this, but I like beans in my chili! Steak or ground beef is fine by me. :) I tried your other chili recipe not long ago, and it was great, even though I didn’t have all the ingredients!

  • I am a native Texan and love beans in my chili, but I love it without beans, as well. This chili looks so good.

  • Dani

    probablu a stupid question but it looks so good and I wanna try it… How many people does this serve? (:

    • Dani – 3-4 bowls. We usually use it spooned over Fritos for Frito pie so it goes a little farther than just having a bowl of chili.

  • Kathy

    Made this last night – WOW. I added some black beans and peppers too. Perfect football chili! Thanks for sharing:-)

  • I have made this recipe 3 times now, both with beans and without, we love it!!!! My husband’s exact words were ” This chili is on point! So meaty and thick! Don’t make any other chili, ever!” So, thank you! It’s a keeper in our house and rivals his favorite “other” chili, a venison black bean chili. :)

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