Roasted Jalapeño Turkey Chili

Roasted Jalapeño Turkey Chili (hearty, spicy, & healthy) - Sarcastic Cooking

Mike loves spicy food. I am pretty sure it is general knowledge to all you folk how he loves buffalo sauce and all kinds of sauced up chicken wings. I feel like I mention that fact quite regularly. Mike likes to think he can handle most spicy things but, as he ages, his tolerance for heat is getting less and less (even though he won’t admit this to himself).

It all started to go downhill when we were on our  honeymoon in Mexico and I was chomping away on a ceviche with little bright orange peppers in it. Yeah, it was spicy. I kind of expected that. I hadn’t given it a second thought. I told Mike that I was pretty sure they were habanero peppers. He trying to be all macho, took one little bitty piece of diced pepper, placed it on his tongue, then chomped into it. His whole face lit up like a stop light and he started to profusely sweat. He tried to play it off when the waitress came over but could not hide the tears streaming down his face. She started to make fun of Mike, patronizing him and saying “Llorando? El Bebe llorando?!” (The baby is crying). Then to make up for it, she offered us a jillion tequila shots, but that is a story for a different time.

Despite the tears, he still thinks he can handle the heat. Keep in mind, I was unfazed. Just sayin.

Next up, there was a snaffu with a can of chipotle peppers. This amount of heat would kill anybody. When I first started cooking for him, I decided I was going to make enchiladas. I went to the store and bought some chicken, tortillas, beans, cheese, and a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I cooked the chicken, shredded it. I put the beans and chicken in each tortilla, rolled it up, and placed it in the baking dish. I then took the whole can of chipotle peppers and dumped it into the food processor. Puree, boom. There is my enchilada sauce. Dumb, sooooo dumb.

Roasted Jalapeño Turkey Chili - Sarcastic Cooking

I dumped that all over the tops of the tortillas and then covered with cheese. Mike and I started to eat the enchiladas. I swear to God, I lost feeling in my tongue, it was that spicy. Poor Mike, being the good guy that he is, tried to play it off like they were ok. I couldn’t finish one whole enchilada. It was awful. Talk about an awful date night. We both were sweating, tongues numb, and stomachs in knots. But still he plays it off like it wasn’t that bad.

Then there was this chili. I roasted and added in four jalapeños. Plus I was lazy and didn’t really try and get all the seeds out of the peppers.I don’t know what I was trying to prove. The recipe calls for three. Keep it at three and make sure you get all the seeds out of the peppers if you don’t like a lot of heat, because four peppers was a bit much for us. Rookie mistake. I guess Mike is not the only one who can’t handle heat anymore.

Anyway, without my little pepper overdose, this chili is full of totally healthy and vibrant flavors. Give it a go and let this post be a warning to all you hot pepper newbies not to unwittingly eat habanero peppers or stupidly use a can of chipotle in adobo as enchilada sauce. You’re welcome.

Roasted Jalapeño Turkey Chili

Thick and hearty turkey chili. Not only spicy from the roasted jalapeños but also healthy!
Prep Time 18 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 38 minutes
Servings 8 Cups


  • 3 Jalapeños
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Pound Ground Lean Turkey
  • 1/2 Red Onion diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves finely chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper diced
  • 2 Carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 Celery Stalks diced
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 2 Teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper Flakes use less if you do not like spice
  • 1 1/2 Cups Low Sodium Beef/Chicken Stock
  • 1/4 Cup Tomato Paste
  • 2, 14.5 Ounce Cans Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Set the broiler of your oven to high. Place jalapeños on a baking sheet. broil, turning once, for about 9 minutes until charred. Carefully remove jalapeños, place in a plastic sandwich bag, and seal. Let them steam so the skin is easy to remove while you get all the other ingredients together.
  2. Add olive oil to a large Dutch oven or stock pot. Heat over a medium/high flame. Add the ground turkey. Cook until browned, about 10 minutes, using a spoon to break the turkey apart as it cooks. Remove the turkey and set on a plate off to the side.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium/low and add the vegetables. Saute vegetables for about 10 minutes, until tender.
  4. Once the jalapeños have cooled, peel the skins off. Chop off the stems and use the side of your knife to scrape out the seeds. If you like things spicy, keep the seeds in. Roughly chop the jalapeños and then add to the pot along with the garlic. Stir for a minute to combine.
  5. Add stock, tomatoes, and seasonings. Increase the heat to medium/high. Cover with lid and simmer for an hour until reduced.
  6. Serve with cheese, sour cream, avocado, fresh chopped cilantro or whatever toppings you desire.
  7. Recipe adapted from Easy Gourmet


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