Maggie’s Turkey Chilli

This is the perfect food for a cold wintry night. It’s super quick to prepare, fantastic for batch cooking, can be flexible in terms of the choice of beans and is a great way to use frozen vegetables and tinned staples. Its also a fantastic way to get a wide variety of plant based ingredients into your family, vital for feeding their microbiome and supporting immunity.

In fact if you wanted to you could easily swop out the meat, substituting it with sweet potato and then you’d have a vegan option too. This is what I love about flexible cooking, you don’t need to stick rigidly to all the ingredients and then you can make it fir your family’s dietary choices.

Remember too, that each spice that you use, is an additional plant based ingredient that not only adds richness and flavour, but also helps to feed you gut bacteria. And as the research shows, a healthy gut is a key to ensuring overall health!

Whenever I have this for dinner it reminds me of happy days spent in Westchester county, New York, where we used to live and my wonderful friend and amazing chef, Margaret, or as she’s also known to her friends, Maggie.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.


500g ground turkey

1 cup coarsely chopped onion

4 cloves of garlic peeled and minced

1 cup diced celery

1 cup diced carrots

2 tsp chili flakes

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp cinnamon

3 tins of tomatoes

2 tins of black beans

2 tins of cannellini beans

500ml of chicken stock

1 tin of sweetcorn (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional- 1/2 tsp Asafoetida (I use this when I’m cooking as my daughter is highly allergic to onions and garlic so I often omit these 2 ingredients from my cooking. This is a great taste substitute too for anyone following a Low fodmap diet.)

Remember that this recipe allows for flexibility too. You can use any beans of your choice. I didn’t have cannelloni beans so I added chickpeas (I know that’s a bit random but needs must) and some frozen butternut squash that I wanted to use up.

If like me you like to batch cook then you can just double the quantities, and freeze for a day your too busy to cook.



I like to use my InstantPot as it gives me such flexibility and produces nutritious food so quickly and easily. I browned the turkey meat on the sauté function, breaking it up into little pieces. You could also brown the onions and garlic.  Then simply added the rest of the ingredients. I selected “meat/stew” then hit the “Delay” function so that it will be ready precisely when we want to eat!

2. Slow cooker

A slow cooker would work just as well. As above, brown the turkey meat, breaking into small pieces (browning onions and garlic optional) and then simply added the rest of the ingredients. Set to cook on low or high depending how quickly you want it to be ready.

3. Conventional casserole cooking.

If you don’t have either of these then simply sauté your onions and garlic in a casserole dish for 5 mins, then brown the turkey for another 5 mins. Add the remaining ingredients and put in a pre-heated oven (180F) for approx. 2 ½- 3 hours. Check on it regularly, stirring and add additional liquid if needed.

NB, I didn’t use any additional oil to sauté the meat but you’ll need a splash of olive oil if you’re going to sauté any vegetables.

Serving suggestions:

Garnish with sour cream or plain Greek or coconut yogurt, shredded cheddar cheese, and chopped fresh coriander. It also goes great with tortilla chips or corn bread. You could also add rice of your choice.

Published by Katherine Brookhouse

I am a MSc Qualified Nutritional Therapist, using the Functional Medicine Model. I am passionate about using Nutrition & Lifestyle interventions to positively influence health, mood and vitality. I use scientifically underpinned, individualised protocols to help support your health & goals.

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