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This Panera turkey chili recipe is a fabulous copycat of the beloved original. Such a delicious soup that's so easy to make at home.
I love the flavors, the colors, and the heartiness of this soup. It calls for ground turkey, but you can certainly substitute ground beef if that's what you have (instructions for both to follow).
Ground turkey is chosen for its lower fat content, and it has a delightfully different flavor as well.
If you choose to use leftover cooked turkey, I include instructions for that as well (in case you want to make it in the days following Thanksgiving).
As you may already know, I'm pretty fond of copycat recipes and love to replicate my own version at home. I typically shoot for "better than," but you can be the judge of that.
If you're not familiar with Panera Bread restaurant, not to worry. Suffice it to say that this recipe is a hearty, flavorful, colorful chili that's fairly mild in the spicy department.
The beauty of this chili is that you can spice it up or down based on your family's preference.
What You'll Need
2 Tablespoons oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 medium onion
12 ounces tomato paste
1 can kidney beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 cup frozen edamame
1 small carrot
½ cup corn
4 cups beef stock
1 teaspoon dry oregano
½ teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
How to Make Turkey Chili
Preheat Dutch oven on medium heat on stove top. If don't have a Dutch oven, any heavy large pot will do. I really love to use my Dutch oven and wouldn't want to be without it. It heats so evenly and is wonderful to cook with!
Once your pot is nice and hot (about 5 minutes should do), you will then add your oil of choice (I typically use olive or coconut oil, but the oil you use is up to you).
Note: If using ground beef in place of the turkey, you will not need oil in the pan.
Next, you will add the ground turkey (or ground beef), onion, and jalapeno and cook 15 minutes, chopping and stirring often.
You will be cooking until the meat is browned and the veggies are softened and a bit translucent. If using ground beef, the time to remove any excess fat in the pan is now before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Once the meat is browned and the veggies softened, you will add the drained beans, frozen shelled edamame (no need to thaw), corn, carrot, beef broth, tomato paste oregano, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper, and salt.
Note: If you don't have fresh or frozen corn, you can use drained canned corn.
Bring the mixture to a boil on medium-high heat, all the while mashing and stirring in the paste to break it up.
Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook 45 minutes. Check periodically to stir and make sure it's not boiling too hard. You want a strong simmer not a rolling boil that might bubble over.
Stir and taste. Add more salt if needed. Serve hot with biscuits, corn bread, or other bread of choice and side salad.
Tips & FAQs
Can I use ground beef in place of the ground turkey?
Absolutely! Ground turkey sticks to the original recipe, but you can use ground beef as a substitute.
Due to the lower fat content of ground turkey, you'll want to select a leaner ground beef if possible. Otherwise, you'll want to make sure to remove most of the fat after browning the ground beef.
If using lean ground beef, you will likely not need to add any oil (and, as above, you make need to remove some of it after browning).
If you have more than 2 Tablespoons of fat in the pan after cooking the ground beef, it's best to remove the excess before continuing with the recipe.
Can I use leftover turkey instead of ground turkey in this chili recipe?
Yes, you certainly can! If you want to use leftover turkey, simply add 2 cups of pre-cooked turkey in step 3 after cooking the onion and jalapeno.
What if I don't have fresh or frozen corn? Can I use canned?
Yes, you can certainly use canned corn. Just make sure to drain it before adding to the rest of the ingredients.
If I don't have beef broth, can I use chicken?
You may substitute chicken broth or stock for the beef broth if that's what you have. I have substituted chicken broth many times for beef in recipes, and it turns out fabulous with only a slight difference in taste (that's hardly noticeable).
My family doesn't like spicy chili. Do I have to use the cayenne pepper?
If you don't want any spice at all in your chili, you may certainly omit the cayenne pepper. Or you can reduce the amount to ¼ teaspoon.
If you're unsure, you can make the recipe without the cayenne and then add a bit at the end if desired. Keep in mind that seasonings like cayenne and chili powder tend to get stronger as they cook.
What can I serve with this Panera turkey chili recipe?
I recommend serving with a side of bread of your choice and a salad. My favorite breads are cornbread, biscuits, and cheese toast, and I have a recipe for each of these.
Some salads that go nicely with this turkey chili:
Strawberry Spinach Salad with lemon poppyseed dressing
Mediterranean Cucumber Salad with lemon dressing
Shaved Brussel Sprouts Salad with creamy honey lime dressing
Simple Mediterranean Salad with lime vinaigrette
Other Copycat Recipes to love:
My family and I love this Panera turkey chili recipe. Please let me know what you think in the comments below. What meat did you use - ground turkey or beef? Any other alterations?
Panera Turkey Chili Recipe (copycat)
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 medium onion , chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 jalapeno , deseeded and finely chopped
- 12 ounces tomato paste
- 15.5 ounces canned kidney beans , drained and rinsed
- 15.5 ounces canned garbanzo beans , drained and rinsed
- 1 cup edamame , frozen
- ¾ cup carrot , chopped (1 small)
- ½ cup corn , fresh or frozen
- 4 cups beef broth or stock
- 1 tsp oregano , dry
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp salt more to taste
- Preheat Dutch oven on medium heat on stove top.
- Add oil, turkey, onion, and jalapeno and cook 15 minutes chopping and stirring often.
- Add rest of the ingredients and mix together.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook 45 minutes.
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