Chipotle Turkey-Apple Chili


Have you ever been so excited to go to a new and different place but, while absolutely loving the excitement of it all for the first bit, after a while you start to realize how much you miss home and all the things you loved about it? That’s kind of how I’m feeling about the change in seasons. While I’m so excited for fall with the cooler temperatures, sweatshirts and leggings all day-everyday, and all the fall foods, a part of me is longing for those long summer days, easy shorts and a t-shirt, and warm weather. I mean, summer was just here! And now…it’s not. :(

Perhaps the dreary weather has me feeling wistful, but one thing that has reminded me again just how wonderful fall can be is this Chipotle Turkey-Apple Chili. Your classic chili can sometimes seem more fitting for a cold, winter evening, whereas this turkey-apple chili could not be more appropriate for fall. I’m coming at you with yet another apple recipe this week! This was another of the many recipes I made using the apples Philip and I picked a couple weeks ago.


With chopped apple and apple cider cooked into this chili, the chili has just a hint of sweetness and balances out the smoky heat of the chipotle chilies nicely. This is one of those chilies where you don’t want the leftovers to end — it’s just that good!


Nutritionally speaking, using ground turkey keeps this chili leaner than using ground beef and rather than using brown sugar that’s often found in chilis, the apple naturally sweetens the soup. For added staying power, black beans are added. A cup of fresh or frozen corn would also be a welcome addition if you wanted something a little more.

I’m telling you, this chili has pretty much replaced any other chili recipe that I have. I’ve been making it ever since Philip and I were married and it’s one that I keep going back to year after year. Sure, there’s a time for a traditional chili, but more often than not, this is the one we’re gravitating towards.


Not only is this a favorite because of the unique flavor profile, it’s a favorite because it’s so easy to throw together on a weeknight! With busy schedules and fall activities, that’s definitely a bonus everyone can appreciate.

With a chili like this, it’s hard to keep longing for summer. I’m back in love with fall and all the good things it has to offer. :)

Chipotle Turkey-Apple Chili

Serves 6


  • 1 lb 99% fat-free ground turkey
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped (I used a red onion, but any type would be fine) 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 chipotle chili (seeds removed) in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon adobo sauce from chipotle chilies
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips, for topping


  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat then add the turkey, the Granny Smith apple, and onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook until turkey is no longer pink, breaking it up as it cooks.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the chopped chipotle chili and sauce, chili powder, and cumin; stir and cook for an additional minute.
  3. Add tomato sauce, chicken broth, apple cider, bay leaf, and cinnamon to the pot. Turn heat up to high and bring chili to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 more minutes. Scoop into bowls, topping with shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

Adapted from: Iowa Girl Eats