Turkey Sausage Chili

This is a simple and somewhat lighter chili recipe using turkey sausage and a medley of peppers along with the traditional tomatoes and kidney beans. The addition of fresh cilantro and a splash of lime just before serving adds a nice fresh flavor to an otherwise hearty dish. Serve with tortilla chips for a quick and easy one-dish meal.

Turkey Sausage Chili

Turkey Sausage Chili

Yield: 4 servings

A lighter version of a classic made with crumbled Italian sausage, beans, tomatoes, fresh cilantro and lime.


  • 1 lb sweet Italian turkey sausage, removed from casings
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 green pepper, cored and seeded, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 can (15-ounce) red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can (15-ounce) diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Freshly shredded Monterey jack or cheddar cheese
  • Tortilla chips


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until soft and beginning to turn golden. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  2. Add the sausage to the pan and cook until lightly browned, breaking up large chunks with a wooden spoon, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the jalapeños and green and red peppers and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the kidney beans, tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the cumin, chili powder and cayenne, combine well, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice and spoon into serving bowls. Top each with some shredded cheese and serve with tortilla chips on the side.