This is a pretty standard turkey chili recipe except for the addition of quinoa, which adds both protein and thickness. While some people make turkey chili for health benefits, the great news is that it’s simply a delicious soup. This recipe is perfect for a cold weeknight day when you need something warm!
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a 6-quart stockpot over medium heat. Brown the ground turkey, breaking it into small bite-size pieces, 8 minutes.
Add the onion and the bell peppers and allow them to soften, 6 minutes. Add the salt, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and bay leaves. Stir to combine.
Pour in the kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato juice, chicken stock, and quinoa. Stir and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the soup. Simmer until the quinoa is soft, 20-30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, then serve.
Since turkey does not have a lot of fat, cooking the ground turkey in some oil will add some necessary browning and flavor.
Adding the spices to the cooked vegetables and ground turkey before adding in the liquids of the soup will allow the spices to bloom. This translates into greater and deeper flavor, which would not be quite as noticeable if the spices were added after the liquids.
Using fire-roasted diced tomatoes will add just a bit of extra flavor to the chili. They’re not a necessity, and regular diced tomatoes can be used, but the fire-roasted ones make everything just a bit better.
If simmering the soup for longer than 30 minutes, hold the quinoa and do not add until the last 20 minutes of cooking.