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Three Bean Chilli Con Carne With Turkey Mince

Filled to the brim with beans, this Three Bean Chilli Con Carne With Turkey Mince will not only satisfy the whole family, it’s super healthy and tastes amazing. The perfect supper for those cold Autumn evenings.

A large white frying pan filled with cooked turkey chilli con carne with a silver spoon sat inside. In the background there is a filled bowl and guacamole next to it.

What Makes This Recipe Great!

  • Cost effective – This makes a delicious meal that doesn’t scrimp on flavour but goes easy on the pocket.
  • You can make it ahead – It actually tastes better if you make it ahead. You can freeze it too, making it perfect for big batch cooking and a great make-ahead meal..
  • Great for everyone – Our recipe isn’t too spicy but you can adjust the spice levels and make it even milder (or spicier) to suit the palates of your whole family.

About This Recipe – In More Detail

I love a recipe that is not only great for the family, but will save you some money too. My version of a Turkey Chilli Con Carne recipe is filling, flavourful and comforting. This recipe makes a generous portion for 6 which is easy to scale up for parties when you need to serve many people.

Packed full of beans, a lean meat, tomato base and lots of flavour and spices, everyone will love this recipe and it’s very easy to make.

It can be enjoyed in lots of ways. You can serve it with rice or on top of nachos. As a filling for jacket potatoes or loaded fries. You can even eat it alone with cornbread on the side.

I love turkey recipes. Turkey is a versatile meat that can be used for plenty of different meals and shouldn’t just be enjoyed at Christmas or Thanksgiving. I have used it in this turkey mince lasagne as a great alternative to beef mince, and in this Turkey En Croute which is a quick option to use, instead of roasting a full turkey, making it a great choice for dinner parties and Sunday Roasts. I’ve even changed things up in the Turkey Smashed Burgers recipe and created a roast dinner in a bun.

Equipment Needed

  • Large Frying Pan – To Cook the chilli con carne in.
  • Sharp Knife – To slice up the vegetables.
  • Chopping Board – To slice the vegetables upon.
  • Wooden Spoon or Spatula – To stir the chilli as it cooks.


  • Turkey Mince – I use this lean meat in place of ground beef in this recipe. However, you can still use beef or chicken mince if you prefer. For the leanest option, choose turkey breast mince. 
  • Fresh Red Onion and Garlic Cloves – Both of these ingredients add taste to this dish. They should not be substituted for onion or garlic granules but you can, however, use a white or brown onion instead.
  • Red Pepper and Yellow Pepper – You can also use orange peppers or try only one colour of peppers if you wish.
  • Fresh Coriander (cilantro) Stems – We only need the stems for this recipe, you can save the coriander leaves to use as a garnish.
  • Cumin, Hot Smoked Paprika, Ground Coriander – These dry ground spices come together to give our turkey mince chilli con carne its flavour.
  • Canned Chopped Tomatoes – Stick with canned chopped tomatoes for best results.
  • Chipotle Chilli Paste – This smoky, mild chilli paste goes well with this chilli recipe. However, you can also use canned chipotles in Adobo sauce if you wish.
  • Dark Soft Brown Sugar – This gives this chilli a sweetness that cuts through the spiciness and enhances the flavours.
  • Kidney Beans, Black Beans, Black Eyed Beans – I use this combination of beans for this chilli but you can also try chilli beans or pinto beans too.
  • Beef Stock – This gives this dish a beefy flavour making it a little closer to the original. You can also use chicken stock or omit the meat and use vegetable stock. However, the flavour will alter slightly with these substitutions.
  • Worcestershire Sauce – This vinegary sauce adds flavour and seasoning to our dish.

An overhead view of the cooked chilli con carne in a pan with a hand stirring it with a wooden spoon.

What is Chilli Con Carne?

Known, sometimes as simply ‘Chili’ or ‘Chilli, Chilli Con Carne is a spicy type of beef stew that often has a tomato base and contains chili peppers. ‘Con carne’ is Spanish and means ‘With Meat’.

Although many would associate Chilli Con Carne with originating in Mexico, the modern versions of the recipe actually originate mostly in Texas. However, Chili has its foundations based on recipes that did originally come from Mexico in the 1500s. Nowadays, it is considered a ‘Tex-Mex’ recipe of which there are many versions and much discussion about what is authentic and what is not.

Chili aficionados will argue that the inclusion of beans is a no-no. However, in many commercial recipes and vegetarian versions, beans are included. In vegetarian recipes, beans will completely replace the meat. Meatless chilli is known as ‘chilli sin carne’ or ‘chilli non carne’.

Often served up with white rice, tortilla chips, guacamole, sour cream and lime wedges on the side, chilli con carne has lots of Mexican flavours and is the perfect comfort food. 

In this chili recipe, you will find a mixture of both lean ground turkey meat and beans in a mild, spicy tomato sauce.

Step-By-Step Guide – How To Make Chilli Con Carne With Turkey Mince

Step 1: Prepare the vegetables

  • Begin by finely slicing the onions and the yellow and red bell pepper. Set them aside.
  • Crush the garlic, chop the fresh coriander (cilantro) stems, and measure out the spices.

Step 2: Drain and wash the beans

  • Drain and wash the canned beans.

Step 3: Prepare the beef stock

  • Prepare the beef stock according to the package instructions.

Step 4: Sauté the onions

  • Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium heat.
  • Add the sliced onions and fry them until they become soft.
Two hands are slicing the vegetables on a chopping board using a knife.
A hand is stirring the sliced red onion in a frying pan as it cooks.

Step 5: Add the peppers

  • Add the sliced peppers to the pan and continue frying until they also become soft.

Step 6: Add the garlic and coriander stems

  • Add the crushed garlic and chopped coriander stems to the pan and fry for another minute.
A hand is using a wooden spoon to stir the peppers and onion in a frying pan as they cook.
A hand is adding minced garlic to a frying pan that contains peppers and onion.

Step 7: Cook the minced meat

  • Add the minced meat to the pan and fry until it is browned and thoroughly cooked.

Step 8: Add the spices

  • Add the measured spices to the pan and stir them in.
  • Cook until the spices smell toasted and aromatic.

Step 9: Incorporate the remaining ingredients

  • Add the chopped tomatoes, chipotle paste, canned beans, and sugar to the pan.
  • Mix well until everything is combined.
A hand is adding smoked paprika to a frying pan that contains cooked turkey mince and vegetables.
A hand is adding chipotle paste to a frying pan that contains other turkey chilli con carne ingredients.

Step 10: Add the stock and Worcestershire sauce

  • Pour in the prepared beef stock and add Worcestershire sauce to the pan.
  • Season with Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste.
  • Reduce the heat to low.

Step 11: Simmer and thicken

  • Allow the chili con carne to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid reduces and the mixture thickens.
A hand is adding beef stock to the frying pan containing the rest of the turkey chilli con carne ingredients.
The turkey chilli con carne is simmering in a white frying pan.

Note: The cooking time for the chili con carne will depend on how thick you want the final consistency to be. You can adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Why I Use Turkey Mince In This Recipe

Beef is the usual meat found in chilli con carne and therefore with our turkey mince replacing the beef and the inclusion of beans, we can’t proclaim that this recipe is at all authentic to its Tex-Mex origins. However, we can tell you that our version is full of flavour, filling and totally delicious.

So why do we use turkey mince in this recipe? Turkey mince, in comparison to beef mince is a leaner meat.

Turkey mince is a great option for the whole family, including younger children, so this makes our turkey chilli con carne a great family-friendly recipe.

Turkey mince is also cheaper to buy, so you save yourself some money at the supermarket too.

We do, however, ‘beef up’ this recipe with the addition of beef stock, so you’ll find it pretty difficult to taste the difference between the two meats.

A close up view of the recipe in a bowl, topped with guacamole and soured cream.


What does Chilli Con Carne Mean?

Chilli con carne is Spanish and means ‘Chilli With Meat’.

Do Beans Belong in Chilli Con Carne?

According to many, especially in Texas where the recipe originates, any chilli con carne that contains beans is not an authentic version of the recipe. However, many recipes including vegetarian versions and commercially made recipes often include various varieties of beans.

Can Chilli con carne be frozen?

Yes, chilli con carne can be frozen and our recipe is perfect for the freezer. I actually find that by freezing it, the flavours mature and deepen.

An overhead view of chilli con carne in a bowl, cupped by two hands.

Pro Tips and Guidance

  • Adjust the spice level – This recipe has a mild spice level. If you like it hot, add in extra chilli powder or use some cayenne pepper. If you want an even milder version use sweet smoked paprika instead of the hot version and less chipotle paste.
  • It’s best eaten the day after – Making it ahead and storing it in the fridge overnight allows the flavours to deepen and mature.
  • You can substitute the meat – Beef and chicken mince will also work well.
  • Make it for Kids – Swap out the hot paprika for a sweet version, add less chipotle paste and use a low sodium stock, making it suitable for everyone in the family.
  • Make it Vegan – Omit the meat, add an extra can of beans and use a vegetable stock instead.
  • Allow the flavour to develop – Simmer it gently as it reduces down to develop the flavours as it cooks.
Turkey chilli con carne in a white pan that has a wooden handle.

Storage and Reheating

  • Storage: You can store cooked turkey chilli con carne once it has cooled, in the fridge for up to 2 days in an airtight container. I actually recommend cooking this ahead of time as it gives the flavours time to mature.
  • Freezing: You can also freeze it. Store in an airtight freezer-safe container or a sealed freezer bag for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: This can be done in a pan over heat or in the microwave. Just ensure the Chilli Con Carne is piping hot all the way through before serving.

Check Out These Accompanying Recipes

Overhead view of the cinema style nacho cheese with a hand dipping in a nacho.

Nacho Cheese Dip

This delicious Nacho Cheese Dip is a great accompaniment to chilli con carne when you load up nachos or fries with it.

Overhead view of the Guacamole in a white bowl.

Quick Guacamole

Using only 5 ingredients, you can make this easily digestible, Quick Guacamole with fresh avocados.

Mozzarella stuffed garlic doughballs broken open.

Cheese Stuffed Dough Balls

Make some Cheesy Dough Balls and use them to scoop up this Turkey Chili.

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Turkey chilli con carne in a white pan that has a wooden handle.

Three Bean Chilli Con Carne With Turkey Mince

4.89 from 9 votes
Filled to the brim with beans, this Three Bean Chilli Con Carne With Turkey mince will not only satisfy the whole family, it's super healthy and tastes amazing. The perfect supper for those cold Autumn evenings.
Print Recipe Pin Rate Save
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 547kcal


  • 1 Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 800 g Turkey Mince
  • 1 Red Pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 Yellow Pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch Fresh Coriander, stems only, chopped
  • 2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Hot Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 4 tbsp Dark Soft Brown Sugar
  • 800 g Canned Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Chipotle Chilli Paste, heaped
  • 400 g Canned Kidney Beans, , drained and rinsed
  • 400 g Canned Black Eyed Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 400 g Canned Black Beans
  • 250 ml Beef Stock
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce


  • Finely slice the peppers and onion. Set them aside.
  • Crush the garlic and chop the coriander stems.
  • Prepare the beef stock and measure out the spices.
  • Fry the onions in a pan with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt, until they become soft and translucent.
  • Add the finely sliced peppers and fry for a little longer, allowing the peppers to soften.
  • Add the crushed garlic and continue frying to release the flavour.
  • Add the turkey mince and fry until browned and cooked all the way through. Break it up as it cooks with a spoon or spatula.
  • Stir through the fresh coriander stems and dry spices and cook for another few minutes until aromatic.
  • Wash and drain the beans and add them to the pan, mix through.
  • Stir in the chipotle paste, tomatoes and sugar.
  • Pour in the beef stock and a splash of Worcestershire sauce and turn the heat down to low.
  • Simmer until the liquid has reduced to your desired level and the Chilli con Carne is thick.
  • Serve immediately or cool before storing.


Recipe Notes

  • For the best flavours, make this recipe a day ahead and store it in the fridge overnight. 
  • You can freeze it for up to 3 months. 
  • Simmer it gently, this allows the flavours to develop as it cooks. 
  • You can replace the turkey mince for beef or chicken mince. 
  • You can make this vegetarian or vegan. Omit the mince, replace with an extra can of beans and swap the stock for a vegetable version. 
  • You can make this for children. Substitute the hot smoked paprika for a mild one, a low sodium stock and less chipotle, depending on how spicy you want it. 

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 547kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 639mg | Potassium: 937mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 971IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 127mg | Iron: 6mg

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