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Turkey Chili with Cacao

Ground turkey simmers in savory spices and a hint of chocolate for a warm, comforting bowl of chili. Bonus: It’s easy to customize based on whatever you have in your fridge!

It’s the ultimate comfort food! This smoky, bean-free turkey chili has just a hint of chocolate to keep everyone coming back for more.

If you want to get your family to happily eat more Paleo-friendly meals, this turkey chili should be your go-to. All you need is one large pot, a few basic ingredients, and less than an hour of your time before this chili is ready for the table.

To avoid salt in this recipe, we amp up the other seasonings—chili powder, paprika, cumin, black pepper, and, of course, cacao powder. This makes for a nice mild chili that isn’t too spicy for most people. If you like your chili a bit spicier, add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, or dice up a whole jalapeño and add it along with the bell peppers.

If you’re really feeling ambitious, you can also add a few hearty veggies to make it even healthier. Chopped carrots or cubed butternut squash would taste great!

Start by sauteing onions and garlic, then add the turkey and cook until browned. Next, add all your seasonings, then stir in diced tomatoes and beef broth—preferably homemade bone broth for the best nutritional profile. Simmer until the chili is thick and bubbly, then serve with avocado slices, scallions, and/or fresh cilantro!

Tip: You can also use ground beef instead of turkey if you prefer—just be mindful that turkey has fewer calories and less saturated fat!

Can’t get enough savory stew? Bring your chili game to the next level with this tasty wild game version using venison loin, ground bison, and red wine.

For hundreds of pure Paleo recipes be sure to check out The Real Paleo Diet Cookbook and The Real Paleo Diet Fast and Easy.


  • Recipe by:
  • Serves: 6
  • Meal: Dinner
  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
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  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced

  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 1/2 lb ground turkey

  • 3 tbsp chili powder

  • 3 tbsp cacao powder

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 2 14 oz cans of unsalted diced tomatoes

  • 1/4 cups unsalted beef bone broth

  • Avocado slices, for serving

  • Sliced scallions, for serving

  • Fresh cilantro, for serving


  1. Warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and bell peppers and cook until softened, about five minutes.

  2. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the ground turkey. Break it apart with a wooden spoon as you cook until browned, about six to eight minutes. Season with all the spices and stir until well combined.

  3. Add the tomatoes and broth, stir well. Bring the liquid to a low boil, then reduce heat to low-medium and let it simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Remove the chili off the heat and let it rest for five minutes before serving. Garnish with avocado slices, green onion, and cilantro if you wish, and serve!

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