30 Minute Spicy Ancho Turkey Chili

Ancho Turkey Chili in a bowl with toppings.

So here’s the deal: I’m obsessed with this chili.

It’s hearty, zippy, and feel-good with Tex-Mex toppings that make my head spin in the best possible chili-loving way. And I know say this almost all of the time about 99% of the foods that I make and eat, so I totally understand your doubts (obsessed? or overly dramatic?), but someone might need to put a restraining order on me to keep me away from the absolutely cozy-to-your-toes combination of smoky ancho, ground turkey, nutty farro, and fire roasted tomatoes.

Ancho Turkey Chili in a pot with toppings.
Ancho turkey chili in a bowl with toppings.

Flexible + Simple

This is the kind of recipe you can throw together pretty easily. It’s flexible, simple, and so very comforting in that big ol’ dutch oven.

Get some ground turkey from the freezer (or ground beef, or ground chicken, whatever!), a can of black beans, an onion from the shelf, lots of yummy spices, some canned tomatoes and salsa, and your favorite grain from the back of the pantry (farro is a dream).

It’s also SUPER FAST because procrastination is my name and 30 minute meals are my game.

Ingredients in bowls for Ancho Turkey Chili.

Let’s Talk About That Farro

The chili starts with ground turkey that’s browned with a handful of jalapeños, red onions, and garlic and then made wonderfuller with a generous dusting of smoky ancho chili powder and cumin. Then comes the fresh salsa and crushed tomatoes with the black beans and – wait for it – the farro.

I’m about to go weird-foodie-semi-vegetarian-rogue on you in three, two, one —>

The farro is absolutely MY FAVORITE part of the whole chili – that cooked brown-rice-like grain gets tossed in at the end and it makes for a great chili texture by adding a little bit of chewiness and a nice warm nutty flavor.

And just so you can mentally prepare yourself for how this will all go down, this big bowl of healthy-delicious chili requires a handful of your fave tortilla chips as well as every other chili topping in the book because we ♡ toppings. Also perhaps a ridiculously comfy couch, and sweat pants and a hoodie that is five hundred sizes too big. But now I’ve said too much.

Chili in a serving spoon and in a bowl.

You’ve Got Options Here

I would also like to say that you can most definitely make this without the turkey because the farro more than makes up for the texture and heartiness of the ground meat. And all the veggie people cheered! You could also go the other way and omit the farro (but you guys! SAD!) and you could also use a different kind of ground meat. Like beef.

Final word today: please do not ignore the toppings. I know you won’t, because we’re food people who love our toppings something fierce. Green onions, sour cream, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, and a few cilantro leaves are going to put you on a chili magic carpet and take you straight up to cloud nine.

Add all those toppings and stir it up and it starts to look like a mish-mash of spicy Tex-Mex everything in a bowl, right? Yes. Just how I like it. Chili mish-mash perfection.

Ancho turkey chili in a bowl with toppings.

More Delicious Chili Recipes

Watch How To Make This Recipe

Common Questions About Ancho Turkey Chili

I really love eating sweeter chili (not too spicy). How can I make that happen with this recipe?

If you like a sweeter chili, add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste to the meat mixture before adding the salsa, tomatoes, and water.

Is 30 minutes really enough time for this chili?

This chili (like most chili recipes) will taste better after it hangs out for a few hours or even a day or two, so if you have time to throw it in a slow cooker and let it get all delicious for a few hours before serving, I would totally recommend that. But it still tastes good in 30 minutes if that’s all the time you have!

Can I make this chili vegetarian?

Sure! Just replace the turkey with more beans and swap out the chicken broth for veggie broth. We also have a Vegetarian Chili recipe that’s out of this world!

Ancho Turkey Chili-5

30 Minute Spicy Ancho Turkey Chili


Spicy Ancho Turkey Chili delivering big flavors with turkey, black beans, ancho chili powder, tomatoes, and farro. So much yum and cozy in one meal! 


  • 1 cup farro (another grain like brown rice or quinoa would work)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups water, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 23 cloves garlic, minced
  • 23 jalapenos, minced (remove ribs and seeds if you don’t want it to be spicy)
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • one 14-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup salsa (works best with a “fresh” salsa brand like Salsa Lisa)
  • two 14-ounce cans crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • toppings (sour cream, cheese, green onions, tortilla chips)


  1. Bring the chicken broth and 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the farro (or rice or whatever grain you’re using), cover the pot, and reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes or until all liquid is evaporated.
  2. While the farro is cooking, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and jalapeños and saute for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning the garlic. Add the turkey and cook until all the meat is browned and broken apart into “crumbles”. Add the black beans, ancho chili powder, chili powder, cumin, salt, and salsa and simmer for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and however much of the remaining 2 cups water that you feel like you need to get the right consistency. Simmer for a few minutes while the farro finishes cooking in a separate pot.
  3. Add the cooked farro to the pot of chili and stir to combine. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions, and tortilla chips.


  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex

Keywords: spicy turkey chili, turkey chili, ancho turkey chili

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