Smoky and Sweet Turkey Chili

Forget the pancakes…maple syrup is a great addition to chili.
This Smoky and Sweet Turkey Chili is perfect for cold Autumn evenings!

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Forget the pancakes...maple syrup is a great addition to chili! This Smoky and Sweet Turkey Chili is perfect for cold Autumn evenings! When I decided to start writing a food blog several years ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I knew my way around the kitchen, but the whole process of photography and blogging was completely foreign to me.  I have gradually figured out this crazy world of food blogging, but there is still so much more to learn!

One of the best parts about blogging is actually all of the amazing people I’ve met along the way.  Seriously.  On one of my first press trips a couple of years ago, I ended up sitting in the brewery at the Norwich Inn in Vermont chatting with Katie from Healthy Seasonal Recipes.  (On a side note, if you aren’t following Katie’s blog, then start now.  She does amazing work!)

Forget the pancakes...maple syrup is a great addition to chili! This Smoky and Sweet Turkey Chili is perfect for cold Autumn evenings!A while back, Katie announced that she was embarking on a new adventure…one which involved a cookbook!  I was excited to see Katie’s new book, and I was even more excited to see the topic.  Maple.  My wife and I are huge fans of maple syrup.  This area of the country is packed with maple farms, and that means lots of delicious maple syrup.  And maple cream.  And maple cotton candy.  And maple ice cream.  And…this list could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.  And if there’s one thing that goes well with real maple syrup, it’s a cookbook on maple!

Forget the pancakes...maple syrup is a great addition to chili! This Smoky and Sweet Turkey Chili is perfect for cold Autumn evenings!Katie’s cookbook, Maple, includes 100 sweet and savory recipes featuring pure maple syrup.  Thing about that.  You could have a different maple syrup recipe every single day for 3+ months!  Hmmm…maybe I should start that adventure.  Call it like the Julia and Julia version of Maple.  In all seriousness, though, you should absolutely check out this cookbook.  I have a lot of cookbooks, and I can say that this one definitely belongs on the top shelf!

Maple by Katie Webster

Smoky and Sweet Turkey Chili

I’m excited to share a sneak peek at one of the new recipes from Maple.  This Smoky and Sweet Turkey Chili is perfect for chilly Autumn evenings!  Wait.  Are you saying that you put maple syrup into chili?  I thought maple syrup only went with pancakes.  Well, think again!  At first, I was a little skeptical about a chili recipe that included maple syrup.  But I made the recipe exactly as Katie recommended in the book…and I am hooked!  And it’s not just me.  My wife and I had a bowl of this chili for dinner, and she called it “addicting.”  In fact, she asked me to make a triple batch next time.  Yeah, it’s that good!

Forget the pancakes...maple syrup is a great addition to chili! This Smoky and Sweet Turkey Chili is perfect for cold Autumn evenings!If you’re looking to add an excellent cookbook to your collection, then grab a copy of Maple.  And with the holidays coming up, this book would also make a great gift for those hard-to-buy-for people on your list!  Grab a copy of Maple on Amazon.

Did you make this Smoky and Sweet Turkey Chili?  Leave a comment!  Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).

Looking for more tasty chilis and soups?  Check out these favorites, too:

White Bean Turkey Chili
French Onion Soup
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili
Healthy Spinach Artichoke Soup
Maple Bacon Chili

Forget the pancakes...maple syrup is a great addition to chili! This Smoky and Sweet Turkey Chili is perfect for cold Autumn evenings!

Smoky and Sweet Turkey Chili

Forget the pancakes...maple syrup is a great addition to chili.  This Smoky and Sweet Turkey Chili is perfect for cold Autumn evenings!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 291kcal


  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil or organic canola oil divided
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 large Spanish onion diced
  • 1 Tbsp garlic finely chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground dried chipotle or to taste
  • tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted)
  • 1 15-ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup dark pure maple syrup
  • 1 avocado diced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup toasted pepitas pumpkin seeds


  • Heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add turkey and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon and stirring occasionally, until completely browned. Transfer turkey and any juices to a bowl and set aside.
  • Return pot to medium-high heat and add remaining 1 Tbsp oil. Add onion, garlic and salt and cook, stirring often, for 6-10 minutes, until onion is soft and browned.
  • Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, and chipotle and cook, stirring, for 30-90 seconds, until spices are fragrant and starting to toast and darken slightly.
  • Add vinegar and stir for 30-60 seconds, until liquid is evaporated.
  • Add water and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits and spices from the bottom of the pot.
  • Add tomatoes, beans, syrup, and browned turkey, stirring to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-14 minutes, until turkey and onions are tender.
  • Serve topped with avocado, cilantro and pepitas.


Recipe courtesy of Katie Webster (via Maple cookbook).

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  1. You sure are right David – the best part about this whole blogging journey has been the amazing people I have met – in person and virtually! I am a huge fan of Katie’s blog and while I haven’t ever added maple syrup to chili (added chocolate and beer, but not maple) I can imagine just how amazing this is!

    1. Chocolate in chili? I like where you’re going here, Shashi! Isn’t Katie’s blog awesome, though? She always has the best recipes over there! This chili is definitely a keeper…Laura has already requested another batch! 🙂

  2. David, Thank you so much my friend. I look back at our evening at the Norwhich inn and think about how much fun we had and also how much we have both grown since then. It has been so great keeping up with you over these years. Thank you so much for sharing Maple with your readers. Lol about the maple goodies in this region. Too true (by the way maple cotton candy is the only kind I let my girls get at the fair– and they are totally ok with that!) Anyway I am rambling. Looking forward to seeing you at my signing next month down your way.

    1. Oh my gosh, Katie…that feels like forever ago! I look back and think, man I knew nothing back then. But of course, I’ll probably look back on this conversation a couple of years from now and think, man I knew nothing back then. Haha! Thanks so much for including me on this fun opportunity…and I can’t wait to see you in Saratoga next month!! We just went out for dinner in the ‘toga last night. I love that town!

    1. Thank you so much, Amy! I was really skeptical about the maple syrup in chili thing…but woah. Just woah. Do it and don’t ask questions! 🙂

    1. I’m with ya, Medha! Maple syrup is awesome, but it’s somehow gotten cornered into breakfast category. There are so many other things you can do with maple…as you well know! 🙂

  3. This is the third time I am seeing this chili on a fellow bloggers site, and I must say, I am STILL drooling! I love seeing how each of you photographed it, all of you did a fantastic job! Thanks for posting this, because even though I have seen it, I forgot about it! And that’s a shame… because maple smoky and sweet turkey chili?! I NEED IT! Cheers, buddy!

    1. Haha…tell me about it, Cheyanne! I think the 3rd time is the charm…it’s like the universe reaching out to tell you to make this chili this weekend! Seriously, though, Katie’s Maple book is amazing. I was a bit skeptical about maple syrup in chili, but she totally nailed it! My wife has already requested anotehr batch. Hope you have an awesome chili-filled weekend! 🙂

  4. Hi David! Temps here are getting downright cool so this looks really good and comforting! Of course I eat chili any time! I sometimes add a little brown sugar depending on the acidity of the tomatoes. I also like to use leftover meats instead of ground, pork. chicken or turkey, and I’ll use different kinds of beans depending on my pantry supply.

    1. That’s the beauty of chili, right, Dorothy? It can really take all sorts of leftovers and still be delicious. Do give this maple version a shot though…it’s crazy good! If you need some authentic maple syrup from the Northeast, then I might know someone who can hook you up. 🙂

    1. You totally do need to check out Katie’s book + blog! She’s the master of all things maple. I was a bit skeptical of the maple syrup in chili thing, but I made the recipe just like she recommended…and it turned out amazing. Like “lick the bowl” good! Haha! 🙂

  5. It’s definitely that time of year for chilli, isn’t it and I am happy about that (although just bean chilli for me at the moment). I never would have thought about putting maple syrup in it, which is strange as I put maple syrup on pretty much everything else haha.

    1. And now you’ll be putting maple syrup in your chili, Dannii! It’s a really awesome twist on a classic comfort food. I hope you have an amazing weekend!!

  6. It’s that time of year when chili is on heavy rotation in my kitchen. The idea of adding maple syrup to chili does sound very interesting so I may have to try it out. I’m up for being adventurous in the kitchen!! 🙂

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Tamara! Chili season is here! It actually snowed up here yesterday. Granted, it was like a tiny flurry for about 10 minutes…but it was most definitely snow. What the what?!?

  7. That is one sexy cover shot on that book. Salivating right now… thanks.
    The maple in chili sound most intrigueing and seeing as I have some of your kind care package syrup here, it’s on the menu list to check out! Dig the avos on top, perfect!

    1. You’re telling me, Kevin…she nailed that book! Put maple chili on your menu for sure…this was a legit awesome Autumn (and Winter) meal!

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