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Bacon-Turkey-Tequila Chili

A smoky, spicy chili that's lightened up by the turkey... but still gets some indulgent rich flavor from the bacon and tequila. This recipe can be made in a slow cooker or on the stove.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Cuisine Tex-Mex
Servings 8 2-cup servings


  • 1/4 pound bacon diced
  • 2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 3 oz tequila
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 large onion diced
  • 2 tbsp chipotle sauce (Look for either chipotle-in-adobo or salsa chipotle in the Mexican section of your grocery store. You may want to use less depending on your spice preference.)
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 42 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 30 ounces pinto beans


  • Heat a large nonstick frying pan, then add your diced bacon. Allow the bacon to cook, but don't pour off the (delicious) bacon fat - this will add flavor and depth to your chili.
  • Once the bacon has rendered its fat (about three minutes), add the ground turkey. Use a fork to cut/toss the turkey, ensuring it cooks into crumbles instead of one large mass. This is a lot of turkey to brown at once! (You can also brown one batch at a time, if your pan isn't large enough.) Cooking time will vary based on the size/depth of your pan.
  • When the turkey juices have cooked off and the pan is mostly dry, pour in two shots of tequila and allow the alcohol to cook off. In the meantime, add your spices: cumin, coriander, paprika, marjoram, allspice, garlic, and of course, salt and pepper.
  • You have two options from here. If you're in a hurry, you can finish your chili on the stove: just add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes. If you've got more time and don't want to hang around the stove, dump the contents of the pan and the rest of your ingredients (beans, tomatoes, onions, chipotle sauce, and worcestershire sauce) into a slow cooker. Give it a stir and cook on high for 2-3 hours. The longer you cook it, the more the beans will disintegrate, turning it into a thick sauce rather than distinct components.
  • Serve with sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, cilantro, or any of your other favorite chili toppings.