Molé Turkey Chili

Molé Turkey Chili

Molé Turkey Chili has a total depth of flavor you won’t get from any ordinary chili and plenty of spice to heat up an otherwise chili (get it) day!

An overhead vertical photo looking inside cast iron a pot of deep, rich, mole turkey chili.

While this spicy mole turkey chili recipe may not be a traditional chili in terms of what you’re used to, with the addition of cocoa powder and cinnamon, that’s what makes it original…and unique, with a delicious depth of flavor!

**Please Note – The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making Mole Turkey Chili is available at the end of this post. OR you can hit the “jump to recipe” button above to be taken directly to the recipe. 

A horizontal photo of turkey chili in a small cast iron pot with small bowls of spices and a spoon in the background.

The ingredient list;

**Note – The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned

Kitchen tools and equipment;

How this recipe came about –

The call for the Chili Cook-Off went out, and I immediately knew I had to participate.

To enter this prestigious chili cook-off, I tied on my thinking cap and came up with a fun twist to my traditional homemade chili.

The result is a unique and flavorful recipe I like to call Olé Mole Turkey Chili.

Where did molé sauce originate?

I recently read that the word molé is a loose translation for the word, mix.

Molé sauce originated in Mexico, and legend has it that a group of nuns in a convent combined every ingredient they had in the cupboards to create a dish for the archbishop, and thus molé was born.

Molé sauce always includes chili pepper, but cocoa powder, fruit, nuts, and cinnamon (to name a few) are also common ingredients in a molé sauce.

How to make molé turkey chili;

  • In a large Dutch oven or heavy bottom stockpot, brown the ground turkey and the chorizo in the olive oil.
  • Add the diced bell peppers and onion.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and the dry seasonings.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the drained beans, brown sugar, cocoa powder, tomato puree, diced tomatoes, and beer.
  • Stir well to combine.
  • Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  • Right before serving, add 2 tablespoons of butter, and additional brown sugar, salt, and pepper, if desired.
  • Serve hot with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese (optional).
An overhead closeup horizontal photo looking inside a cast iron pot of turkey chili with beans, chorizo, and tomatoes.

Why this mole turkey chili recipe works?

This chocolaty, cinnamony, and meaty chili is pungent and spicy with just a slight hint of Mexican beer in the background for even more flavor.

One spoonful of this chili and you’ll soon be singing its praises…Olé, Olé, Olé, Olé, Molé, Molé, Molé, Molé!

Don’t let the somewhat long list of ingredients put you off from making this recipe! While the ingredient list may be lengthy, the ingredients are mostly spices and seasonings you probably already have on hand in your own pantry.

A square collage image of the process of making ole mole turkey chili.

What about the beer in this recipe? Can it be left out?

You also don’t need to use Mexican beer. I was being cheeky when I used Corona and named this Olé Molé turkey chili. You can use whatever beer you happen to have on hand.

Or, you can opt-out of the beer altogether and substitute an equal amount of water with a splash of apple cider vinegar, or the juice of one lime, for a little hint of brightness that brings all the flavors together.

How much turkey chili does this recipe make?

This recipe makes a huge pot of chili so you might want to invite a bunch of family and friends over to share it with you.

This recipe (as written) makes approximately 2 quarts of mole chili.

How long will can this chili be store in the refrigerator?

You store mole chili in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

Can mole turkey chili be frozen?


Make sure you cool the chili completely before freezing.

Add it to an air-tight freezer container (or two) and freeze for up to 3 months.

What are some good sides that go well with molé turkey chili?

“We are a family of cornbread lovers! I especially love to play around with the mix-ins and come up with fun new flavor combinations. This one for Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread is one of my family’s favorites!

A horizontal overhead photo of a stack of Jalapeno cheddar cornbread on a golden color plate with corn kernels on the plate.

Horchata is made from long-grain rice, blanched almonds, vanilla, sugar, lime, and cinnamon. It is then blended together and strained to make a creamy beverage that looks just like cow’s milk but in fact, it has no dairy whatsoever.”

An overhead closeup image of a mug of homemade horchata with ice, a cinnamon stick, wedge of lime, and grains of rice on a black and bright green background.

Heart-Healthy Avocado Mango Salad With Lime Poppy Seed Vinaigrette is a brightly flavored, cool, and satisfying salad.

A horizontal photo of an avocado and mango salad on a platter with limes, tongs, and a jar of homemade vinaigrette on the side.

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A neurologist was the one who recommended I get myself some, and it was the best thing he could have told me to do, so now I pass that information on to you!

A vertical title text closeup image of a cast iron pot of mole turkey chili with a ladle.

Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today’s spicy and hearty mole turkey chili.

Yield: 8 servings

Mole Turkey Chili

Mole Turkey Chili

Molé Turkey Chili has a total depth of flavor you won't get from any ordinary chili, and plenty of spice to heat up an otherwise chilly (chili) day! 

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 pound chorizo
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoons dried oregano
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 3 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cans (15 ounces) black beans, drained
  • 2 cans (29 ounces) tomato puree
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes, with their liquid
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 beer (12 ounces) 
  • 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Sour cream, optional, for garnish
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded, optional, for garnish


    1. In a large Dutch oven over medium/high heat, brown the ground turkey and chorizo in the olive oil, stirring often.
    2. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
    3. Add the bell peppers, onions, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 3-4 minutes.
    4. Add the remaining salt, pepper, spices, cocoa powder, and tomato paste to the pan, stirring occasionally for 1-2 minutes.
    5. Reduce the heat to medium/low and stir in the remaining ingredients, in the order given.
    6. Allow the mole turkey chili to simmer, uncovered, for at least 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    7. Right before serving stir in 2 tablespoons of butter.
    8. Ladle the chili into large bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a bit of shredded cheddar cheese if desired.

Nutrition Information


8 cups

Serving Size

1 cup

Amount Per Serving Calories 601Total Fat 39gSaturated Fat 14gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 22gCholesterol 122mgSodium 1477mgCarbohydrates 29gFiber 6gSugar 12gProtein 34g

The nutritional information and calorie count provided is intended as a guideline only and has been provided by third-party software.

Did you make this recipe?

I'm excited to see your creation. Please don't be shy and share a photo with me!


I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed today’s amazing homemade turkey chili recipe as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing it to you!

A vertical closeup image of a bowl or turkey mole chili with a spoon on the side and a bottle of beer in the background.

From bison to vegetarian, here are a bunch of other chili’s I know you’ll also love;

Beef and Bison Chilis
Pork Chilis
Chicken, Duck, and Turkey Chilis
Mixed (meat combo)
Fish and Seafood Chilis
Vegetarian Chilis

**Note – The post above includes affiliate links. As always, I truly thank you for your support!

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  1. What a fun recipe! I love love love the addition of Chorizo. I can just imagine the flavor.

  2. Such a cute name, Renee! But the flavor is far more than cute…it sounds amazing!!!

  3. Love the chorizo and the fire roasted chiles!!!

  4. When I experienced my first taste of Mole in Oaxaca, Mexico, I was smitten with my first bite of this wonderful flavor! Great chili recipe, Renee!

  5. I love that you added chorizo to the chili! I love everything about your dish!! This is so perfect and warming!

  6. Wow at the flavors and spices going on in your chili. This is definitely one to make. Oh, and I'm so down with beer in chili too.

  7. You and I are mole queens today!

  8. Thick, rich and delicious looking chili!!! I love lots of ingredients in chili, it gives it so much depth!!!

  9. You win for the most creative title, haha I love it!

  10. Oh my, your turkey chili is a thing of beauty! And the title is seriously awesome!

  11. I need more chocolate in my life – in the chili? Why not! Love it!

  12. I love that you put chorizo in here, so delicious! Ole, indeed! 🙂

  13. Ohhhh I am so intrigued by the mix of cocoa and cinnamon in this chili! It looks soooooo good!

  14. Chorizo in chili? Oh yes please and what a great selection of spices you have going on.

  15. When I saw you were going to post a Mole chili I was so excited but I am even more thrilled now that I see your recipe because it doesn't use a already prepared Mole sauce. We can't get that here and we miss enjoying the flavour of Mole sauce so now it makes me think I can make it on my own. I actually think I have all the ingredients for this one on hand right now so I am so excited to try it.

  16. I have been super excited for this recipe since I saw your title. Mole + chili? Yes please! This is simply amazing!

  17. From Delaware Girl Eats — I'm a sucker for mole!

  18. That chorizo and cocoa addition is just perfect.

  19. This sounds like THE perfect chili that I have to try. Love the addition of cinnamon, chocolate, and beer. I cannot wait to give it a try. Thank you! ~ Bea @ The Not So Cheesy Kitchen

  20. You had me at chorizo! I would absolutely adore this chili! Pinning!

  21. Mmm…chorizo makes everything delicious!

  22. Pingback: Chili Mole with Red Beans and Raisins — Shockingly Delicious

  23. Pingback: Apple and Red Ale Pulled Pork Chili • Curious Cuisiniere

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