Virginia Willis’ Instant Pot Turkey and Black Bean Chili

Southern Kitchen
Turkey Black Bean Chili

About the recipe

When the season starts to change and fall — and football — is in the air, Virginia Willis loves a hearty pot of chili.

Make a big batch and enjoy it on game day with friends and family. Serve sour cream or yogurt, grated cheese, scallions and a bottle of hot sauce on the side. Add a crispy bag of tortilla chips and you're ready for kick-off.

Want to make your chili the old-school way? Soak your beans overnight and then drain and rinse. Use a large, heavy-duty pot or Dutch oven and follow the same process above up through the point where you add the water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until the chili thickens, the beans are tender and the flavors develop, about 1 hour. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.

Chile powder, with an e, is pure ground dried chile peppers. It comes in mild or hot and the heat is a result of the choice of chile that was dried and ground. Chili powder, with an i, is a blend of chile peppers and other spices, including cumin, coriander, dried oregano, salt and pepper. We prefer to use dried ground chile powder in our chili, adding other spices to taste. Using toasted and freshly ground spices will give your chili a more vibrant flavor.

Serves: 8 to 10

Hands On Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 0 minutes


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped

2 onions, chopped

Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 pounds lean ground turkey

1 pound dried black beans

2 tablespoons fine cornmeal

1/4 cup ground dried chile powder (see note)

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

8 cups water

Grated cheddar cheese, for serving

Sliced green onions, for serving

Sour cream or yogurt, for serving

Hot sauce, for serving


With the Instant Pot turned to the sauté function, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the peppers and onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the onions are soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Stir in the turkey, beans and cornmeal. (The mixture will be quite thick.) Stir in the chile powder, coriander and cumin to coat the meat, then add the tomatoes, followed by the water, making sure not to go beyond the fill level indicated on the inside of the metal insert.

Lock the lid in place and set the Instant Pot to cook on the “Beans” setting for 30 minutes. When 30 minutes is up, let the pressure come down naturally, about 20 minutes. When the pressure is down, remove the lid, tilting it away from you. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, topped with cheese, green onions, sour cream, and plenty of hot pepper sauce on the side.