Black Bean and Mole Chili with Sweet Corn and Optional Turkey Recipe

It’s definitely chili season! Not only are there football-watching parties to host, but it’s just plain cold. You can please everyone in your circle when you reimagine chili. Vegetarians, meat-eaters and those on a gluten-free diet can dip into this warming pot of chili as there is optional turkey ready to go for those who would like to add it.

Making real mole sauce is a time-consuming process in which dried, whole chilies are toasted and ground with spices and, in some cases, Mexican chocolate, notes local chef and cookbook author Robin Asbell, who contributed this recipe to Real Food. In this gluten-free recipe, we get some of the flavors of mole with a quick and easy shortcut: cocoa.

Black Bean and Mole Chili with Sweet Corn and Optional Turkey

Makes 6 servings

1 c. dried black beans, rinsed
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 chopped jalapeños
3 cloves minced garlic
1 14-oz. can crushed tomatoes in purée
1 tbsp. ancho chile powder
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. salt, plus more for turkey
1 tsp. sugar
pinch dried oregano (for optional turkey)
112 c. canned corn
14 c. cilantro, chopped
3 oz. ground raw turkey or cooked turkey breast per person (about 12 c. cooked turkey)
34 c. sour cream

Soak beans overnight in a pot of plenty of cold water. Drain beans and return to pot. Add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender but not mushy, about 2 hours. Add water as necessary. Drain beans, reserving 2 cups liquid.

In a large pot, heat oil and add onion, red pepper, jalapeños, and garlic. Sauté until vegetables are soft and sweet. Add beans, 1 cup bean liquid, and crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer.

In a small bowl, combine chile powder, paprika, cocoa, salt, and sugar. Stir in about 14 cup bean liquid to make a paste. Stir into simmering chili.

Drain corn and warm in a pan, or put in a bowl and microwave until hot. Toss with cilantro.

If using raw ground turkey, sauté in a dab of olive oil over medium-high heat, sprinkling in a pinch oregano and salt as you stir. Into each omnivore’s bowl stir hot turkey and garnish with cilantro, corn, and sour cream. Serve each bowl of vegetarian chili topped with corn and sour cream.

Nutrition info (per serving) Black Bean And Mole Chili W. Sweet Corn: Calories 280 (101 From Fat); Fat 12g (Sat. 4g); Chol 15mg; Sodium 766mg; Carb 38g; Fiber 11g; Protein 11g
With Optional Turkey (Per Serving): Calories 427 (176 From Fat); Fat 20g (Sat. 7g); Chol 64mg; Sodium 859mg; Carb 38g; Fiber 11g; Protein 27g

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.