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Chipotle Pineapple Chili

March 26, 2018 by Nicole Collins

We’re putting a new little Mexican style spin on a classic today!

Today’s recipe was inspired by a conversation I had with someone a few weeks ago. She was showing me pics of a chili cook off party that she went to. There were 5 or 6 different kinds of chili, and none were like the other. But, the one that stood out to me (and I think it was the one she brought) was a bowl of chili with a slice of pineapple sitting on top as garnish. My first instinct was “that’s weird”. But, after a second thought, I was like “or is that brilliant?”

The more and more I thought about it, the more and more I knew I wanted to make some kind of chili with pineapple incorporated in it somehow.

Truth be told, I’m more of a white chili kind of girl than a red chili one. I feel that way about a lot of things, actually. I’d rather have a white pizza than one with tomato sauce. I’d rather have a cream or oil based pasta sauce than a tomato one. I’d rather have a creamy soup than a tomatoey one. I don’t even eat ketchup!

I love tomatoes, though. I swear! I’m just not a huge red sauce person. I have to really be in the mood for it.

And today, I’m so in the mood!

So today, we’re making Chipotle Pineapple Chili!

There are a couple of things that make this chili extra special. For starters, we’re using ground turkey as our protein instead of ground beef. You can’t even tell the difference! You can serve a bowl of this up to your favorite red meat eater, and they’ll never know that you’re improving their heart health by sneaking in ground turkey instead. That’s a win all on its own.

For our flavorings, we’re using some standard spices that you’d find in a chili mix: chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder…the usual suspects. But, we’re taking the flavor to the next level by adding a little extra heat with a little bit of a smoky background by introducing chipotle chili powder and some adobo sauce from a can of chipotles. We also add some fire roasted tomatoes to up the ante just a notch.

Where this chili takes a really special turn is the introduction of canned pineapple tidbits. I typically prefer my chili without beans. I like beans, I just don’t need them in chili. However, we add a whole can of pineapple tidbits, plus their juices, to our chili; and the pineapple almost becomes like a substitute bean element. Plus, it adds a little sweetness to balance out the heat. And, it pairs perfectly with the smoky chipotle.

As amazing as all of those other elements to this chili are, we all know the toppings are where it’s at! For me, I chose to top with pepperjack cheese, diced avocado, green onions, scoop fritos, and a dollop of sour cream. It’s like a whole other meal just in toppings! I vote to use all of the above, but you can certainly choose to exercise restraint (if you must).

You really don’t even need toppings though. This chili is incredibly delicious and unique all on its own. But, go big or go home, right? :-)

I’m really digging the Mexi vibe that this chili has. It has definitely changed my mind a little bit when it comes to turning my nose up at red chilis. Just saying! I’m interested to hear what the chili connoisseurs out there think of my chili tweaks!

And, make sure this is your entry for the next chili cookoff you see. It's sure to be the winner!

So, enjoy; and let’s eat!


Chipotle Pineapple Chili

Serves: 6 Print


  • 1 lb ground turkey

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • ½ red onion, diced

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 tbsp adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle chiles)

  • 1 tbsp chili powder

  • 1 tbsp cumin

  • 1 tbsp garlic powder

  • 1 tbsp paprika

  • ½ tbsp chipotle chili powder

  • 2 tsp salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 tsp pepper

  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes

  • 1 can (14.5 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes

  • 1 can (20 oz) pineapple tidbits in juice

  • ½ cup low sodium chicken broth

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • shredded pepperjack cheese, diced avocado, sliced green onions, sour cream, and fritos, for serving


  1. Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven or stockpot over medium high heat. Add turkey, and cook until no longer pink. Add red onion and red bell pepper, and saute until softened, 3-4 minutes. Add tomato paste, adobo sauce, and all spices, and stir to combine. Cook until tomato paste melts, about 1 minute.

  2. Add crushed tomato, fire roasted tomatoes, pineapple, and chicken broth. Stir well to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and stir in lime juice. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt, as desired. (I added about another ½ tsp of salt.) Divide between bowls, and top with pepperjack cheese, avocado, green onions, sour cream, and/or fritos. Serve!

Recipe notes:

*I keep tomato paste and chipotles in adobo sauce in the freezer pretty much at all times. I never use a whole can at once. So, I just thaw it in the fridge the night before I'm ready to use it, and pop it back in the freezer when I'm done.

*My canned tomatoes were “no salt added” tomatoes, so I needed to add more salt at the end. Taste it when it's done, and add more salt and pepper if you think it needs it.

*This chili stores well in the freezer. Just bring it out to thaw in the fridge the night before you're ready to eat it again.

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