Skillet Turkey Pinto Bean Chili with Pepper Jack Biscuit Topping

4.75 from 8 votes
1 hour
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Skillet Turkey Pinto Bean Chili with Pepper Jack Biscuit Topping is a one-dish meal your family will be excited to dig into!

“A quick weeknight dinner that is flavorful and looked gorgeous coming out of the oven!”

Photo of Skillet Turkey Pinto Bean Chili with Pepper Jack Biscuit Topping in cast-iron skillet with gray dish towel on wood trivet.

Winner, winner, skillet dinner!  Skillet Turkey Pinto Bean Chili with Pepper Jack Biscuit Topping to be exact!

I recall my mother using a cast iron skillet when I was very young.  It sat at the back of the stove with bacon grease or lard in it.  When my mother was cooking and required some cooking fat, she took a good spoonful and away she went!

Cast iron skillet cooking is BACK and it’s back like crazy and with a healthier twist!  I don’t bring my cast iron skillet out too often, but when I do, it’s an occasion and I’m always glad I did.

Here’s more information on cooking in cast iron from Bon Appetit.

Thanks, Mom, but I’ll pass on the lard!

How to make Skillet Turkey Pinto Bean Chili with Pepper Jack Biscuit Topping:

  • Brown ground turkey.  Turkey is extremely lean even if using dark meat for this Skillet Turkey Pinto Bean Chili, so you may not even have to drain it.
  • Add simple ingredients you may already have on hand like canned fire-roasted tomatoes, canned pinto beans and spices.
Photo of Skillet Turkey Pinto Bean Chili being stirred in cast iron skillet with a wooden spoon.

I know, but then that biscuit topping for people who aren’t into baking, right?  I can raise my hand to that! The biscuit topping is also super easy!  Would this non-baker lead you astray?

  • Just mix the dry ingredients together, add the butter and combine to the consistency of a coarse meal.  Add the cheese and buttermilk and work it until it holds together.
Photo of biscuit mixture in a stoneware bowl before forming and baking.
  • A 1/4-cup measuring cup works perfectly to portion out the biscuits.  You can do them right on the hot, simmering chili but remember, I’m baking challenged so I prefer to portion them out first.
Photo of Pepper Jack Biscuit Topping formed into biscuits on parchment paper before baking.
  • After portioning them out, just pop them onto the chili and place in the oven.
Close-up photo of uncooked biscuits on the chili in cast iron skillet before being baked.

The biscuits bake right on top of the chili!

Close-up photo of Skillet Turkey Pinto Bean Chili with Pepper Jack Biscuit Topping in cast iron skillet with gray dish towel on wooden trivet.
Photo of Skillet Turkey Pinto Bean Chili with Pepper Jack Biscuit Topping with a biscuit and some of the chili served to show interior of chili.

Mama!  You’re not going to believe this, but this Skillet Turkey Pinto Bean Chili with Pepper Jack Biscuit Topping actually reheats well.  The biscuits are not going to be like flaky biscuits, however.  They actually end up a little chewy and dumpling-like.  Still delicious!

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Skillet Turkey and Pinto Bean Chili with Pepper Jack Biscuit Topping overhead shot in skillet

Skillet Turkey Pinto Bean Chili with Pepper Jack Biscuit Topping

4.75 from 8 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Skillet Turkey Pinto Bean Chili with Pepper Jack Biscuit Topping is a one-dish meal your family will be excited to dig into!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Chicken and Turkey
Cuisine Southwestern / Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 392 kcal

Ingredients
  

Chili

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion - finely chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper - chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey - white, dark or mixed
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 can (14.5-ounce) chicken broth
  • 1 can (15-ounce) diced fire-roasted tomatoes - undrained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder - hot or mild
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • 1 can (15-ounce) pinto beans - drained and rinsed

Biscuit Topping

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk

Instructions
 

Chili

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Heat oil over medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, reduce heat to medium and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add the green bell pepper and continue cooking another 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the ground turkey along with the garlic and cook, stirring to break up the meat until no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, tomato paste and chili powder. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 to 10 minutes or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Add the pinto beans and keep warm.

Biscuit Topping

  • Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Cut butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the cheddar cheese. Add the buttermilk and stir until just combined.
  • Press mixture into a 1/4-cup measuring cup to form 9 small, even biscuits. (You may need to squeeze it together a little bit so that it adheres.) Place the biscuits on top of the chili.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown and chili is bubbling. Serve immediately.

Notes

MAKE AHEAD:  The chili can be made 1-2 days ahead.  Transfer to another container for storage.  (DO NOT store it in the cast iron skillet.). When ready to serve, place it back in the skillet and reheat on the stovetop then proceed with the biscuit topping as directed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 392kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 448mg | Potassium: 465mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1210IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 292mg | Iron: 3mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    A quick weeknight dinner that is flavorful and looked gorgeous coming out of the oven! Loved the addition of pepper jack in the biscuits. Thank you!

    1. Hi, JD, Thanks again so very much and happy you enjoyed! After trying so many of my recipes, I really appreciate your taking the time to come back and comment. Even happier you love so many of them. Thanks again!

  2. Can you please clarify two things:
    – ingredients list says 4 cloves garlic. But it’s never noted in the recipe when those should be added
    – how much salt in the biscuit dough? instructions say to add salt to dough, but no amount is stated (other than the salt and pepper to taste in the chili).
    Thanks!

    1. Hi, Sofia, Thanks so much for your questions. I’ve clarified the recipe. Add the garlic when you add the turkey and just a pinch of salt will do. Thanks so much and hope you enjoy!