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Healthy Turkey Chili

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3.66 from 274 votes

Nothing says fall more than the smells of chili simmering on the stove. This Turkey Chili is a healthier version of the classic dish, but sure to satisfy.

If you love chili, be sure to try my White Chicken Chili that takes less than 30 minutes to make!

PIN Healthy Turkey Chili to try later!

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HEALTHY TURKEY CHILI RECIPE

There is nothing better on a cold day than hearty comfort food like this Healthy Chili Recipe. Perfect for game day or even an easy recipe for dinner that the whole family will enjoy. A big pot of ground turkey chili simmering on the stove top warms the soul and your tummy.

This Easy Turkey Chili Recipe is packed with so much flavor, lots of spices, and takes minimal effort to make. I always recommend doubling the recipe because this makes a great freezer meal!

This recipe is a one pot wonder so it’s perfect for busy weeknights! It’s a healthier alternative to classic chili since it’s made with lean turkey meat and 3 types of beans. It’s spiced it is packed with warm flavors, protein and dietary fiber. 

You can add as much or as little spice as you want depending on your spice preference. We prefer ours mild, with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheese, sliced jalapeños and green onions!

Healthy Turkey ChiliPin

Of course, you can’t have chili without Cornbread or Jalapeño Cheddar Corn Bread Muffins! This is my favorite recipe that I use over and over again. It’s super moist and goes perfectly with this chili.

Healthy Turkey ChiliPin

INGREDIENTS

  • Olive oil – This is what we will use to sauté the onions before we add them to the chili. Any neutral oil is fine.
  • Yellow onion – Not only does onion add flavor to the best chili, but it also adds substance. White onion can be swapped out, but red doesn’t provide the same flavor profile.
  • Ground turkey – I like to use a lean ground turkey for this recipe. Leaner meat helps to keep it on the healthier side and prevents the need to drain the meat after browning.
  • Brown sugar – Brown sugar balances out the acidity from the tomato paste and also adds a sweet aftertaste.
  • Variety of spices – For this chili we use a blend of chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and black pepper. Super simple and you more than likely already have it all on hand. I also add in fresh garlic, although garlic powder would work too.
  • Tomato paste – I like using paste instead of tomato sauce makes the chili thicker and richer.
  • Beef broth – I prefer to use beef broth, but if chicken broth is what you have on hand, that would work too, as will vegetable broth.
  • Fire roasted crushed tomatoes – Fire roasted is the key here. We like a mild chili, but this gives it just enough kick. You can add cayenne pepper or hot sauce if you like a spicy chili.
  • Beans – I use one can of black beans, red kidney beans and pinto beans; they vary in size, color and creaminess. You can use any combination of your favorites. Keep in mind that adding more beans will yield a thicker chili. Garbanzo beans and white beans make other great options!
  • Favorite chili toppings – A hot bowl of chili isn’t complete without your favorite toppings! We like to top ours with sour cream, green onions, avocado slices, shredded cheddar cheese and even lime wedges. We also love dipping tortilla chips in this chili!
Healthy Turkey ChiliPin

HOW TO MAKE THIS EASY TURKEY CHILI 

This chili recipe is so simple and can be made in less than an hour. There isn’t anything better than a big bowl of comfort and the best part is this is healthy and high in protein!

  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until soften and onions are softened.
  2. Add the ground turkey and stir until the turkey meat is crumbled. Cook until the turkey meat is completely cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Stir until combined. Add the beef broth, crushed tomatoes, and beans. Scrape the sides and bottom of the pot to get any extra bits and pieces.
  4. Cover and bring the chili to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, uncover and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir very often so the chili doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. If it gets too thick add water to reach your desired consistency. Serve hot with your favorite toppings, enjoy!
Healthy Turkey ChiliPin

SUBSTITUTIONS

Ground meat: ground turkey is always a leaner and healthier option but any ground meat will work. You can sub the ground turkey meat for ground beef to make Beef Chili, or can use sausage or ground chicken. Please note the flavor may be slightly different depending on the meat you use.

Vegetarian Chili: you can make this chili vegetarian by leaving out the ground meat. Instead of using 4 cups of beef broth, only add 3 cups of chicken stock or vegetable broth. You could even add in some bell peppers (red pepper or green pepper work great) for even more veggies.

Beans: you can use your favorite combination of beans! I personally love the combination of the three (kidney, pinto and black.)

LEFTOVERS & FREEZING

If you’re a huge fan of leftovers, this is perfect! Store leftover chili in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

You can also freeze the chili for up to 3 months. To defrost, thaw the chili overnight or up to 2 hours on the counter. To reheat, place the chili on the stove and heat until warm. You can also microwave the defrosted chili for a few minutes.

Healthy Turkey ChiliPin

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Healthy Turkey Chili

This Healthy Turkey Chili is made with ground turkey, beans, and plenty of flavor! This wholesome chili is protein and fiber packed!
3.66 from 274 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chili, easydinner, ground turkey
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 317kcal

Equipment

  • Dutch oven or large pot

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion; diced
  • 4 tsp. garlic; minced
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 28 ounce can can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 15 ounce can kidney beans; rinsed and drained
  • 15 ounce can black beans; rinsed and drained
  • 15 ounce can pinto beans; rinsed and drained

Optional toppings

  • sour cream
  • jalapenos; sliced
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • lime wedges

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until onions are softened.
  • Add the ground turkey and stir until the turkey meat is crumbled. Cook until the turkey meat is completely cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Stir until combined. Add the beef broth, crushed tomatoes, and beans. Scrape the sides and bottom of the pot to get any extra bits and pieces.
  • Cover and bring the chili to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, uncover and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir very often so the chili doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. If it gets too thick add water to reach your desired consistency. Serve hot with your favorite toppings, enjoy!
Find Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog on Instagram!Mention @Kathryns.Kitchen.Blog or tag #kathrynskitchen!

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 31.9g | Protein: 27.8g | Fat: 10.1g | Saturated Fat: 1.7g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 888mg | Potassium: 833mg | Sugar: 4.8g | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 5mg

Last updated July 20, 2022. Originally posted May 28, 2020 By Kathryn Donangelo

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Recipe Rating




47 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    It’s still so hot here, but I’ve been craving chili! This looks like the perfect year-round chili because it’s healthier and lighter made with turkey. We have fresh jalapenos from our garden right now so they’ll be perfect for when I make this. Thanks so much!

  2. 5 stars
    What a great chili! I love that it cooks in one dish, and all those beans made it perfectly hearty. I’ll definitely make this again!

  3. 5 stars
    There is nothing quite like a steaming bowl of chili on a cool fall night. I like how you have managed to make a healthier version that I can feel good about serving my family.

  4. 5 stars
    This chili looks AMAZING. I love the combination of three bean varieties, the fact that it uses turkey, and of course that it’s ONE POT! Less dishes to wash is always a win.

  5. 5 stars
    This Healthy Turkey Chili was so darn delish! I was a little leary making it with ground turkey since the hubby is all about beef—but this was excellent . Perfect instructions and tips! I will be making this more often this fall! Pinned to save!

    Have an awesome day!

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve made many different turkey chilis on Pinterest and this one was the hardiest I think because of the beef broth. I added double the tomato paste and brown sugar to thicken. Also, I topped it with cheese and paired it with corn bread. It’s delicious! The recipe yields many servings good for meal prep or families. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Thank you so much Tanya, you are so wlecome! I’m so glad you loved this recipe and the beef broth does make it extra hearty! Cheese and cornbread sound like amazing pairings. Thanks for trying my recipe!

    2. I’m making it right now and I just heard the construction worker that’s here say yum it smells good, I’m so looking forward to eating this for dinner.

  7. This recipe looks great! How would you adapt for a crockpot? I wanted to start it in the morning rather than at dinner time, as I work until late in the evening! Thanks!

    1. Hi Emily, that is a great question! You can definitely make this chili in the crockpot. 🙂 Simply follow recipe steps 1 & 2 and add all of the ingredients to a crockpot and cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours. If you find your chili to absorbs some of the broth just add more. I hope this helps and please let me know if you have any additional questions. Enjoy this recipe, thank you!

  8. 5 stars
    Super easy and fast. I have reduced the broth to 1.5-2 cups. It allows it to be ready even sooner. We like thicker chili.

  9. 5 stars
    Great recipe! It’s a very hearty and flavorful chili. It tasted a lot like a regular beef chili to me. I added a green pepper and used 3 cups of broth instead of 4. I like it a little thicker. I will definitely be making it again.

  10. 5 stars
    This was delicious! My husband doesn’t like ground turkey so I subbed extra lean ground beef. The only other thing I did different was sub crushed tomato chili starter for the fire roasted because I couldn’t find them. Very very flavorful. Whole family loved it!

  11. 3 stars
    It’s very easy to make and very little cleanup. I did add a jalapeño that I had removed the seeds from. I only gave it a 3 because I feel like it is too tomatoey. I wish I had only used a 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes. I believe that would have been better but it is good

  12. Hello,
    The recipe says a bowl is 1 serving, but how much is 1 bowl exactly? How many ounces would 1 bowl be?
    Chili is currently simmering and husband says it smells good. Looking forward to eating it!

  13. 5 stars
    I made this for company and we had a whole chili bar so you could top your bowl of chili however you wanted. It was great and everyone loved it. I liked having a bit of a healthier chili option for people too.

  14. 5 stars
    My go-to chili recipe! I add a pepper or two with the onion and garlic and replace all seasoning with an envelope of taco seasoning. Amazing and easy when you need something allergy friendly too!