When I still had post-baby weight to lose, every Monday night I would watch The Biggest Loser. I found show motivational and relatable. One episode, there was healthy turkey chili recipe made and that recipe became a staple in our house, for over 5 years now. This ground turkey chili is healthier than its traditional counterparts because it’s made with leaner turkey instead of beef, chock full of vegetables and uses simple preservative-free spices like organic taco seasoning and chili powder (=> 3 must have homemade spice recipes). Oh, and chili in adobo sauce is wonderful flavour boost (depending on a brand there might be one preservative in that but…I mean, come on).
I cook my own beans, which I highly-highly recommend to do if you are into buying organic BPA free canned beans. I included both cooking methods, stovetop and slow cooker, to suit your circumstances. And if you are a chili lover like me, then you might also like crockpot buffalo chicken chili and crockpot chicken chili => both are slow cooker recipes and mild enough for kids.
How to Make Healthy Turkey Chili
How to cook dried beans – I have had a bag of organic dried beans sitting in my pantry for weeks now. The day I cook them for freezing, I also make a dish using freshly cooked beans, usually it’s either bean mushroom soup (all that bean broth is calling for soup), mango black bean salad or garlic hummus recipe. Money savings are incredible, comparable to making kombucha from scratch savings.
Clearly, if I do not sound convincing enough, feel free to use canned beans, just remember to start with less salt than me because my beans are unsalted.
Brown ground turkey, easy-peasy. If you incur any juices, just drain them into slow cooker or a bowl (for stovetop method). Turkey doesn’t have to be golden brown but would be nice for extra flavour. Level of brown-ness depends on a type of skillet you are using. Mine has high edges, so food comes out more steamed/cooked than fried.
Sauté vegetables. I did a mistake and cooked onion, garlic and celery together, which again made vegetables more steamed than fried. Cook onion and garlic first for maximum flavour, then add watery celery and peppers.
Put kids to work. They love mixing, stirring and cracking pepper, and this healthy turkey chili slow cooker or stovetop is perfect for learning kitchen basics. My boys love to help only because they see me cooking and are curious about what I’m doing, and I try hard to over come my resistance about mess and things not done “right”. Let them cook, but first cook yourself.
Crockpot turkey chili comes in handy when you want to start chili in the morning for dinner, while you are busy doing other things. Stovetop is great for a last minute dinner idea – I highly recommend to use quality dutch oven or heavy bottom pot (second choice) for even cooking.
Enjoy this Biggest Loser turkey chili!
- 2 lbs ground turkey, extra lean
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 4 large celery stalks, chopped
- 3 large bell peppers, chopped
- 14 oz can red kidney beans, drained & rinsed*
- 14 oz can any white beans, drained & rinsed*
- 28 oz can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, low sodium
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, low sodium
- 1 tbsp chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
- 1 tbsp organic chili powder
- 1 tbsp organic taco seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt**
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Avocado oil or coconut oil, for frying
- Healthy Turkey Chili in Slow Cooker Method: Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on high heat and add ground turkey. Cook until brown or about 7 minutes, stirring and breaking into small pieces with spatula. Transfer to a large slow cooker.
- Return skillet to medium heat and swirl a bit of oil to coat. Add garlic and onion, sauté until translucent or 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add celery and bell peppers, sauté for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to slow cooker along with beans, tomato sauce, broth, chipotle pepper, chili powder, taco seasoning, salt and pepper, and stir. Cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours. Serve warm.
- Healthy Turkey Chili on Stovetop: I recommend using large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot. Follow the same steps as for slow cooker, only once turkey is browned, transfer it to a bowl. Then sauté vegetables and add pre-cooked ground turkey back in the dutch oven along with remaining ingredients. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer on low heat for about 1 hour.
*Learn how to cook dried beans and freeze for later - saves a lot of money vs. buying BPA canned organic beans. **You might need to add more salt if tomatoes and beans you are using are not low sodium or salt free (for example, my cooked beans are unsalted).
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving = 1.5 cup:
Total Fat: 2.0 g
Cholesterol: 45.0 mg
Sodium: 673.0 mg
Total Carbs: 33.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 8.0 g
Protein: 33.8 g
WW Points+: 6