by Olena

Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe (Video)

by Olena

5 from 6 reviews

Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe with ground turkey from the Biggest Loser. Make on the stove, in crockpot or Instant Pot. It is easy, high in protein, low calorie and simply the best!

We make soup and stew year round. Kid friendly favorites include healthy white chicken chili and buffalo chicken chili.

Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe in a crockpot

Healthy Chili Recipe

This healthy turkey chili recipe originates from the Biggest Loser show. I used to watch it every every Monday night when I still had post-baby weight to lose. I found show motivational and relatable.

One episode, there was healthy chili recipe on the menu that became a staple in our house.

This healthy turkey chili is more healthy than a beef chili. Made with low fat ground turkey, chock full of vegetables and low sodium beans, tomatoes and spices.

Healthy Chili in a bowl garnished with cheese, onion and yogurt

Ingredients for Healthy Chili

Turkey chili ingredients do not lack flavor.

  • Ground turkey
  • Beans
  • Onion and garlic
  • Celery and bell peppers
  • Tomato sauce and low sodium stock
  • Chili powder and taco seasoning
  • Oh, and canned chili in adobo sauce adds a wonderful flavour boost. If you don’t have it, skip or use 1 tsp smoked paprika or liquid smoke.

Healthy Chili Recipe ingredients include beans, ground turkey, veggies, tomato sauce and spices

Canned vs. Cooked Beans

Years ago I got into organic and BPA free cans for health reasons. It gets pricey. So I started cooking my own beans. That was circa 2012.

Now I cook all beans from dried without soaking in Instant Pot. It saves a lot of money and you can control amount of sodium.

Feel free to use canned beans. I just thought I would share. Just remember to start with less salt than my turkey chili recipe because I use unsalted cooked beans.

How to Make Turkey Chili on the Stove

Stovetop is great for a last minute dinner idea – I highly recommend to use quality dutch oven like Lodge or heavy bottom pot (second choice) for even cooking.

  1. Brown ground turkey. If you incur any juices, just drain them. Turkey doesn’t have to be golden brown but would be nice for extra flavour.
  2. Sauté onion and garlic first for maximum flavour.
  3. Then add celery and bell pepper. Saute for a few more mins.
  4. Combine sauteed veggies, beans, tomato sauce, stock and spices in a Dutch oven.
  5. Bring to boil and cook on low for 1 hour.

how to make Healthy Chili Recipehow to make Healthy Chili Recipe

how to make Healthy Chili Recipehow to make Healthy Chili Recipe

How to Make Turkey Chili in a Crockpot

Crockpot turkey chili comes in handy when you want to start chili in the morning for dinner, while you are busy doing other things.

For turkey chili in a crockpot, the only difference from a stovetop version is the cooking time. And of course you transfer browned turkey and sauteed veggies into the slow cooker.

Cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.

How to Make Turkey Chili in Instant Pot

I have adapted this healthy turkey chili recipe to make Instant Pot chili.

All you have to do is to brown ground turkey and then throw everything together and cook for 20 minutes. Because in electric pressure cooker food cooks under pressure resulting in rich flavor, you don’t even have to saute the veggies. Just saute the meat to avoid Burn.

Healthy Chili Recipe bowls with tortilla chips and garnishes


What would a turkey chili be without all the traditional chili toppings, right?!

  • Shredded cheese like Tex Mex, Colby Jack etc.
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Plain yogurt or sour cream
  • Green onion and cilantro
  • Diced avocado
  • Chopped red onion
  • Limes to squeeze over the chilli
  • Canned diced green chiles

You can also serve chili as an appetizer with tortilla chips.

Can I Freeze Healthy Turkey Chili?


Make turkey chili recipe, cool completely and freeze in a glass container for up to 3 months.

To thaw, defrost on a counter or in the fridge overnight. Then simmer on the stove covered on low, stirring occasionally and until warmed through. It is the best!

More Healthy Chili and Hearty Soups


Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe

5 from 6 reviews

Healthy Chili Recipe with ground turkey from the Biggest Loser show. Make on the stove, in crockpot or Instant Pot.

  • Author: Olena of
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 75 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup and Stew
  • Method: Stove, Slow Cooker or Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Mexican


  • 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 low sodium red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 14 oz can low sodium 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 chili powder
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt*
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Oil, for frying


  1. Healthy Turkey Chili in Slow Cooker: 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Transfer to slow cooker along with beans, tomato sauce, broth, chipotle pepper, chili powder, taco seasoning, salt and pepper, and stir.
  4. Cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours. Serve warm.
  5. Healthy Turkey Chili on the Stove: I recommend using large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot. Follow the same steps as for slow cooker, only once turkey is browned, transfer to a bowl.
  6. Then sauté vegetables and add pre-cooked ground turkey back in the dutch oven along with remaining ingredients.
  7. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer on low heat for about 1 hour.
  8. Instant Pot Chili: Here is the recipe.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a stovetop covered on low.


*You might need to add less salt if canned tomatoes and beans you are using are not low sodium.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

54 comments on “Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe (Video)

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  1. Made this last night for today couldn’t wait so I had a bowl, so delicious, should be triple delicious since flavors had time to meld

  2. Like always you’ve shared another delicious healthy recipe…I’ve been planning to email a comment and have been delaying sending , first thank you for your excellent newsletter and sharing not only recipes but your precious family…I’m so happy for your new home and studio …the videos with your husband were so entertaining….I love the way you give traditional, crock pot and instant pot instructions to your recipes…I’ve purchased 2 duo 6 quart instant pots and use them everyday so they never leave my counter top! They are hooked to me Ha! I’m a big believer in freezing meals because it makes healthy eating and food preparation so much easier…so thank you and keep up the great work, your helping change people’s lives when they eat nutritious food…May God bless you and your lovely family

    1. That is so amazing to hear! Glad you enjoyed my recipe! I agree. I honestly start and end my day with IP recipe. Partially because my stove and oven suck until we reno. I love my IP to death even after I renovate.

  3. Thank goodness we have air-conditioning because I made this into a five-alarm chili on an 83 degree day and it is delicious!! I made a few modifications, but this is definitely going into my recipe notebook! My main modification was to omit the chicken broth ONLY because I didn’t have room in my crock pot for it. I have a tendency to double or triple recipes so our freezer is always stocked and this happened today (after dinner tonight I was able to freeze 4 lunch-size containers for my husband plus 2 large dinner-sized containers for later). I used 3 pounds of turkey and way more beans and crushed tomatoes than this recipe called for. I also added a lot of heat since my husband loves heat. I added a jalapeno (seeds and all) and way more chipotle in adobo sauce plus I used my husband’s homegrown hot chili powder (which is much hotter than store bought). The flavors from this chili remind me of my Granny’s bean soup recipe and that brings back happy memories and nostalgic feelings for me. We will be enjoying this chili all fall and winter thanks to this yummy recipe!

    1. Sounds like you do like heat.:) I would love it but my kids wouldn’t haha. What size pot do you use or a few at time? Glad you had fun. I’m making my Instant Pot chili outside for now since we don’t have AC.

      1. My current crock pot is 8-quart. I used to have to use two crocks since I only had a 4-quart and a 3.5-quart. I thought 8 would be big enough but maybe we should have gotten an even bigger one? My husband bought me a giant 25-quart stock pot for Christmas one year. I LOVE making soup (we call it stoup because I make my soups so thick that they’re more like stew) and I love stocking our freezer with leftovers!! The only problem with my stock pot is that it’s so tall that it almost doesn’t fit under the microwave above the stove top and I have to stand on a step stool to see inside the pot and stir the ingredients. 🙂

        1. Haha. That’s huge. I bought huge stockpot at Costco and returned it because I ended up buying 8 quart Instant Pot. How many people in your family?

          1. Oddly enough my immediate family is only me, my husband and our 18 year old daughter who leaves for college in September and hardly ever eats what I cook, so I guess I cook for a village but usually only feed two people (over many, many days of enjoying leftovers). I think I get it from both of my grandmas – they always cooked for a crowd. Plus, I love being able to send my husband with home cooked food to work every day.

          2. You can always freeze, sure way to avoid pre-packaged freezer junk. Good for you. I should start doing the same because my 3 men will eat me alive soon. It’s harder for me because I test many recipes and cook for the website, so that size of a pot would be awkward. But re-makes once a week I should like triple the recipe!
            I hope you are holding up with your daughter leaving for college. I’m dreading that time but maybe by then I will be ready for new stage in my life – freedom and time with Alex one on one. We are never alone, NEVER!

  4. I know it’s supposed to be spring, but a sudden chill and rainy weather has me hungry for chili. This chili is cooking away in my crockpot right now, and it smell delicious in here! I didn’t have quite enough bell pepper, so I added grated carrot. Just another way to get the family to eat veggies, and I so appreciate this website!

    1. It’s so not spring on the West coast. So cold and rainy. Unusual. That’s very good sub. Enjoy yummy food all weekend cozying up! I should make Chili too.

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