by Olena

Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe (Video)

by Olena

5 from 8 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

Turkey Chili

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 You Will Need

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

Stove top 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

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.

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.

Best Toppings for Turkey Chili

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 or over Instant Pot baked potatoes.

Can I Freeze Chili?

Yes.

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 Soups and Stew

Print

Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe

5 from 8 reviews

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

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • 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
Scale

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

*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.

58 comments on “Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe (Video)

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  1. Making this chili right now although I can’t seem to figure out why I have SO much of it?! I have a 6 quart crock pot and couldn’t fit everything in so I only used 1/2 the veggies unfortunately 🙁
    If 1 serving is 1.5 cups and there’s 8 servings, I definitely have WAY more than 12 cups. Anyone else run into this?

  2. Can you freeze this ahead of time if you cook the meat first?? Trying to have freezer meals on hand ahead of time! I have cooked this recipe and loved it!

  3. As a very busy on the go mom, I’m a huge fan of anything that can be made in a crockpot. This was so delicious. The only thing I added was black beans (love black beans). I topped it off with some chopped green oinions, a dollop of Nonfat Plain Greek yogurt, and a few slices of avacado. The rest of my family had some grated cheese on top of theirs, but I am trying to be good. I will definitely be keeping this recipe and making many more times in the future. Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. Made this, with minimal alterations, I forgot the broth, doubled up on both beans, and used 3 different colored bell peppers – though I don’t think the last technically counts as an alteration. I too love left overs and had planned on using them for Chili baked potatoes later in the week. I let it cook all day while I was at work, Stopped by my home for 5 mins to declare dinner ready and left for about an hour on a walk. I was lucky to get a bowl, my family LOVED this dish! They want it again and soon. Still looking forward to Chili topped baked potatoes so they will probably get their wish soon! Thank you so much, I love having a healthy delicious meal to feed my family of 8 without having to spend all night in the kitchen! As soon as I am able I am going to invest in getting your cookbook! Looking forward to more delicious recipes! Thank you!

    1. Hi, Ruth. You are very welcome. It is not my recipe but I will take credit for delivering it to you LOL. Your life sounds very familiar to me. To feed 8, wow! I can barely feed 4 of us, constantly cooking. I Love taking walks too and big pot meals with leftovers which seem to disappear fast. Chili loaded baked potatoes sounds AMAZING. I should make them too! Take care.

  5. This was so delicious! I added 2 jalapeños and just a bit of coconut sugar. My husband cannot stop talking about how delicious it was (which is nice, because normally I get teased for being the worst cook in the family!)

  6. This sounds amazing! Can’t wait to make it tomorrow! My daughter is allergic to bell peppers 🙁 do you have any recommendations for a replacement? Thanks!

  7. I made your chilli tonight. I used half Italian sausage and the other half ground turkey, put in 2.5 jalepenos oh and a teaspoon of tobasco. Flavors taste great

  8. i made this chilli and my husband who never eats chilli asked me to make it again i added mushrooms and a can of corn to mine just because i wanted a little more veggies and it turned out perfect thanks for a great recipe i also used ground vegetarian meat because my daughter is vegetarian and turned out perfect definitely a great recipe

  9. Also made this one! Just yesterday. Had leftovers today for lunch and it was even better! Really really yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

  10. THIS is my favorite chili ever!!! Fantastic. If you want to spice it up, put some drops of Frank Hot in your serving !!!

  11. I am cooking this now, waiting on the veggies to cook and then it’ll all go in the crock pot, I’m excited about this but hope it’s ready before I leave for work.

  12. Thank you! I just pre-chopped all my veggies and am about to pre-cook the ground turkey. Ill have enough time to quick saute the veggies and toss e everything in the crock pot on my lunch break. Excited to have this for dinner tomorrow 🙂

  13. Wondering if it completely messes up the entire chili if you don’t do the pre-cooking? Would you be able to throw the veggies and (raw, thawed) ground turkey into the crock pot? If not what about if I cooked the ground turkey the night before, refrigerated it, and threw that in the next morning?

    1. Don’t! I did it once and it was disgusting! My meal was like a baby food, yuk. It was disgusting!:) Pre-cooking the night before – yes, absolutely.

  14. Made this today, and the verdict from my picky 14 year old is that this is delicious. :). I haven’t tested it myself yet (it’s not quite dinner time yet) but it smells fantastic! I did notice that it’s very soupy, though, and I followed the recipe very carefully. Wondering if I should add less chicken broth next time… Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Sure, if you would like to. Mine wasn’t soupy. I wonder if a lot of condensation went into the crock pot off the lid once you took it off?! But still shouldn’t be that much. Feel free to adjust the liquid. I’m flattered my recipe impressed the teenager.:) Enjoy!

      1. Thanks for the reply. I finally got to eat some after I sent the first message, and it was fabulous! BOTH of my teenage girls enjoyed it, and as a matter of fact, my 14 year old daughter had 2 small bowls before she went to dance, and another one when she got home! I’m about to make it again, but this time I’m trying it with less broth. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the condensation from the lid, and I ended up cooking the extra liquid off on the stove, but it was otherwise awesome enough to serve it again so soon! 🙂

        1. You could also add some crushed healthy tortilla chips or masa flour to thicken it a bit. Cornmeal would work too. Glad all girls loved it!!!

          1. Thanks! I missed that reply, but that might work for next time, which is tomorrow. 🙂 One more question…Do you use red bell peppers, or green? 🙂

  15. Either I was really hungry or this turkey chili was amazing! It was probably both. I was never a big fan of chili but this was so good! Would def be making this again and again!

  16. I just cooked this for dinner tonight — delicious!! I had to make a few little modifications because I own the world’s smallest crockpot (literally) and couldn’t fit everything inside, so I made it in a pot on the stove and simmered it for an hour instead. My guy is really picky and doesn’t like cooked celery, so I added extra bell peppers. But he said it deserved a place in our dinner rotation! 🙂 I can’t wait to try your Buffalo Chicken Chili too!

    1. Oh, that’s awesome, Amy! Means a lot to hear a positive feedback from another food blogger. I get nervous (a bit) when other food bloggers make my recipes. It’s like when I entertain, I feel I gotta deliver – I am a food blogger.:)

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