by Olena

Turkey Chili

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Olena Osipov
5 from 30 votes

Warm up with a hot bowl of Turkey Chili made with juicy turkey, hearty red kidney beans, lots of veggies and simple flavorful spices. Inspired by popular TV show, this healthy chili recipe is high in protein, low in calories and big on flavor!

Love chili? Some of our family favorites include white chicken chili, Instant Pot vegetarian chili and Instant Pot beef chili.

Turkey Chili

Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe

This turkey chili is inspired by The Biggest Loser show. I watched it every Monday night when I still had some post-baby weight to lose. One episode featured a healthy chili recipe that quickly became a staple in our house. I now even have a pressure cooker turkey chili recipe based off of this one.

This turkey chili is a bit more healthy than traditional beef chili. It is made with low fat ground turkey, chock full of vegetables and low sodium beans, tomatoes and spices. It is so delicious!

Turkey Chili in white pot with wooden spoon

Ingredients for Turkey Chili

Turkey chili ingredients are so full of flavor!

  • Ground meat: I use ground turkey, but ground chicken would work well too.
  • Veggies: Celery, green and/or colour bell peppers, onion and garlic. I personally love the taste green bell pepper adds. You can also use equivalent amount of chopped green beans, cauliflower or okra.
  • Beans: Variety of beans creates most flavorful and hearty chili. We use red kidney beans that are big, thick and starchy and smaller white beans like navy beans, cannellini or Great Northern beans. Lima beans or even black beans work too.
  • Seasonings: Chili powder, taco seasoning and canned chili in adobo sauce.
  • Liquids: Low sodium tomato sauce and low sodium stock.

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

How to Make Turkey Chili

There is a full recipe card below.

Making turkey chili on the stove top is great for those last minute dinner ideas. I highly recommend to use quality dutch oven like Lodge or heavy bottom pot (second choice) to ensure even cooking.

  • Cook ground turkey: Saute meat until small pieces form. Ground turkey doesn’t have to be cooked through. Transfer to a bowl (stove recipe) or slow cooker, and return pot/skillet to the stove to saute veggies. sauteed ground turkey in white pot
  • Cook veggies: Saute onion and garlic first to allow flavors develop. Then add celery and juicy bell pepper, and now cook for 5 more minutes. Do not stir often, so veggies get browned. More flavor! sauteed onion, bell pepper and celery in white pot
  • Combine: In Dutch oven or crockpot, combine cooked turkey and veggies, drained and rinsed beans, tomato sauce, stock, chipotle in adobo, taco seasoning, chili powder and pepper. Stir. sauteed veggies, beans, turkey, spices and tomato sauce in white pot
  • Cook: Bring chili to a boil while covered, then reduce heat to low and cook for 1 hour. If making slow cooker turkey chili, cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours. Turkey Chili in white pot

Instant Pot Tip: Want to make chili in a pressure cooker? Check out my Instant Pot turkey chili recipe.

Tips and Variations

  • Cook your own beans: Buying and cooking dried beans saves money and is more healthy. You will consume less sodium, avoid BPA and possibly will eat organic. I always make Instant Pot dried beans and freeze for later.
  • Leftover turkey: If you have leftover turkey, shred or slice it, skip sauteing and add to the pot. Cook time doesn’t change because the longer meat cooks, more flavorful turkey chili will be.
  • Chipotle in adobo: It adds a wonderful flavor boost to otherwise bland turkey. Substitute with 2 tsp smoked paprika and more chili powder to taste, for heat.
  • Poblano pepper: If you seed poblanos, they become very mild and are similar to green pepper but different. You can use them in place of regular bell pepper.

Turkey Chili Recipe in white pot

Serving Turkey Chili

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

  • With cheese: Hard shredded cheese like Tex Mex, Colby Jack or aged cheddar that melts into delicious swirls of flavor. Or crumbled cotija or feta cheese for more salty experience.
  • Add fresh herbs: Green onion, chopped red onion and/or cilantro. Fresh herbs always add another layer of flavor to any pantry staple dish like this chicken and rice recipe or rice and beans.
  • Go traditional: Diced avocado and lime to squeeze into each bowl. Do not add lime to chili while it’s cooking. Crushed tortilla chips and plain yogurt or sour cream.
  • Leftovers ideas: You can also serve chili as an appetizer with tortilla chips or over Instant Pot baked potatoes.

How to Store, Freeze and Reheat

Store: Refrigerate chili for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Like borscht and wine, it gets better each day.

Freeze: Make sure to cool chili completely and then freeze in a glass container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

Reheat: Reheat desired amount of chili in small pot by simmering on low heat. Cover and stir occasionally until warmed through. It’s the best!

More Favorite Recipes

Turkey Chili Recipe

Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili {Healthy Stove or Slow Cooker Recipe}

Warm up with a hot bowl of Turkey Chili made with juicy turkey, hearty red kidney beans, lots of veggies and simple flavorful spices. Inspired by popular TV show, this healthy chili recipe is high in protein, low in calories and big on flavor!
5 from 30 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Soup and Stew
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 288kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey extra lean
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 medium onions finely chopped
  • 3 large celery stalks chopped
  • 2 medium 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
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth low sodium
  • 1 tbsp chipotle pepper in adobo sauce minced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder low sodium
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning low sodium
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying
  • Lime, cilantro, cheese, yogurt, chips etc. for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat large 5-6 quart Dutch oven, heavy bottom pot or ceramic non-stick skillet on high heat and add ground turkey. Cook until small pieces form or about 5 minutes, stirring and breaking into small pieces with spatula constantly. Transfer to a bowl or large slow cooker, and set aside.
    Turkey Chili
  • Return skillet or pot 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. If using slow cooker, transfer there, or leave in a dutch oven.
    Turkey Chili
  • Then to either add red kidney and white beans, tomato sauce, broth, chipotle pepper, chili powder, taco seasoning and pepper.
    Turkey Chili
  • Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes. In slow cooker, cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.
    Turkey Chili
  • Stir and adjust salt to taste, if necessary. Serve warm with your favorite toppings!
    Turkey Chili

Store: Refrigerate chili for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Like borscht and wine, it gets better each day.

    Freeze: Make sure to cool chili completely and then freeze in a glass container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

      Reheat: Reheat desired amount of chili in small pot by simmering on low heat. Cover and stir occasionally until warmed through. It's the best!

        Video

        Notes

        • Cooking vessel: I highly recommend to use quality dutch oven like Lodge or heavy bottom pot (second choice) to ensure even cooking.
        • Ground chicken: I use ground turkey, but ground chicken would work well too.
        • Leftover turkey: If you have leftover turkey, shred or slice it, skip sauteing and add to the pot. Cook time doesn't change because the longer meat cooks, more flavorful turkey chili will be.
        • Bell pepper color: Red, yellow and orange peppers are sweet. I personally love a bit of bitterness green bell pepper adds.
        • Poblano pepper: If you seed poblanos, they become very mild and are similar to green pepper but different. You can use them in place of regular bell pepper.
        • Other veggies: Use equivalent amount of chopped green beans, cauliflower or okra in place of celery and some bell pepper.
        • Beans: Variety of beans creates most flavorful and hearty chili. We use red kidney beans that are big, thick and starchy and smaller white beans like navy beans, cannellini or Great Northern beans. Lima beans or even black beans work too.
        • Cook your own beans: Buying and cooking dried beans saves money and is more healthy. You will consume less sodium, avoid BPA and possibly will eat organic. I always cook beans in my Instant Pot.
        • Chipotle in adobo: It adds a wonderful flavor boost to otherwise bland turkey. Substitute with 2 tsp smoked paprika and more chili powder to taste, for heat.
        • Not low sodium liquids: If your tomato sauce and broth are regular, you might find your chili overly salty. Unless you use no salt tomato sauce or home cooked beans. Something has to give.
        • Want to cook this recipe in Instant Pot? Check out my Instant Pot turkey chili.
        Serving Turkey Chili
        What would a great turkey chili be without all the traditional chili toppings, right?!
        • With cheese: Hard shredded cheese like Tex Mex, Colby Jack or aged cheddar that melts into delicious swirls of flavor. Or crumbled cotija or feta cheese for more salty experience.
        • Add fresh herbs: Green onion, chopped red onion and/or cilantro. Fresh herbs always add another layer of flavor to any main meal or salad.
        • Go traditional: Diced avocado and lime to squeeze into each bowl. Do not add lime to chili while it's cooking. Crushed tortilla chips and plain yogurt or sour cream.
        • Leftovers ideas: You can also serve chili as an appetizer with tortilla chips or over Instant Pot baked potatoes.

        Nutrition

        Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 508mg | Potassium: 444mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1910IU | Vitamin C: 55mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
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        olena osipov in the studio

        Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

        My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

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