Hearty and comforting Healthy Turkey Chili is bursting with flavor thanks to lean ground turkey, kidney beans, and the perfect blend of spices. Prepare on the stovetop or slow cooker for the best game day meal or an easy dinner!

We also adore this turkey pumpkin chili.

Healthy turkey chili with sour cream, cheese and cilantro in a bowl with spoon.

Fall is the perfect season for enjoying warming soups and stews like this healthy turkey chili. Inspired by The Biggest Loser TV show, it’s hearty comfort food to the max and satisfies any cool weather cravings.

Plus, it just happens to be easy to make and filled with better for you ingredients! That is what makes it the best healthy turkey chili recipe if you ask me.

While we love making award winning Instant Pot chili with ground beef, this homemade ground turkey chili is a low fat, healthier alternative packed with flavor and lean protein! Each bowl will practically be licked clean.

This healthy chili recipe is thick in texture, full of classic flavors, and just begging to be topped cheese, avocado, or crushed tortilla chips. Save some for leftovers, as it tastes even better the next day!

Ingredients and Notes

Ground turkey, kidney beans, white beans, tomato sauce, bell peppers, onion, chicken broth, chili powder, olive oil, taco seasoning, garlic, chipotle pepper in adobo sauce,  celery, salt and pepper.

This healthy turkey chili recipe uses whole food ingredients including pantry staples and fresh vegetables.

  • Ground turkey: Lean ground turkey makes this a healthier chili. Ground chicken could be used as your type of ground meat, too.
  • Vegetables: You’ll need garlic cloves, white or yellow onions, celery and bell peppers. I used one red bell pepper and one green pepper. You could add 1 1/2 cups corn if desired.
  • Beans: Canned beans save time, although you can cook dried beans from scratch. I used Instant Pot kidney beans and canned white beans, although any variety works like black beans, cannellini beans or pinto beans. Avoid chili beans as they have added seasoning.
  • Chicken broth: Vegetable broth or chicken stock also could be used.
  • Tomato sauce: Or crushed tomatoes.
  • Olive oil
  • Chili seasoning and spices: This simple turkey chili is seasoned with chili powder, taco seasoning, salt, black pepper, and chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. If you love lots of spices, add some cumin, oregano, and red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, too.
  • Optional toppings: Avocado, plain Greek yogurt (or a dollop of sour cream), shredded cheese, cilantro, jalapeno slices, chopped green onions, tortilla chips etc. Note that any toppings added will alter the low calorie chili nutritional information.

Recipe Tip

Add a pinch of brown sugar or maple syrup to balance the acidity of the tomatoes, if needed.

How to Make Healthy Turkey Chili

Here is a quick overview in photos how to make healthy turkey chili. There is full recipe card below.

All you need to know is that this easy turkey chili recipe is a simple one-pot meal. Add your ingredients to a stove top pan and let them cook to develop amazing flavors.

How to make turkey chili step by step collage from above.
  1. Brown the meat: Preheat a large 5–6-quart Dutch oven, heavy bottom large pot, or large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the ground turkey and cook until it crumbled into small pieces (around 5 minutes), stirring and breaking it up constantly.
  2. Sauté onion and garlic: Add the chopped onion and garlic and reduce stove to medium heat. Allow them to sauté for a minute or two, stirring occasionally.
  3. Brown remaining vegetables: Then add the finely chopped celery and bell pepper and cook for a further five minutes. Stir only occasionally to allow the veggies to brown (which will provide tons of flavor to the healthy turkey chili).
  4. Simmer: Add the ground turkey and all the remaining ingredients back into the Dutch oven/pot, stir, and cover with a lid. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Recipe Tip

How to thin chili? If you prefer a thinner soup recipes, you could substitute your tomato sauce (or crushed tomatoes) for a can of diced tomatoes.

Can I Make Turkey Chili in Crockpot?

Yes. You can also make this into a slow cooker turkey chili and leave it to simmer all day. A warm bowl of chili is a perfect meal for cold days and busy weeknights!

  1. Sauté ingredients: First, brown lean turkey, onion, garlic and vegetables in pan (as written above for stovetop version).
  2. Transfer to slow cooker: Along with the meat and veggies, add the beans, tomato sauce, broth, chipotle pepper, and seasonings to the crockpot. Then, mix, cover, and cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours. Finally, adjust to taste preference, and serve with your favorite toppings!

Can I Make This Healthy Chili in the Instant Pot?

Sure! First saute your ground turkey for about 4 minutes. Add remaining ingredients adding tomato products last. Do not stir. Pressure cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. After Quick Release, stir and enjoy.

Also be sure to check out this Instant Pot turkey chili.

How to Serve This Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe

The best part of a bowl of chili is that it’s a healthy meal on its own! That being said, I live with hungry boys and they enjoy when it’s served with cornbread muffins or almond flour cornbread.

My preference is to serve healthy turkey chili with a fresh green salad or something light like this avocado salad recipe.

Of course the best turkey chili recipe is served with toppings! In my opinion, shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro, yogurt, and diced red onion are not to be missed.

How to Store Leftovers

After the chili cools slightly, place in an airtight container and refrigerate the leftovers for up to 5 days.

To store longer, cool completely to room temperature and transfer to the freezer up to 3 months. We are a huge fan of leftovers and this healthy turkey chili recipe is great for easy meal prep!

More Chili Recipes to Try

Browse all healthy chili recipes!

View from above of turkey chili with crushed chips and sour cream mixed with a spoon in a bowl.
Healthy turkey chili with sour cream, cheese and cilantro in a bowl.

Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe

Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe made on the stove or in crock pot is full of flavor from lean ground turkey, beans, veggies and chili spices.
5 from 47 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 288
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Then to either add red kidney and white beans, tomato sauce, broth, chipotle pepper, chili powder, taco seasoning and pepper.
  • 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.
  • Stir and adjust salt to taste, if necessary. Serve warm with your favorite toppings!



  • Store: Refrigerate chili for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Reheat desired amount of chili in small pot by simmering on low heat. Cover and stir occasionally until warmed through.
  • Freeze: Make sure to cool chili completely and then freeze in a glass container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.


Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 508mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 8g
Course: Soup and Stew
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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  1. 5 stars
    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. 5 stars
    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. 5 stars
    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?

        2. 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.

        3. 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.

5 from 47 votes (9 ratings without comment)

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