Turkey Chili

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This healthy Turkey Chili is hearty and flavorful with perfectly seasoned ground turkey, tender beans, and lots of hearty veggies! This filling and protein-packed meal is made with good-for-you ingredients so you can enjoy a hearty bowl of chili and stick to your goals!

We are obsessed with chili. Try our other healthified versions starting with this Vegetarian Chili, this Quinoa Chili, and this Sweet Potato Back Bean Chili.

Overhead view of of several bowls of Turkey Chili.

Turkey Chili

It’s no secret how we feel about chili in this corner of the internet, and when paired with a hunk of good cornbread, there is nothing better on a cold winter day! This Crockpot Chili has been a favorite for years (with dozens of readers reporting wins on their chili cook-offs (yay!)), but I thought it was time to introduce a healthier version.

So we’re replacing the bacon, sausage, and ground beef with ground turkey, loading up this chili with seasonings, and adding tons of veggies. You’ll be amazed at how delicious and nutritious this Turkey Chili is.

Process shots: sautéing the veggies and ground turkey.

Turkey Chili recipe notes

  • How to make this chili mild or spicy. For a mild chili, use a mild chili powder (such as McCormick®) and use only 2 tablespoons while being sure to leave out the cayenne pepper. To increase the heat: use 3-4 tablespoons chili powder, add in the cayenne pepper, and/or stir in 1-2 tablespoons diced jalapeños (add alongside the garlic addition). 
  • I recommend ground turkey that is sold in a carton, rather than in a chub. Chub-style ground turkey is the kind that comes in the plastic tube and it tends to be less flavorful. If you aren’t a fan of ground turkey, try lean ground beef or ground chicken instead.
  • Use fire-roasted tomatoes. Fire-roasted diced tomatoes have a smoky extra burst of flavor! We’re obsessed with Muir Glen® crushed tomatoes in this chili (not sponsored).
  • Cut the sweet potatoes the same size. The more evenly you cut the sweet potatoes, the more evenly they’ll cook– resulting in a better chili texture. Aim to cut the potatoes into small 1/2-inch cubes so they’ll cook in the right amount of time. For photos on how I cut a sweet potato, check out this roasted sweet potatoes recipe!
  • Adjust seasonings. Don’t forget to taste the chili before serving and add any additional salt, pepper, or other seasonings to taste. (Here are some tips to tame down chili if you’ve finished making it and it’s too hot!)

QUICK TIP

What are chili beans? You can find Chili beans near other canned beans in the grocery store. They are usually pinto beans in a mild and tasty chili-spiked sauce. If you can’t find chili beans (sometimes called ranch-style beans), I’d recommend using a can of pinto beans instead.

Process shots: adding the spices and tomatoes to the pan; adding stock, beans and corn; simmering until thick and tender.

 

Turkey Chili Toppings

The toppings add so much to this Turkey Chili, so you definitely don’t want to leave them out! Our favorites are freshly grated cheese, a ripe avocado, extra lime and cilantro, and a big scoop of sour cream (fatfree works great).

  • Sharp or extra-sharp Cheddar cheese: We like to grate the cheese right on top of each bowl and let it melt for a minute before stirring it throughout the chili.
  • Sour cream: Fat-free or lite works great; you could even use a scoop of plain Greek yogurt. My personal favorite in this soup is lite sour cream.
  • Jalapeños: If you love some spice, add some thinly sliced or diced jalapeño.
  • Fresh lime juice: A few squeezes of fresh lime heighten all the flavors in this soup and add a burst of brightness.
  • Ripe avocado or guacamole: For an additional element of creaminess, we love a ripe avocado sliced on top.
  • Fresh cilantro: If you’re a cilantro fan, you’ll love what this herb does to this turkey chili. It adds freshness and a nice citrusy flavor. And if you’re in the anti-cilantro crowd, substitute a bit of chopped fresh parsley or chives.

Up close overhead image of the turkey chili

Freezing leftovers

  1. To freeze as a meal: Mix all ingredients and place in (a few) freezer-safe zipper-top bags. Freeze. When ready to cook, thaw in the fridge overnight and then transfer to a large stockpot. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low until warmed through and thickened, about 45 minutes to an hour.
  2. To freeze individual servings of turkey chili: Let the chili cool completely to room temperature before putting small amounts in freezer safe bags/containers and freezing them. Freeze the bags flat to preserve the quality and to make defrosting easier. Defrost in the fridge and warm through in a stockpot to desired heat.
  3. If you’re looking to change up how you serve leftovers, try adding a few spoonfuls of leftover turkey chili on a baked potato, over a cooked hot dog, on fry bread, or on a salad (to make a taco-type salad).

Great side dish ideas

More soup recipes

FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content.

Turkey Chili

5 from 1 vote
This healthy Turkey Chili is hearty and flavorful with perfectly seasoned ground turkey, tender beans, and lots of hearty veggies! This filling and protein-packed meal is made with good-for-you ingredients so you can enjoy a hearty bowl of chili and stick to your goals!
Print Recipe

Turkey Chili

5 from 1 vote
This healthy Turkey Chili is hearty and flavorful with perfectly seasoned ground turkey, tender beans, and lots of hearty veggies! This filling and protein-packed meal is made with good-for-you ingredients so you can enjoy a hearty bowl of chili and stick to your goals!
Course Dinner, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword turkey chili
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 314kcal
Cost $6.12

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup (135g) finely diced yellow onion (~1 large onion)
  • 1 cup (135g) finely diced red pepper (~1 pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (~3-4 cloves)
  • 2 cups (300g) peeled and chopped sweet potatoes (~1 large; 2-3 medium/small)
  • 1 pound (16 oz.) lean (93/7) ground turkey
  • 3 tablespoons McCormick chili powder (See Note 1)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: paprika, dried oregano, beef bouillon powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional (add if you like heat!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH: onion powder, freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz.; 411g EACH) fire-roasted crushed tomatoes (we like Muir Glen)
  • 1 can (15.25 oz.; 432g) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (16 oz. 454g) chili beans in mild sauce (See Note 2)
  • 1 cup (145g) frozen corn
  • 1 cup (245g) chicken stock or broth (we like Swanson's chicken stock best)
  • Toppings of choice: freshly grated sharp Cheddar, sour cream (light or fat-free), cilantro, lime, crushed crackers, ripe avocado

Instructions

  • VEGGIES: Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron pot over medium-high heat. Once oil is shimmering, add in the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add in the garlic and stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Reduce the heat to medium and add in the diced sweet potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally for 7-9 minutes. If anything is burning or over-browning, reduce the heat a little.
  • GROUND TURKEY: Press the veggies to the side of the pot and add the ground turkey in the center. Increase heat to medium high and cook, crumbling as you go, until browned on the outside, about 5 minutes. Incorporate the veggies as you cook the meat. If there is accumulated liquid, drain that off. Add in all the spices and the tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add in the crushed tomatoes and cook for another minute, stirring constantly. Add in the drained and rinsed black beans, undrained chili beans, frozen corn and chicken stock. Stir, and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered for 30-45 minutes or until chili thickens and sweet potato chunks are tender. Stir periodically as it simmers.
  • FINISHING TOUCHES: Remove from the heat. Season to taste with any additional salt/pepper as needed. I like to add a few tablespoons of lime juice and about 1/4 cup chopped cilantro here.
  • TOP CHILI BOWLS: Add your favorite toppings to individual bowls. We top ours with a good handful of freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese, another squeeze of lime, a good dollop of sour cream and some chopped cilantro. Don't forget the toppings; they add a lot!

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Chili powders can vary greatly in heat; we use McCormick which is very mild. For a mild chili: use a mild chili powder (such as McCormick®) and use only 2 tablespoons, while being sure to leave out the cayenne pepper. To increase the heat: use 3-4 tablespoons chili powder, add in the cayenne pepper, and/or stir in 1-2 tablespoons diced jalapeños (add alongside the garlic addition). 
Note 2: You can find Chili beans near other canned beans in the grocery store. They are generally pinto beans in a mild and tasty chili-spiked sauce. If you can’t find chili beans (sometimes called ranch-style beans), I’d recommend using a can of pinto beans instead. Don't drain or rinse these beans; the sauce they're in add loads of flavor.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 558mg | Potassium: 869mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 13789IU | Vitamin C: 60mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 3mg

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

 

FREE BONUS

FREE BONUS

EASY MEAL SECRETS:
How to Make Mealtime Hassle Free!

5 secrets to easy, fast and delicious dinners.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




0 Comments

Never Miss a Recipe

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.