Best Turkey Chili Recipe – Cooking Classy

February 17, 2021


The BEST Turkey Chili! It’s a healthy, flavorful recipe that is so easy to make and it’s one of those dinners everyone can agree on. It has deliciously seasoned, well balanced flavor and is a perfect pick me up on a cold day!

Serve it with baked potatoes or homemade cornbread for a perfectly cozy meal!

Serving of turkey chili in a white bowl set over a white plate with a spoon and saltine crackers to the side. Chili is topped with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Healthy Ground Turkey Chili

Here we’ve lightened things up with lean ground turkey instead of fattier ground beef and no one will notice the difference between the two in this delicious turkey chili recipe!

It’s still perfectly satisfying comfort food and you’ll be wanting to make this easy turkey chili time and time again during the fall and winter seasons!

This is full of veggies and it’s packed with protein thanks to the turkey and a generous amount of kidney beans.

You’ll love the blend of spices (which build up great flavor) and that rich tomato-y broth. Then finish it up with toppings as you wish (to keep it healthy add more veggies!).

Just don’t forget the crackers for dipping!

Overhead photo of turkey chili once finished in a pot.

Turkey Chili Recipe Ingredients

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to build up that amazing flavor:

  • Olive oil
  • Veggies including bell pepper, yellow onion, garlic
  • Lean ground turkey
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Canned diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • Canned tomato sauce
  • Low-sodium chicken broth
  • Spices including chili powder, ancho chili powder, cumin, paprika and coriander
  • Canned red kidney beans (I used 1 can light 1 can dark)

Photo of ingredients used to make turkey chili. Includes ground turkey, tomato sauce, chili powder, ancho chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, light and dark red kidney beans, chicken broth, canned tomatoes, bell pepper, yellow onion, green onions, garlic, olive oil, sour cream, and cheddar cheese.

How to Make Healthy Turkey Chili (Stovetop)

  1. Heat oil in pot: Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook and crumble turkey, transfer: Add turkey, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up turkey until cooked through. Transfer turkey to a plate.
  3. Saute vegetables: Heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in now empty pot over medium-high. Add bell pepper and onion and saute 4 minutes.
  4. Saute aromatics: Add garlic, chili powder, ancho chili powder, cumin, paprika and coriander and saute 30 seconds longer.
  5. Add canned ingredients, cooked turkey, season: Pour in tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, cooked turkey and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Simmer to build flavor: Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low. Cover and let continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
  7. Stir in and warm beans: Stir in kidney beans and more chicken broth to thin if desired and heat through, about 2 minutes. Serve warm with desired toppings.

Collage of six photos showing steps of making turkey chili. Includes browning chili in the pot, sauteeing bell pepper and onion. Adding garlic and spices and then sauteeing.

Make it Mild

Ancho chili powder can be just a bit spicier than regular chili powder. If you’d like to tone it down then just use 2 Tbsp regular (mild) chili powder and omit the Ancho chili powder.

How to Make Turkey Chili in the Crockpot

To make this in the slow cooker here are the steps to follow:

  1. Cook turkey in pot in oil. Transfer to slow cooker.
  2. Saute bell pepper and onion in pot 4 minutes and garlic 30 seconds, transfer to slow cooker.
  3. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, spices, salt and pepper to slow cooker.
  4. Cover and cook on low heat 5 hours.
  5. Stir in kidney beans and heat through for a few minutes. Serve warm.

 

Collage of four photos showing continued steps of making turkey chili. Includes adding liquids and cooked turkey back into pot, covering pot to simmer. Then finishing with kidney beans.

Variations

  • Try with ground beef, ground chicken or even ground pork in place of turkey.
  • Switch up the type of chili powder. Use sweet or smoked paprika (I like either type here).
  • Sneak in other vegetables. Great options include corn, carrots, or zucchini.
  • Reduce chicken broth for a more stew-like chili, increase for a more soup-like chili.
  • Make it spicier by sautéing one or two diced jalapeños (with or without seeds) with the bell pepper mixture.
  • Use any color of bell pepper (red, orange, yellow or green) or switch to a different type of pepper such as poblano or Anaheim.

Turkey Chili Toppings to Try

What’s a bowl of chili without a handful of flavorful toppings? A few of our favorite chili toppings are:

  • Cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Red or green onions
  • Avocado
  • Cayenne pepper or thinly sliced jalapeños
  • Tortilla chips
  • Saltine crackers

A white pot filled with turkey chili.

How to Freeze Chili for Later

Turkey chili freezes incredibly well and is easily reheated. To freeze this easy turkey chili:

  • First let it cool a bit, no more than one hour at room temperature (or wait to freeze it until the next day after it’s been in your fridge and cooled).
  • Ladle the chili into freezer-safe containers or jars.
  • Freeze up to 3 months.
  • When you’re ready to reheat the chili, place it in the fridge to thaw overnight and then reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

Close up photo of ladle filled with turkey chili.

More Chili Recipes You’ll Love:

Be sure to check out the other chili recipes I’ve shared:

Serving of turkey chili in a white bowl set over a white plate with a spoon and saltine crackers to the side. Chili is topped with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Turkey Chili

Hearty, rich and well seasoned turkey chili everyone will love! It’s made healthier with ground turkey in place of ground beef but it’s still super delicious and perfectly satisfying on a cold day.

Servings: 5

Prep10 minutes

Cook50 minutes

Ready in: 1 hour

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 20 oz 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbsp)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 (8 oz each) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth , then another 1/2 cup if desired
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground paprika (smoked or regular sweet)
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans red kidney beans (I used 1 can light 1 can dark), drained and rinsed

For serving:

  • Cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions
  • Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add turkey, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up turkey until cooked through. Transfer turkey to a plate.

  • Heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in now empty pot over medium-high. Add bell pepper and onion and saute 4 minutes.

  • Add garlic, chili powder, ancho chili powder, cumin, paprika and coriander and saute 30 seconds longer.

  • Pour in tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, cooked turkey and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low. Cover and let continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

  • Stir in kidney beans and more chicken broth to thin if desired and heat through, about 2 minutes. Serve warm with desired toppings.

  • Toppings not included in nutrition estimate.
  • You can sneak in a vegetable for another healthy filler. Try sautéing 1 diced carrot with the bell pepper mixture, or add 1 chopped zucchini halfway through simmering, or finish with 1 cup frozen corn near the end.

How to Make Turkey Chili in the Crockpot

To make this in the slow cooker here are the steps to follow:

  1. Cook turkey in pot in oil. Transfer to slow cooker.
  2. Saute bell pepper and onion in pot 4 minutes and garlic 30 seconds, transfer to slow cooker.
  3. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, spices, salt and pepper to slow cooker.
  4. Cover and cook on low heat 5 hours.
  5. Stir in kidney beans and heat through for a few minutes. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts

Turkey Chili

Amount Per Serving

Calories 442
Calories from Fat 153

% Daily Value*

Fat 17g26%

Saturated Fat 3g19%

Cholesterol 83mg28%

Sodium 1188mg52%

Potassium 891mg25%

Carbohydrates 40g13%

Fiber 13g54%

Sugar 10g11%

Protein 34g68%

Vitamin A 1865IU37%

Vitamin C 34.1mg41%

Calcium 133mg13%

Iron 6.2mg34%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



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