Healthy Turkey Chili

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A healthy turkey chili recipe that can be made in under 35 minutes for a delicious weeknight meal! This ground turkey chili will leave you feeling full and satisfied without the guilt.


This good for you turkey chili recipe is a quick and easy way to enjoy chili any night of the week. Trust me, it tastes like it has been simmering for hours but takes just 35 minutes.

Normally when I think about chili I think of a slow weekend meal where the chili simmers on the stove or in the slow cooker all day, but in real life sometimes a girl is craving chili and needs a quicker solution. Enter this dreamy Healthy Turkey Chili. The whole thing is ready in about 30 minutes but you would never know it from the deep flavor. It tastes like a chili that spent all day on the stove.

What’s the main difference that makes this chili option a bit healthier? Ground turkey! Making this ground turkey chili in place of the usual high fat ground beef does not change the flavor or texture in my opinion. Most ground beef that is used in chili is loaded with saturated fat since it is normally of the 70/30 variety.

Plus beans contains tons of fiber, tomatoes are packed with antioxidants, and spices help boost digestion and metabolism. Ground turkey is a great alternative because it is still high in protein, but low in fat. So not only are you cutting calories, you are protecting your heart health as well.

How to Make Healthy Turkey Chili

Now that I have you convinced to try this healthy turkey chili alternative, let me explain the prepping process.

  1. Wash your onion, red pepper, celery, and jalapeno and dice them to your desired size.
  2. Saute the veggies and garlic in a touch of olive oil. The key to getting a nice deep flavor is starting out by sauteing all the veggies to bring out and deepen their flavor. Allow them to cook for 5-8 minutes until onions are beginning to become translucent.
  3. Add the turkey and spices - chili powder, oregano, cumin, and bay leaf are added. Cook this combination for 6-8 minutes, breaking up the turkey, until it is browned. Adding the spices early helps deepen their flavor as well.
  4.  Add the tomatoes, broth, and beans to create a thick, rich chili. This final mixture should simmer for about 10 minutes to allow all the flavors to blend together.
  5. Taste and season as needed. Add extra chili powder or chipotles for more spice. Add more chicken broth for a thinner chili. Add salt if needed. Add cumin for smoke. You get the idea. 

In terms of making this turkey chili recipe your own, you can personalize it in all sorts of ways. My personal favorite is the toppings. I pile on the cheese, avocado, cilantro, some baked tortillas chips, a dollop of sour cream, and tons of fresh lime juice.

Ground turkey chili in a wooden bowl with cilantro and cheese.

Tips for Making Turkey Chili

  • You could switch up the beans by using black beans, cannellini beans, or even chickpeas.
  • You could also add some diced sweet potato or butternut squash to add some sweetness to the dish.
  • Lastly, and perhaps the most unexpected twist, you could add some cinnamon to the spices. It adds a delicious, surprising flavor to the chili, that I personally love.
  • This chili can be made with any kind of ground meat or even vegetarian crumbles. I have made it successfully with extra lean beef, chicken, and turkey sausage. I use whatever I have at home.
  • Want some veggies? Add in some diced butternut squash or cauliflower, Your family won't even notice that there are added veggies.  Shredded zucchini or cauliflower rice are always easy veggies to sneak in.
  • If you don't like things too spicy, you can leave out the jalapeno. Try to use at least some of the chipotles since the adobo sauce adds a nice smoky flavor to the chili.

Meal Prep 

We talked about how we’re all busy, right? This is one of those recipes that is perfect for meal prep. Make up a big batch on the weekend and even consider doubling or tripling it so that you can freeze the leftovers. Pack up your favorite toppings on the side and then just assemble at meal time.

 Looking for more healthy chili recipes?

The Recipe
Healthy Turkey chili in two bowls with cilantro and tortilla chips.

Healthy Turkey Chili

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  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 tbsp canned chipotle pepper in adobo, diced
  • 1 lb. 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1.5 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 14 oz. canned diced tomatoes (not drained)
  • 1.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • 14 oz. canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained

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Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper, celery, and jalapeno. Cook for 5-8 minutes until onions are beginning to become translucent.

Ground turkey, onion, celery, garlic, and red pepper in a Dutch oven.

Add the turkey, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and bay leaf. Cook for 6-8 minutes, breaking up the turkey, until it is browned.

Pinto beans, kidney beans, and ground turkey in a Dutch oven for chili.

Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, and beans. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Turkey chili in a Dutch oven.

Serve with fresh lime juice, baked tortilla chips, sour cream/Greek yogurt, avocado, cilantro, or cheese.

Chili with ground turkey in two bowls with cheese.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 295
Calories from Fat 52
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 62mg
Sodium 590mg
Total Carbohydrate 26g
Dietary Fiber 9g
Sugars 7g
Protein 36g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Healthy Turkey Chili
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October 24, 2022 - 18:16
Add a Rating:
Love this recipe! Does the nutrition info include the avacado/sour cream/tortilla chips/cheese toppings?
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Liz Zeigler
January 27, 2017 - 19:47
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My family loved this chile and it was so quick and easy. I will be doubling the recipe next time!
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