Healthy Ground Turkey Chili

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A healthy ground 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. Jump to Recipe keyboard_arrow_down

Freestyle™ SmartPoints™ New!
(6 Old SmartPoints™)
(7 PointsPlus®)

Healthy ground 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. This is the type of fat that likes to stick to your arteries and cause issues with your heart health, among other negative health implications. 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. Wash your onion, red pepper, celery, and jalapeno and dice them to your desired size. The key to getting a nice deep flavor is starting out by sauteing all the veggies to bring out and deepen their flavor. Then toss them into a pan with heated oil along with the garlic and allow them to cook for 5-8 minutes until onions are beginning to become translucent. Then 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. Finally, the tomatoes, broth, and beans are added to create a thick, rich chili. This final mixture should simmer for about 10 minutes to allow all the flavors to blend together.

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.

Change it up

  • 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.
  • 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.

Make it Light

  • For a zero point option (if you are on Weight Watchers), eliminate the olive oil and use fat free beef broth.
  • Consider using Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.

Meal Prep Ground Turkey Chili

We talked about how we’re all busy, right? Shorten the prep time for this turkey chili recipe even further by following these tips for ingredients that can be prepped ahead.

  • Go ahead and cook the ground turkey. This can be stored for up to a week, or by the expiration date, and will cut a few minutes from your cooking time.
  • Wash and chop the vegetables when you see you have time one evening or between activities.
  • This may seem drastic, but even the spices can be measured and placed in a small container together for later use.
  • Or just whip up the whole recipe on the weekend. It only gets better after a couple of nights in the fridge.

Looking for more healthy chili recipes?

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The Recipe

Healthy Ground Turkey Chili

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  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 U onion, chopped
  • 2 U garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 U red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 U 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 U 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.


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


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


Add the beans and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.


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

Healthy Ground Turkey Chili
† SmartPoints™ and PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.
On Healthy Ground Turkey Chili
January 16, 2019 - 18:20
Add a Rating:
The recipe says each serving is 1 weight watchers smart point but I entered the recipe in the weight watchers app and it assigned 7 smart points per 1 cup serving.
January 16, 2019 - 20:20
Hi Hazel! Since this contains a lot of zero point ingredients (turkey, beans, canned tomatoes) - the most accurate way to calculate the points is using the recipe calculator. It properly accounts for zero point ingredients. When using the nutritional info, you will get higher points since it inherently counts those calories/fat/etc. Does that make sense?
March 13, 2017 - 12:22
Add a Rating:
I LOVED this recipe. I do however have a question. The yield on this is 2 cups per person with a yield of 4 servings. However, when I doubled the recipe....I only got 4 cups. I'd really appreciate for feedback on that.
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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