Healthy Turkey Chili

Protein packed healthy turkey chili recipe that can be on the table in 45 minutes.  Loaded with six vegetables, two kinds of beans including black beans and homemade chili seasoning this flavorful and simple soup is easy to make.

healthy turkey chili in bowl

Healthy Turkey Chili

Ground turkey is one of those things that could be seen as limiting. When you visit your local meat provider, there are ten times more beef products available than turkey. We are red meat eaters in this country, are we not? We use it in everything, from tacos to casseroles to roasts. As a venison recipe gal myself, there is always a place for venison at our table, but I took on the challenge this year of finding new ways to incorporate the health benefits of America’s favorite bird.

bowl of ground turkey chili with sour cream

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Is turkey chili better than ground beef chili?

Why turkey? It’s low in fat, rich in protein, and a great source of iron, zinc, potassium and vitamin B6.  While this basic chili recipe with ground beef is delicious and chicken chili is always a hit, I decided to try adding ground turkey to my vegetarian chili recipe. The turkey added flavor without being heavy or greasy and mellow enough that it didn’t take away from the vegetables. After eating just one bowl, I realized turkey isn’t just for the holidays, my friends.

Not only is this soup loaded with veggies (six to be exact!), it also has two different kinds of beans and a homemade chili seasoning.  The weather is STILL cold up here in Northwest Ohio and I’m about to make a pot of healthy turkey chili for dinner. Would you like to join me?

Come on in to my kitchen!

How to Make Healthy Turkey Chili

ground turkey in container

Step 1: Try to buy the freshest ground turkey that you can. Quality, organic ground turkey can cost less than regular beef if you hit a sale. You will need 1 pound of fresh ground turkey

ground turkey in stock pot

Step 2: In a large stockpot or dutch oven, brown your turkey in a Tablespoon of olive oil to prevent sticking. Sprinkle the meat with a pinch of kosher salt and pepper as it cooks. Since turkey is so lean, you should not have to drain the meat after it has browned. Simply remove it from the pan and set aside.

healthy turkey chili ingredients

Step 3: Gather the rest of the ingredients. On the left, we have onion, bell peppers and garlic. On the right, we have our beans, fire roasted tomatoes, tomato paste and green chilis. I forgot to take a picture of the corn! In my opinion, fire roasted tomatoes add a richer flavor to soups such as chili so I don’t suggest any substitutions here. Fresh garden corn (if you have it) is also superior to frozen from the store….but whatever you can get will work!

saute healthy turkey chili in stock pot

Step 4: Using the same pan as you cooked the turkey, saute the onion, bell peppers and garlic for about 5 minutes on medium heat until the onions are translucent and fragrant. If needed, add a touch of olive oil to the pan to prevent sticking.

ground turkey chili with spoon

Step 5: Next, add all remaining ingredients (including the cooked ground turkey) and give it all a stir. Doesn’t that look colorful? It’s going to be pretty thick so now is the time to add about 2 ½ cups of water. The tomato paste will blend with the water and make juice.

(Side story: I was about 23 years old when I realized you could make tomato juice from paste and water. lol 🙂

best turkey chili seasoning

Homemade Chili Seasoning

Is it weird that I think every family should have their own chili seasoning mix recipe? I used to add just chili powder to my chili, but over the years, I found adding other yummy spices to the mix really pumps up the flavor. Our homemade turkey chili seasoning mix includes paprika, garlic powder, salt, cumin and pepper to meld with the chili powder, but use whatever you like! Cayenne pepper, oregano, and onion powder are other good choices that could fit the tastes of your family.  I’ve included the recipe for ours below.

After adding the seasoning, allow the chili to simmer for at least 20 minutes before serving. Sometimes I make it the day before!

turkey black bean chili in bowl

In less than 45 minutes, we have a pot of healthy turkey chili that’s simple to make and protein packed! Serve it up with a dollop of sour cream and watch it be “gobbled” up.

Healthy Turkey Chili Tips

Can I make this in the crockpot? Yes.  Follow the recipe directions as listed and let cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.

Can I make ahead this turkey chili recipe?  Yes.  You can make as directed and then before simmering cover and store in the refrigerator.  Heat up and let simmer for 20 minutes before serving.

How do I store the leftovers? Store in an airtight container in the refrigerater for up to 3 days.  You can also store in the freezer.

Can I use ground beef instead of ground turkey?  Yes.  This recipe is delicious with either but we love the simplicity of the ground turkey.

I hope you enjoy this healthy turkey chili as much as my family does!

More Soup Recipes

healthy turkey chili in bowl with sour cream
Created by: Lynette Rice

Healthy Turkey Chili

Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 10
The best healthy turkey chili recipe made with ground turkey, six vegetables and two kinds of beans.


  • 1 lb fresh ground turkey
  • 1 cup yellow onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 28 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz chili beans
  • 15 oz black beans drained
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 4 oz chopped green chilis
  • 3/4 cup frozen or fresh sweet corn
  • 2 1/2 cups water

Homemade chili seasoning {makes 2 Tablespoons}

  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon. cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • In a large stockpot or dutch oven, brown your turkey in a Tablespoon of olive oil to prevent sticking.  Sprinkle the meat with a pinch of kosher salt and pepper as it cooks.  Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
  • Using the same pan, saute the onion, bell peppers and garlic for about 5 minutes on medium heat until the onions are translucent and fragrant. If needed, add a touch of olive oil to the pan to prevent sticking.
  • Add all remaining ingredients (including the ground turkey) and give it all a stir.
  • Simmer for at least 20 minutes before serving.


Serving: 1Cup | Calories: 298kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 942mg | Potassium: 1248mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1196IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 122mg | Iron: 5mg

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