This award winning Turkey Chili is thick and hearty and bursting with flavor. This healthier chili recipe is loaded with tender beans, lean ground turkey, and the perfect blend of spice.
All about this healthy Turkey Chili..
This is my all time favorite recipe when it comes to chili. I love the ease of my 20 minute Texas Chili, but I think I love the combination of flavors and textures in this chili even more.
It’s the same recipe that I use in my Easy Chili Recipe, except in that version I use ground beef. It’s the same recipe, except here, we’re using ground Turkey to make it lighter!
Notes on some ingredients:
- Ground Turkey: this can be substituted for ground chicken or beef if needed.
- Green chiles: these add a very mild flavor. If you would prefer more heat in your chili you can use a jalapeno instead.
- Black beans & kidney beans: canned beans work great in this recipe. You can always swap out the beans for another kind if you would prefer.
How to make (step-by-step)
On the Stovetop:
- Step 1: Add the meat to a large pot or dutch oven. As the turkey is cooking, add the chopped onion to cook also. Once the meat is cooked and the onion is softened, drain any excess moisture. Add the garlic and allow it to cook for an additional 30 seconds.
- Step 2: Add all the other ingredients. Bring the chili to a simmer and allow to cook for about 10-15 minutes. Serve and top with all your favorite toppings!
In the slow cooker:
- Step 1: Cook the meat: even though this is a slow cooker recipe we want to cook the meat first in a skillet. Along with the onions to soften them. Then we can add that to the slow cooker.
- Step 2: Add all other ingredients to the slow cooker. Then we can let this cook together for the rest of the day.
- Cut the sugar: You can leave out the brown sugar if desired, to cut out sugars of course. I do like adding the sugar because it helps cut the acidity of the tomatoes. Another option would be to use honey instead, or substitute with a coconut sugar.
- Sneak in some Vegetables: add in some additional veggies if you want! Some great options are corn, peppers, diced zucchini, diced sweet potato, or butternut squash. If adding in fresh veggies, add them in the last 30 minutes of cooking in the slow cooker, that way they don’t get too mushy.
Yes, absolutely. You can substitute the turkey for a ground beef, pork, or chicken.
Yes! In this case the meat would already be cooked, so you would just need to sauté the onion and start from there. Add the shredded or cubed meat in with all the other remaining ingredients and cook until heated through.
Favorite topping ideas:
One of the best parts about any chili recipe is being able to customize with your favorite toppings! When serving a large pot of chili for dinner for the family, or if you’re expecting company, creating a topping bar is a great idea. This way everyone can top their bowl with what they enjoy. Some ideas are:
- Cheese: of course, shredded cheese is a must when having chili! Some mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, pepperjack, or Monterey Jack are all great options.
- Sour Cream/Greek Yogurt: the cold creamy tang of either of these options contrasts with the warm heat of the chili and is typically welcomed!
- Onions: chop up some white onion or slice some green onion to go on top for a fresh flavor.
- Cilantro: always a win with Tex Mex lovers.
- Chips: some fresh homemade tortilla chips, or Fritos pair perfectly with this thick chili.
- Tortillas: I personally love having a fresh stack of flour tortillas with my chili.
- Avocado: another creamy option that helps take off some of the heat of the chili
- Hot sauce: for those that need even more heat!
Serve this chili with:
- Tortillas: I personally love having a fresh stack of flour tortillas with my chili.
- Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread Muffins
More Chili and Soup Recipes:
If you tried this recipe please leave a comment and a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below! Thank you so much!
Award Winning Turkey Chili
- 1 pound turkey, ground
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/2 cup yellow onion , diced
- 1 (15 ounce can) tomato sauce
- 1 (14.5 ounce can) diced tomato
- 1 (7 ounce can) diced green chiles
- 1 (15 ounce can) kidney beans, drained, rinsed
- 1 (15 ounce can) black beans, drained, rinsed
- 1-2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- sour cream
- cheese, shredded
- green onion, sliced
- Add the ground turkey, and onion to a medium size skillet. Cook over medium heat until the onion is soft and the turkey is completely cooked. Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.
- Remove from heat and add to the crockpot.
- Add in all the other ingredients, stir to combine. Cook over low heat for 4-6 hours.
- Add the meat to a large pot or dutch oven. As the turkey is cooking, add the chopped onion to cook and soften.
- Once the meat is cooked and the onion is softened, drain any excess moisture. Add the garlic and allow it to cook for an additional 30 seconds.
- Add all the other ingredients. Bring the chili to a simmer and allow to cook for about 10-15 minutes. Serve and top with all your favorite toppings!
- How to Freeze this turkey chili: let the chili cool to room temperature. Add to a freezer safe container. Store in the freezer for 3-4 months. To reheat, thaw the chili in the refrigerator overnight, pour into a large pot and heat over medium heat for 20 minutes, until warmed through.
- Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
Recipe first posted November 21, 2014. Updated on February 27 with new photos and video. Recipe is unchanged, but instructions for stovetop were added.
This Chili is really good!! I’m glad I stumbled up this.
Question: I noticed that the serving size says 1g, is this correct? if not, what is the actual serving size for this recipe?
Thank you for this amazing recipe, my family and I really enjoyed during the coldest day in Houston.
I love this chili. Is there anything better for on a cold day?
I am from Texas and used to spicy chili and Tex Mex. That being said, I was knocked over by the spiciness of this chili. Did you mean to add 2 tablespoons of chili powder or was that supposed to be 2 teaspoons? Additionally, was there supposed to be any liquid added, like water or broth? Once I added all of the ingredients together the texture was a very thick stew. I added 2-3 cups of water to provide moisture and slow-cooked it for 5 hours. I await your reply to make sure I did not miss something.
Made this last night and it was delicious. I followed the recipe exactly but did add sweet potatoes and a can of chickpeas as suggested. Being vegetarian, in the last hour, I added about 3/4 of a bag of Quorn meatless grounds. My husband who is not a vegetarian loved it too. It would have been great without the added “meat” but it gave it a more meaty taste and texture. Thanks!
Hi! Is this really supposed to say 1g of chili is 119calories?
Noooo.. if I forget to add the amount that’s the default that shows up for serving amount..
Hi! So what are the calories for one serving of this? And what would one serving be?
Y’all have some week palettes if you think this is spicy. Not a single ingredient in this chile that makes it spicy. I added jalapeños and cayenne pepper and it made just the right amount of spice along with a little chicken stock.
I’m confused why so many people said this is spicy. There is not a single ingredient in this chile that would make it spicy. 🥴🤣 I added jalapeños with the seeds and some cayenne pepper and it had just the right amount of spice.
I’m obsessed with this chili, I had to come back and leave a raving review! I make a lot of chili for meal prep because it’s cheap, easy to make, and makes a lot of food. This is by far my favorite recipe I’ve tried yet. I used it as more of a base because I added a diced sweet potato, corn, and used 3lbs of ground turkey meat that I bought on sale. I cooked on low for 5 hours but will do 6 hours next time since the potatoes weren’t as soft as I like them to be. Great recipe, thank you for sharing!
I omitted the green chili for my kids. Still delicious. Just added hot sauce to the adult servings. Everyone loved it!
Very good! It was a bit spicy and thick for me. I added a can of fat free beef broth and some cornstarch. I also added about 2 table spoons of brown sugar.
I would like to try making this chili on the stovetop. Was reading your instructions, is the cooking time correct, 10-15 minutes? My regular chili recipe cooks for an hour after browning the meat & adding other ingredients. Thank you, am looking forward to trying this!
Hi Janet! For this particular recipe, yes I bring it to a simmer and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. It doesn’t need long. You could let it simmer a bit longer if you have time for further flavor development, but I would recommend doing so with the lid on.
I love this chili and have made it for years, but recently plugged it into myfitnesspal and even with onion and sugar omitted, and taking the serving sizes down to sixths, it is almost 500 calories for 1/6 portion. I also used the lowest sugar and sodium sauces i could find. Wondering how a bigger serving with extra ingredients is advertised at over 100 calories less? Maybe update the nutrition info you display ?
Hi Alexa, even in myfitnesspal, since that’s what I use, if you pick one type of kidney bean over another it can be a difference of up to 500 calories. The nutrition facts on my site are just general guidelines. If you want an exact amount you would need to calculate exactly what you are using when you cook, which it sounds like you did 🙂
Has anyone ever made this in an Instant Pot rather than a slow cooker? Curious about settings/timing if so
Can leftovers be frozen?
Yes they can! Store in the freezer for 4-5 months.
This was amazing!!! I brought it to work and my coworkers loved it. I added a can of chickpeas because I had them on hand and I love them. This has now my go to recipe for chili. I served it over rice with cheddar cheese, green onions, sourcream and cornbread on the side. Thank you for such a delicious and easy recipe.
This is so delicious!
This is my go to chili recipe! We are trying it this time with pumpkin- tis the season of all things fall!
Yes!!! I haven’t tried it with pumpkin, but I have added diced butternut squash to it before and it’s so good!
I discovered this recipe a couple of years ago and it has been my go to ever since. It’s my absolute fave! Today, however, I didn’t get it into my crockpot in time and it’s a rainy cooler day. If I wanted to make it on the stove top what would you recommend?
I made this today. So good. I was worried it would be hot but it wasn’t. It is a really good chili recipe. I will enjoy eating this the rest of the week and will definitely make it again. Thank you for such a great recipe.
So glad you enjoyed!
Could I add chicken stock? If so, what amount would you recommend?
If you want to make the chili more of a soup, you can add chicken stock. I suppose just start with a small amount and go from there until it’s a consistency you like.