Healthy Turkey Chili is a healthy, hearty chili made with lean turkey, kidney beans, corn, and bell pepper. It's loaded with protein and fiber without sacrificing any flavor. This heart-healthy dinner can be made on a weeknight in under 45 minutes and yields plenty of leftovers.
The Best Weeknight Turkey Chili Recipe
Healthy Turkey Chili is always in the weeknight dinner rotation. We make it about once a month and it lasts Alec and me 3-4 nights. As a result, we have fewer dishes, less cooking, and more time to spend together and with our pups. This chili is a healthy and lean dish that is also very flavorful and satisfying.
Since heart health is so important, I make sure our dinner rotation is full of healthy meals that are full of flavor. I particularly enjoy a hot bowl of Healthy Turkey Chili with a side of Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread with Miso year-round, even in the summer months.
How to Add Flavor with Toppings
Toppings add flavor and texture to the chili. If you've read Samin Nostrat's Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, or seen her Netflix series, you know these four components are essential for a delicious dish. For this healthy chili recipe, I recommend the following:
- Salt - A batch of Crunchy Garlic Tortilla Strips add a savory, garlicky crunch to every bite.
- Fat - Since this recipe is a little spicy, you can also add Cojita or cheddar cheese and Greek yogurt or sour cream to compliment the spice.
- Acid - A squeeze of lime juice adds a tang to the chili and deepen the dish's seasoning.
- Heat - Diced red onion, green onion, and cilantro bring a spicy, aromatic bite to the dish without overpowering the chili's flavors.
How to Make This Recipe Vegetarian or Vegan
While this gluten-free recipe calls for turkey, you can easily make it vegetarian. In lieu of meat, you can use chickpeas or an additional serving of kidney beans. You can also substitute the dairy toppings, including Greek yogurt and cheese, for non-dairy options or completely omit them. Either way, the chili will be flavorful and delicious.
How to Make This Recipe More Mild or Spicier
Reducing or increasing spice in this recipe is easy. To make the recipe milder, omit or reduce the amount of chili flakes in the recipe. If you want to add more spice, you can add an additional can of diced green chiles and increase the amount of chili flakes in the recipe.
How to Make Healthy Turkey Chili
Healthy Turkey Chili has lean turkey meat and healthy ingredients that offer texture and flavor. My secret ingredient soy sauce, which gives the chili a sweet and savory umami taste. This chili tastes delicious on its own, over a bed of rice or quinoa, and paired with Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread with Miso. Additionally, you can even make healthy turkey dogs with this chili!
Equipment Needed to Make Chili
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Steps to Make Chili
- Cook the Aromatics - First, in a 5-quart dutch oven or large pot, heat oil on medium heat. Then, add bell pepper and onion and cook until the onion is fragrant and translucent, or for about 3-5 minutes.
- Brown the Turkey - Add the ground turkey breast to the pot and break apart the meat into crumbly pieces. Allow the turkey to cook until it browned. Stir in garlic and soy sauce, and simmer for a few more minutes.
- Add the Flavor - Add tomatoes, water, corn, kidney beans, chiles, bay leaf, cumin, chili flakes, and salt to the pot. Then, stir the ingredients until well-mixed.
- Cook - Cover the pot and cook on low-medium heat. Then, allow the chili to simmer for 25 minutes. As a result, all of the ingredients will meld together and draw out the flavors.
- Sit and Serve - Once the chili is cooked, let it sit for 5-10 minutes to thicken. Serve the chili in bowls and garnish with Crunchy Garlic Tortilla Strips, cheese, Greek yogurt, onions, cilantro, and lime juice.
How to Store and Reheat Chili
Storing chili is incredibly easy. After you make the chili, store leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can store the chili in smaller containers for meal prep.
To reheat the chili, transfer leftovers into a pot. Heat the chili on medium heat and occasionally stir.
Did You Like This Recipe?
If you loved Healthy Turkey Chili, please rate and comment below! For more healthy weeknight dinner ideas, check out:
- HEALTHY PENNE ALLA VODKA
- ROASTED CHICKEN WITH MEYER LEMON
- LEMONY SPRING RISOTTO WITH PEAS AND ASPARAGUS
Healthy Turkey Chili is a healthy, hearty chili made with lean turkey, kidney beans, corn, and bell pepper. It's loaded with protein and fiber without sacrificing any flavor. This heart-healthy dinner can be made on a weeknight in under an hour and yields plenty of leftovers.
- 1 lb ground turkey breast
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes with juices
- 1 cup water
- 1 15 oz can whole kernel corn, juice drained
- 2 15 oz cans kidney beans, juice drained
- 1 can 4 oz can diced green chiles
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 batch of Crunchy Garlic Tortilla Strips
- Cojita or shredded cheddar cheese
- Greek yogurt, sour cream, or creme fraiche
- Diced green onions
- Diced red onion
- Lime wedges
In a 5 quart dutch oven or large pot, heat oil on medium heat. Add bell pepper and onion and cook until the onion is fragrant and translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
Add turkey breast and break apart the meat into crumbly pieces. Allow the turkey to cook until it is no longer pink. Stir in garlic and soy sauce, and simmer for 3 more minutes.
Add tomatoes, water, corn, kidney beans, chiles, bay leaf, cumin, chili flakes, and salt. Stir the ingredients until well-mixed.
Cover the pot and turn the heat down to low-medium. Allow the chili to simmer for 25 minutes.
Once cooked, let the chili sit for 5-10 minutes to thicken. Serve in bowls and garnish with Crunchy Garlic Tortilla Strips, cheese, Greek yogurt, onions, cilantro, and lime juice.
To make Healthy Turkey Chili spicier, add another can of diced green chiles or more chili flakes.
To make vegan, substitute turkey with an additional can of kidney beans.
Store in an air-tight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in a pot on medium heat and stir occasionally.
- Calories: 987
- Sugar: 13.1g
- Sodium: 1759mg
- Fat: 14.5g
- Saturated Fat: 2.7g
- Carbohydrates: 174.4g
- Fiber: 38g
- Protein: 62.2g
- Cholesterol: 42mg
Keywords: turkey chili, easy chili, weeknight dinner, healthy turkey chili, gluten-free dinner, gluten-free meal, easy chili recipe, dairy-free, vegetarian dinner
Editor's note: This post was originally published on January 5, 2019 and republished on July 8, 2020.