Hearty Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe

This Turkey Chili has all the flavor of beef chili but is a healthier option. My family loves this recipe and I love feeding them a healthy delicious meal!

Overhead shot of turkey chili in a white serving bowl.

When college football season begins, the Saturdays at our house are fairly predictable; the TV is on and a big pot of this Turkey Chili is cooking. The recipe started with The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, which I got as a young adult. (I won’t tell you how many years ago!) I learned a lot from that book as the instructions were step-by-step and easy to follow.

As my cooking skills have developed, I’ve changed the recipe and added several things. This Turkey Chili is a hearty meal that goes together easily with readily available ingredients.

Turkey chili with toppings and sunflowers.

Many years ago, in an effort to put healthier choices in front of my family I swapped out the ground beef for ground turkey and my husband doesn’t notice the difference. (If he does, he loves it just the same and hasn’t said anything!)

I’ve served this at large gatherings and everyone always comes back for seconds!

Serve this with some delicious Cornbread!

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Turkey Chili with Beans

For a big crowd, double the recipe, bake some potatoes or make a pot of rice and serve the chili over the potatoes or rice. Everyone seems to love this non-traditional and fun serving method; and it’s an economical way for the chili to serve more people!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Turkey Chili with Beans
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Anna

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil or cooking oil
  • 2 pounds ground turkey, you can also use ground beef or 1/2 and 1/2. If you buy turkey that is just breast meat, the amount of oil will need to be increased.
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup diced green pepper, seeds and ribs removed
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can tomatoes, or 4 cups peeled, chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4-6 dashes of your favorite hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco or Tapatio. The amount depends on your "hotness" preference.
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup chili powder, depends on your taste! I use less when I know my young grandkids will be eating it.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, I use kosher salt
  • 2 17-ounce cans kidney, pinto, or black beans, your choice

Gr8 Toppings

  • Cheddar Cheese or Monterey Jack Cheese, or both! (Not for dairy free)
  • Chopped Onion
  • Chopped Bell Pepper
  • Diced Avocados
  • Crumbled Tortilla Chips or Tortilla Strips
  • Crumbled Saltine Crackers, (not for Gluten Free)
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Chopped Fresh Tomatoes
  • Sour Cream, (Not for dairy free)

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven (about 5 quarts) over medium-high heat.
  • Add the ground turkey, onions, green pepper, and garlic, and cook until onion is tender, about 10-12 minutes. Stir frequently, breaking up the chunks of ground turkey.
  • Add the tomatoes and their liquid, the cumin, pepper sauce, chili powder, and salt.
  • Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Drain and rinse the beans then stir into the chili.
  • Cook on medium until the beans are warmed through.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  • Serve in soup bowls with your choice of Gr8 Toppings.

Notes

Gr8 Serving Ideas:
For a big crowd, double the recipe, bake some potatoes or make a pot of rice and serve the chili over the potatoes or rice. Everyone seems to love this non-traditional and fun serving method; and it’s an economical way for the chili to serve more people!
Gr8 Do-Ahead:
Follow the directions through Step 4 up to two days ahead of time. Let the dish cool down then cover and refrigerate. When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator, and continue with Step 5. You can also freeze the chili before adding the beans. Make several batches ahead of time, cool, then seal in plastic freezer bags. It will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Gr8 Tips:
Your family may like more or less heat. To cut down on the spiciness you can eliminate the pepper sauce and lessen the amount of cumin used. To amp it up, add more chili powder, pepper sauce and/or cumin. Enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Mention @Great8Friends or tag #gr8food!

Post edited from original publication date of August 28, 2015.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Anna | 31st Aug 15

    fall is coming! And maybe some cooler weather!

  2. Claudia Kerns | 31st Aug 15

    My recipe is very similar!! So good! Just waiting for it to cool down here.

  3. Anna | 28th Aug 15

    Let’s have a GR8 Chili Cook-off, Brenda!

  4. Brenda Perlin | 28th Aug 15

    This looks delish. I make a similar turkey chili and I get begged to make it at least every month. Such a treat. Will try yours next time.

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