Healthy Turkey Chili

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This healthy turkey chili is made with kidney and black beans, corn, tomatoes and a blend of spices. It’s the perfect meal to serve for game day or as an easy dinner!

I don’t know about you, but the second cool weather hits, I crave chili! I love all types of soups and stews, but I think chili takes the cake and this turkey chili might just be my favorite chili recipe I have on EBF.

It’s hearty, filling and always serves a crowd. Comfort food in a bowl! It doesn’t hurt that it’s super easy to throw together and packed with healthy ingredients.

A white bowl full of turkey chili, topped sour cream, shredded cheese, avocado slices, fresh cilantro, and tortilla chips.

Why You’ll Love This Turkey Chili

This turkey chili stands out for all the right reasons:

  • Flavor-packed: With a blend of spices like chili powder, cumin, and paprika, each bite is a burst of flavor.
  • Nutritious: Lean ground turkey and a variety of beans make this a protein-rich and fiber-filled option.
  • Adaptable: Prefer a vegetarian twist or different beans? This recipe can handle it.
  • Topping Freedom: Whether you like your chili topped with shredded cheese, avocado, or a dollop of sour cream, this dish works as the perfect base.
  • One-Pot Magic: Simple to prepare and even easier to clean up, it’s the ideal weeknight or meal-prep dish.
Ingredients measured out to make Turkey Chili: broth, cumin, olive oil, paprika, cayenne pepper, canned crushed tomatoes, oregano, kidney beans, black beans, chili powder, ground turkey, garlic, yellow onion, pepper, corn and salt.

Healthy Turkey Chili Ingredients

  • ground turkey – traditionally ground beef is used for chili, but we’re keeping things on the lighter side with ground turkey for this version.
  • vegetables – yellow onion, garlic and frozen sweet corn
  • chicken broth or vegetable broth – chicken or vegetable broth are great options. I recommend using low sodium so you can control the saltiness of the soup.
  • diced or crushed tomatoes – adds a great savory flavor to this chili.
  • beans – I like to keep things easy and used canned beans (drained and rinsed), but you can certainly cook your own beans from scratch if you have the time. I used a blend of red kidney beans and black beans, but you can use different beans if needed.
  • olive oil – to sauté the vegetables and ground meat in for the stovetop method. Avocado oil works as well.
  • seasonings and spices – chili powder, paprika, cumin, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, sea salt and pepper
  • optional toppings – avocado, sour cream (or Greek yogurt), shredded cheese, green onion, cilantro, jalapeño, etc.
Collage of four photos showing the process to making Turkey Chili in a pot. Cooking the onion, turkey, adding the broth, tomatoes, spices and beans, and then simmering together.

How to Make

As I mentioned above, making this turkey chili recipe is so easy. Here’s how to make it:

Sauté – Start by heating the oil in a large pot or dutch oven on the stove top over medium heat. Once warm add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring frequently until the mixture is fragrant and the onion is translucent. Add the ground turkey, salt and pepper and cook until the turkey is browned evenly and cooked through.

Simmer – Add the stock, tomatoes, beans, corn and spices and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Serve – Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve the chili warm with your favorite chili toppings. I love serving mine with avocado, sour cream and cornbread.

Turkey chili in a large, white dutch oven, topped off with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.

How to Make Turkey Chili in the Slow Cooker

  1. Start by heating the oil in a large skillet oven over medium heat. Once warm add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring frequently until the mixture is fragrant and the onion is translucent.
  2. Add in the ground turkey, salt and pepper and cook until the turkey is browned evenly and cooked through.
  3. Add all your ingredients (except for the toppings) including the cooked turkey, onions and garlic to your slow cooker/crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8 hours until veggies are cooked and tender.

How to Make Turkey Chili in the Instant Pot

  1. Add oil to Instant Pot and put on sauté setting. Add onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, until fragrant. Add turkey, salt and pepper to the pot and cook, breaking apart meat with a spatula until evenly brown and cooked through.
  2. Press cancel on the Instant Pot and add stock, tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans, corn, chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper. Place the lid on the pressure cooker, lock lid and make sure the pressure release valve is closed.
  3. Then press the soup/stew button or “pressure cook” and set time to 15 minutes.
  4. Once the timer reaches 0, the cooker will switch to keep warm. Carefully switch the pressure release valve to open to manually release the pressure. (I use tongs for this).
A white bowl full of turkey chili, topped sour cream, shredded cheese, avocado slices, fresh cilantro, and tortilla chips.

Customize Your Turkey Chili

The best part about chili is how versatile it is! Here are some ideas on how you can customize this chili:

  • Vegetarian or vegan option – ditch the meat and add more beans to this chili. Or you can follow my vegetarian chili recipe.
  • Different meat – feel free to swap the ground turkey for a different meat of choice. This chili would be delicious with ground chicken or ground beef.
  • Different or more vegetables – add extra vegetables to your chili for added flavor and nutrition! Bell pepper, zucchini or carrots sound delicious to me but you really can’t go wrong.
  • Spice – if you wish to add more spice you could add a chopped jalapeño or crushed red pepper flakes to this chili.
A spoonful of turkey chili being held over a white bowl of the chili.

How to Serve Chili

I recommend topping this chili with shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro, sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and avocado, but you can top it with anything you’d like! It’s a filling meal on its own, but if you want to pair it with some sides here are some suggestions:

A white bowl full of turkey chili, topped sour cream, shredded cheese, avocado slices, and fresh cilantro.

How to Store Leftovers

Let the chili cool completely before storing in an airtight container. The chili will last 3-4 days when stored in the refrigerator and can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. If freezing, make sure to thaw in the fridge overnight before serving.

You can reheat in a pot on the stove over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes if you’re in a rush.

More Chili Recipes to Try

Be sure to check out all of my soup recipes and all of my ground turkey recipes here on EBF!

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4.90 from 55 votes

Healthy Turkey Chili

This healthy turkey chili is made with kidney and black beans, corn, tomatoes and a blend of spices. It's the perfect meal to serve for game day or as an easy dinner!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients  

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth or vegetable stock
  • 1 28 ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ½ cups frozen sweet corn
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ -½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Toppings of choice: avocado, sour cream (or yogurt), shredded cheese, cilantro, etc.

Instructions 

  • Heat the oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Once oil is hot add onion and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring frequently until mixture is fragrant and onion is a bit translucent.
    Sautéed onion and garlic in a large white dutch oven.
  • Add turkey, salt and pepper to the pot and cook, breaking apart meat with a spatula until evenly brown and cooked through.
    Cooked ground turkey in a large white dutch oven. There's a small white bowl full of corn on one side, and four small cups with spices on the other side.
  • Add stock to the pot. Mix in tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans, corn, chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper. Bring chili to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
    Turkey chili in a large, white dutch oven. Noticeable ingredients include corn, beans, and ground turkey.
  • Serve chili warm with toppings of choice. Some ideas include avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro, green onion, etc.

Video

Notes

Slow Cooker Instructions:
  1. Start by heating the oil in a large skillet oven over medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring frequently until the mixture is fragrant and the onion is translucent.
  2. Add in the ground turkey, salt and pepper and cook until the turkey is browned evenly and cooked through.
  3. Add all your ingredients (except for the toppings) including the cooked turkey, onions and garlic to your slow cooker/crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8 hours until veggies are cooked and tender.
Instant Pot instructions:
  1. Add oil to Instant Pot and put on sauté setting. Add onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, until fragrant. Add turkey, salt and pepper to the pot and cook, breaking apart meat with a spatula until evenly brown and cooked through.
  2. Press cancel on the Instant Pot and add stock, tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans, corn, chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper. Place the lid on the pressure cooker, lock lid and make sure the pressure release valve is closed.
  3. Then press the soup/stew button or “pressure cook” and set time to 15 minutes.
  4. Once the timer reaches 0, the cooker will switch to keep warm. Carefully switch the pressure release valve to open to manually release the pressure. (I use tongs for this).

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of recipe | Calories: 488kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 1502mg | Fiber: 20g | Sugar: 12g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: turkey chili
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

More about Brittany
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Recipe Rating




48 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Simple to make, fast and delicious chili – thanks for another healthy yummy dinner! I’ve been following you for awhile and purchased your latest cookbook. I enjoy easy going and positive attitude.
    Thanks!!

    1. Hi Linda – This makes me so happy to hear! I am so glad you’re loving my recipes and my cookbook too! Thanks for your support and for coming back and leaving your review & star rating, it truly means so much to me!

    1. YUM! Perfect recipe for the fall and winter. Glad you are loving this chili, Kate. Thank you for your review & star rating, I appreciate it!

  2. 5 stars
    Love this! I’ve been craving chili, but So Cal is still in the 80’s🙄. This is so similar to my mom’s recipe that I make all the time, except yours has the addition of corn, delish!

    1. Amazing! So happy to hear you’re loving this recipe, Thea. Hopefully, it cools down for you soon! Thank you for your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

  3. Delicious! I see on the nutrition info it says a serving size is 1/4 of recipe, but what quantity is that? 1 cup? 2 cups? My bf is trying to track what he eats. Help!

    1. Hi Kayla – I would need to check this again when I make it. If you made it before I am able to get back to you, this recipe makes 4 servings so I would recommend equally portioning it out into 4 different containers. Hope that helps for now, but I will get back to you with the exact answer next time I make the recipe!

    1. Yay! I am so happy to hear you loved this dish and it turned out amazing for you. Thanks for your review and star rating, I truly appreciate it!

  4. Excited to make this for friends! There will be 4 of us and we are all good eaters. Should I double recipe, and if so, will it still fit in standard size large pot? Thank you! 💚

    1. Yes, I would recommend doubling this recipe, Erin. PLUS the leftovers are SO good! It should still fit in a standard size large pot. Enjoy!

    1. YUM! So glad you are loving this recipe and it turned out great for you. Thanks so much for sharing your review & star rating, I really appreciate it!

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