Hearty Turkey Chili Recipe

There are countless ways to make chili — some people enjoy a bean-based recipe, whereas others avoid the little legumes at all cost. Tomatoes often make their way into the mix, and you could easily make a vegetarian chili and throw in corn, peppers, or even carrots. When it comes to making a meat-based chili, ground beef is typically the go-to — but why not switch it up? Thanks to this hearty turkey chili recipe, you can have all of those warm, comforting chili flavors, with lean ground turkey meat as the star of the show. 

"My favorite thing about this chili is that it's a healthier twist on a classic chili without compromising on flavor," Tasting Table recipe developer Catherine Brookes from Blue Sky Eating describes. Aside from ground turkey, this chili is loaded with protein-packed beans, tomatoes, and an abundance of spices that'll warm you right up. "It's a great easy weeknight dinner that you can make up in a big batch and leftovers should freeze well," Brookes adds. Pair this chili with rice, sour cream, cilantro, and avocado, as Brookes does, and you'll have a hearty bowl that keeps you nice and full. 

Gather the ingredients for this hearty turkey chili recipe

To make this turkey chili, you'll need some ground turkey, along with a diced onion, a diced red bell pepper, crushed garlic, a can of chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, and kidney beans. Additionally, you'll need a little bit of olive oil and a number of spices: chili powder, oregano, cumin, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. 

One of chili's qualities is that it's very customizable, and this recipe is no exception. Brookes notes that you could opt to use ground beef or a vegetarian, meatless meat option. "Beans could also be swapped for cannellini or black beans," she adds, also noting that you could use vegetable or beef broth instead of chicken. 

Sauté the veggies and cook the turkey

Place a large frying pan with high sides on the stovetop over medium heat. Pour in the olive oil and allow it to heat up, then add in the diced onion and bell pepper. Let the veggies cook for 6 to 8 minutes until softened, then add in the garlic and allow it to cook for another few minutes. 

Once those aromatics are nicely aromatic, go ahead and add in the ground turkey. Break it up with a spoon as it cooks, and continue cooking until there is no pink left in the meat.

Season the chili and add the remaining ingredients

Now that the turkey is cooked, go ahead and add in the spices: chili powder, oregano, cumin, and paprika. Stir it up and cook for a few minutes, allowing the flavors of the spices to really meld with the turkey and veggies. 

Next up, add in the can of chopped tomatoes, then fill the can about halfway with water and pour that in, too. Add the chicken stock, kidney beans, then stir it all up. Finally, bring the chili to a boil then reduce it to a simmer. Keep it at a simmering level for another 30 minutes. 

Enjoy your chili with some fresh toppings

Once your chili has had a chance to simmer, give it a taste. Add salt and pepper as desired, then serve up this hearty dish. Brookes likes to serve her chili with rice, fresh cilantro, sour cream, and sliced avocado, but you could serve it with anything, or even just enjoy it as is. This chili is the ultimate comfort dish — so comforting, in fact, that you'll almost forget how healthy it is! 

And, if you happen to have leftovers, you're in luck. "Leftovers will keep well in the fridge up to 3 days or in the freezer up to 6 months," Brookes says. This is the perfect recipe to prep ahead, freeze, and serve when you want a quick, comforting, and healthy meal. 

Hearty Turkey Chili Recipe
5 from 39 ratings
If you're tired of beef chili, this hearty turkey chili recipe will renew your love for the comforting dish. Easy and adaptable, this recipe is a winner.
Prep Time
Cook Time
bowl of chili with avocado
Total time: 50 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 (14.1-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 (14.1-ounce) can kidney beans
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
Optional Ingredients
  • avocado, to top
  • sour cream, to top
  • fresh chopped cilantro, to top
  1. Add the oil to a large frying pan with high sides and cook the onion and pepper at a medium temperature for 6 to 8 minutes until softened.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for another few minutes.
  3. Add the ground turkey and break it down with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Keep frying until it is no longer pink.
  4. Add the chili powder, oregano, cumin, and paprika to the pan, stir well, and cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan, then fill the can halfway with water and add that too.
  6. Finally, pour in the chicken stock, add the kidney beans, and stir everything.
  7. Bring the contents of the pan to a boil then simmer for about 30 minutes.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. If desired, serve with rice and optional toppings like avocado, sour cream, and fresh chopped cilantro.
Calories per Serving 371
Total Fat 14.8 g
Saturated Fat 3.3 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 80.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 29.4 g
Dietary Fiber 8.9 g
Total Sugars 8.7 g
Sodium 1,105.0 mg
Protein 32.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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