Chili may be one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. This Healthy Turkey Chili recipe is wholesome, loaded with flavor, and made in one pot for easy cleanup. If that wasn’t enough, it’s ready in less than 30 minutes, makes great leftovers, and freezes well.
There are a lot of varieties when it comes to chili, such as the liquid base, meat, and beans used. One of my favorites is my White Bean Turkey Chili. This Healthy Turkey Chili recipe uses a traditional red sauce with kidney beans and ground turkey. Both are amazing and make wonderful winter comfort foods.
Traditional chili typically includes diced tomatoes, onion, celery, kidney beans, spices and some sort of meat. Here’s a list of ingredients you’ll need for this classic turkey chili recipe:
Ingredients for Turkey Chili
- Ground turkey
- Canned red kidney beans
- Canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- Canned diced green chile peppers
- Yellow onion
- Chili powder
- Ground cumin
- Dried oregano
- Salt and pepper
Why this chili recipe might be your new favorite
- Loaded with clean ingredients: While it uses some canned ingredients for speed and convenience, it includes only natural ingredients. Use organic for a more wholesome chili.
- Loaded with lean protein: I used ground turkey, which adds great flavor and tons of lean protein. You could also substitute with ground turkey, beef, or even tofu as a vegan option.
- Loaded with flavor: There’s something about homemade chili that brings back nostalgic bliss. A simple mixture of meats, beans, veggies, and spices culminates into something wonderful.
- Made in one pot: Everything is added in steps in one pot, making cleanup easy.
- Can be doubled or even tripled: This recipe is easily adapted to make lots of leftovers, without adding extra time to the prep or cooking time.
- Makes great leftovers: Just like soups, chili is great for leftovers. Dare I say it’s even better (if that’s possible) the next day once the flavors meld.
- Freezes well for leftovers: If you make a large batch, freeze extras in separate containers for lots of leftovers. Simply defrost in the fridge then reheat. It’ll be just as good as the first day you made it.
Tips for Making this Recipe
Use a food processor to chop the veggies
Pulse the celery, onion, and garlic in a food processor to save time. This also creates the ideal texture for the chili. If you don’t have a food processor, just finely chop the veggies.
Heat the spices in oil
Spices, such as chili powder and cumin, are fat-soluble. This means their flavors are enhanced when heated in oil vs. liquid. My recipe calls for heating the spices in olive oil, then adding veggies to saute. It makes a huge difference in flavor.
Use canned ingredients
This saves lots of time, and the flavor will be just as good. Canned beans, diced tomatoes, and green chilis are staple ingredients in most of my chili recipes. If you prefer to cook your own beans, then simply substitute with the same amount.
Garnish with desired toppings
One of the best parts about chili is loading it with toppings. Some of my favorites are sliced green onion, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream. You could also add chopped bacon or other herbs such as parsley.
How to store leftovers
This healthy turkey chili is great for leftovers. It’s easy to make large batches, freezes well and tastes just as good served as leftovers. Be sure to bring to room temp then chill or freeze based on the recommendations below.
Store in the fridge: Place the entire pot of leftovers or separate sealed containers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freeze for longer storage: Freeze in separate serving-sized contains such as a sealed Ziploc or Tupperware for up to 5 months. Defrost in the fridge 2-3 days before reheating and serving.
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Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 large yellow onion
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 ½ pounds ground turkey
- 2 14.5 ounce cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 5 14.5 ounce cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 4 ounce can mild diced green chile peppers, undrained
- 1 stalk green onion, thinly sliced
- Sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese, as an optional garnish
- Cut celery and onion into large chunks. Place in a food processor with garlic. Pulse until finely chopped and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add chili powder, cumin, and dried oregano. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Add processed vegetables, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook 4–5 minutes, stirring often, until fragrant and slightly tender.
- Add turkey and cook 5–7 minutes more, breaking up meat as it cooks, until browned.
- Stir in beans, diced tomatoes (with liquid), and green chiles. Bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garnish with green onions, sour cream, and cheddar cheese before serving.