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Now you can hack your way to a healthy chili that still packs a punch of awesome flavor in every bite. This turkey chili recipe has everything you love about rich, meaty chili in a lighter way without compromising the taste!

Best turkey chili recipe

Best Turkey Chili Recipe

It’s the best turkey chili recipe you’re ever gonna find anywhere. Made with ground turkey and some flavorful ingredients like celery, sweet red pepper, jalapenos, and bay leaves, this is one healthy chili that will trick your taste buds.

Easy Turkey Chili Recipe

It may seem like loads of ingredients, but they do come together fast. It’s about 10 minutes of prep work and then 35 minutes of cook time. Either way, it takes less than an hour to make, so you could even do this easy turkey chili on a weeknight when the mood for chili strikes!

turkey chili ingredients

Homemade Turkey Chili Ingredients

  • Ground turkey – You’ll use this instead of ground beef.
  • Yellow onion – Gotta have it for those aromatics.
  • Garlic – The same goes for these too.
  • Sweet red pepper – Helps you bring out more flavor since the ground turkey is so lean.
  • Celery – Chop up the stalks.
  • Jalapeno – Get that spice! Hooo!
  • Fresh oregano – It’s best but if all you’ve got is dried, that works too.
  • Canned tomatoes – Buy the diced ones.
  • Chicken broth – It adds more flavor than just water.
  • Red kidney beans – Drain ‘em and rinse ‘em.
  • Chili Seasonings – You’ll also need bay leaves, ground cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Chili Toppings – These are optional but feel free to pick and choose from sour cream, shredded cheddar, avocado, tortilla strips, and jalapenos.

Easy turkey chili recipe

How do you Make Turkey Chili from Scratch?

To make this simple turkey chili recipe, start by grabbing a large pot with a heavy bottom and heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add the ground turkey, cooking for 5 minutes until lightly browned. Stir often and break it into bits. Then add onions, garlic, sweet pepper, celery, jalapeno, oregano, and the rest of the seasonings (except the salt and pepper). Cook about 5 minutes to combine flavors, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Get it boiling, then drop the heat to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes, making sure to stir on occasion. After that, the beans go in and you’ll cook for 10 more minutes, then serve!

How do you make turkey chili from scratch

Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Turkey Chili Every Time

  • Brown that ground turkey. The key to making perfect turkey chili is browned meat, giving it more flavor.
  • Don’t skimp on those aromatics. The celery, onions, garlic, sweet pepper, and jalapeno are all essentials that will give the lean ground turkey meat the kind of flavor you want from your chili, one that doesn’t taste healthy but is!
  • Add more jalapeno for more spice. Want it to have more of a kick? Feel free to throw more jalapeno in there.

How to cook turkey chili

What is the best secret ingredient for chili?

Chili powder is the ultimate chili secret ingredient. It is what gives chili its signature taste that you crave.

What can I add to chili to make it healthier?

Adding in more veggies is a good start. This recipe incorporates celery, sweet red peppers, and jalapenos, all of which have plenty of vitamins, not to mention give it a great, robust flavor too.

Are bay leaves good in chili?

Yes, they are! And while they’re not common in regular chili, they are a key ingredient with turkey chili to add another level of flavor so you will forget you’re eating ground turkey in there.

What goes well with turkey chili

Can you substitute ground chicken for ground turkey in chili?

Yes, you most certainly can sub in ground chicken rather than ground turkey in this recipe. It’s an easy swap to make if you can’t find ground turkey in your supermarket.

Can you replace ground beef with ground turkey in chili?

Yes, this recipe for turkey chili will also come out great if you choose to use ground beef. Give it a try and see what you think!

Can chili be healthy?

Chili can most certainly be healthy when you use turkey or lean meats. Adding in more vegetables gives it more nutrition and flavor all at once, making for a healthy meal that actually tastes great.

Can you substitute ground chicken for ground turkey in chili

How to Cook Turkey Chili?

Turkey chili is cooked in one pot on the stovetop. And since it doesn’t take long at all from start to finish, you can enjoy it any night of the week!

How long should you cook chili?

Chili should be cooked for a minimum of 35 minutes. This ensures the meat is fully cooked and that the flavors have enough time to unite in the pot.

Can you replace ground beef with ground turkey in chili

What goes well with Turkey Chili?

Turkey chili goes well with any of the same sides you’d serve for regular chili, though try some chips and guacamole, quesadillas, potato skins, a big crisp salad, or a fruit salad.

How many calories are in a bowl of turkey chili?

You’ll get about 220 calories from every bowl of turkey chili you devour. Even if you eat 2 bowls, that’s still a lean meal yet one that will fill you up.

Healthy turkey chili recipe

How to store Turkey Chili?

Turkey chili must go in the fridge. It’s best kept in airtight containers and you should wait until it cools to put it in there.

How long does Turkey Chili last?

Like regular chili, you’ll have about 3 to 4 days to finish off what you’ve put in the fridge.

Homemade turkey chili recipe

Does Turkey Chili freeze well?

Oh you bet it does! You will want to keep it in airtight containers and enjoy it all within 3 months.

How to reheat Turkey Chili?

Just put it in a pot on the stove and slowly warm it up for the best flavors.

Watch How To Make Turkey Chili (Video)

Chuck's Classic Turkey Chili Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 185
This classic turkey chili recipe is absolutely delicious and the perfect option when you want to switch it up and have a healthier chili that everyone loves!


  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 1 yellow onion (finely chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1 sweet red pepper (cored, deveined and chopped)
  • 2 celery stalks (chopped)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (cored, deveined and finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano (chopped, OR 1 tbsp dried oregano)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 3 cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 15 oz cans red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • shredded cheddar cheese (optional topping)
  • sour cream (optional topping)
  • avocado (optional topping)
  • tortilla chips or strips (optional topping)
  • jalapeños (optional topping)


  • In a large heavy bottom pot, heat your olive oil over medium high heat. Add in the ground turkey and cook for about 5 minutes until lightly browned. Stir regularly and break up ground turkey into smaller pieces with cooking spoon.
  • Once the turkey is browned, add in the onions, garlic, sweet pepper, celery, jalapeno pepper, oregano, bay leaves, cumin, and chili powder. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally to combine flavors evenly.
  • Next, add in the tomatoes, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Continue stirring occasionally while cooking.
  • Next, add in the red kidney beans (drained) and cook for 10 more minutes while stirring occasionally.
  • Serve chili hot in individual bowls with your favorite toppings like shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, sliced avocado, or tortilla chips.
Calories: 185kcal
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American


Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 588mg | Potassium: 573mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1526IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 3mg

More turkey chili recipes:

Chuck 'The Chili Guy' Miller

Hey I'm Chuck "The Chili Guy" Miller. Chili is my passion so I have expertly crafted my list of tried and true award worthy chili recipes that will warm your soul. My gift to you from one chili connoisseur to another. - Chuck

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