This turkey chili is a comforting dish that's packed with flavorful and nutritious ingredients! It features a delicious chili spice blend, plenty of nourishing vegetables, and tasty ground turkey, making it the perfect meal for a quick and healthy dinner on cold days.
If you’ve tried my favorite classic beef chili recipe or vegetarian chili recipe, then you’ll know just how delicious they are! This turkey chili recipe is equally as tasty with many shared ingredients and it comes together quickly, making it ideal on busy weeknights.
So if you're in need of a quick and healthy one-pot meal that can feed your whole family, be sure to give this recipe a try! And if you happen to have any leftovers, you can easily freeze them for a convenient meal on another day.
Turkey Chili Ingredients
To make this turkey chili, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Ground turkey: You’ll need ground turkey or ground chicken (in case you can’t find ground turkey) for this recipe. Both work well!
- Beans: I recommend using two different types of beans. Kidney beans and borlotti or pinto beans are a delicious combination that goes really well with ground turkey. But feel free to adjust the type of beans as desired. I usually buy canned beans as they are very convenient to use, but you can use dried beans if you prefer them.
- Aromatics: You’ll need garlic, yellow onion, and chili pepper to make this chili taste aromatic and delicious. If you don’t like a lot of spice, you could skip the fresh chili pepper.
- Bell pepper: I recommend a combination of green and red bell pepper to make this turkey chili. But feel free to use any other or just one color of bell pepper.
- Tomato paste: Tomato paste adds a lot of flavor and depth to the chili, so I definitely recommend using it!
- Spices: You’ll need chili powder (spice blend, not ground chili peppers), paprika powder, ground cumin, curry powder (optional, for balance), and cayenne pepper. If you prefer a mild chili, you can skip the cayenne pepper.
- Chicken broth: Chicken broth is one part of the liquid base for chili. You could also use vegetable broth if you don’t have any chicken broth on hand.
- Tomato passata: The second part of the base is tomato passata. Alternatives are canned tomatoes and fire-roasted canned tomatoes.
How to make turkey chili
Sauté the aromatics. First, preheat some olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Then sauté the onion, garlic, and chili pepper until fragrant.
Cook the ground turkey. Next, add the ground turkey to the pot and cook until it is colored evenly. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for 1 minute.
Add the tomato paste and spices. Add the tomato paste and spices and continue to sauté everything for about 1 minute.
Add the beans, bell pepper, and liquids and simmer. Now add the kidney beans, borlotti or pinto beans, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, tomato passata, and chicken broth to the pot. Stir and cover the pot. Let the chili simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Season and serve. Check if you want to adjust the seasoning. Serve the chili with your favorite toppings and sides and enjoy!
Tips & Notes
- Adjust the seasoning to taste. The recipe is already great, but depending on your personal preferences, you may consider adjusting the seasoning. Cayenne pepper adds spiciness, chili powder adds depth, paprika powder adds sweetness, and curry powder can beautifully balance all the flavors. Feel free to customize the amount of spices to suit your taste buds better.
- Toast the spices but don’t let them burn. After adding the tomato paste and spices, you want to continue to sauté everything to develop the flavor of the spices. Just be sure to use medium heat and don’t sauté things for too long, as the spices can burn and develop an unpleasant flavor.
- Don’t reduce the cook time. Chili needs some time to simmer so the flavor can develop. That’s why I’d recommend cooking everything for at least 15 minutes.
- Add other or more vegetables. The great thing about chili recipes is that you can add many different types of vegetables and they’ll always taste great! So feel free to use different vegetables or add more of them. Other favorites of mine that I recommend trying are frozen corn, all kinds of beans, celery, sweet potato, and carrot.
- Use another type of protein or skip it. This turkey chili recipe works well even if you use a different type of protein, such as beef, or if you prefer to omit it altogether. So feel free to modify this recipe as needed.
How to serve this turkey chili
- Add some carbohydrates to your meal. I definitely love my carbs so I always add some to my meals. White rice, pasta, bread, and tortillas all taste really great with this turkey chili. Feel free to pick the one you like most to make your meal extra filling and satisfying.
- Use your favorite toppings to make the chili more delicious. Even if you don’t add toppings, this chili is going to taste amazing! But it’s even better when you add delicious toppings. Shredded cheese, sour cream, cilantro, fresh jalapeño peppers, pickled jalapeños, tortilla chips, and avocados taste really great with this turkey chili.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, it is! It is packed with nutritious ingredients and spices that make this turkey chili healthy and delicious. It is often consumed as a lighter alternative to classic beef chili which is fattier due to the usage of ground beef. So if you want a low-fat version, I definitely recommend trying this turkey chili recipe.
I think most people would describe this chili as moderately spicy. It’s not overly hot, but at the same time isn’t mild either. So feel free to adjust the recipe as desired to make it fit your personal preferences.
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 3-4 days. This turkey chili also freezes well, so you can store it in your freezer for up to 3 months. When reheating it, you may have to add some additional liquid.
More quick and delicious dinner recipes
Hectic days demand simple recipes that can be prepared with minimal effort. The following recipes are perfect if you're looking to make a delicious and satisfying dinner without spending too much time in the kitchen.
- German Sausage Lentil Soup
- Ground Beef Bulgogi
- Thai Basil Fried Rice
- White Bean Chicken Chili
- Creamy Fettuccine Bolognese
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 chili pepper diced
- 1 pound ground turkey
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons chili powder American-style spice blend, not ground chilies
- ½ tablespoon paprika powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin more to taste
- ½ teaspoon curry powder (optional) for additional flavor and balance
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper more to taste to make the chili spicier
- 1 15-ounce can kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can borlotti beans or pinto beans drained and rinsed
- ½ red bell pepper diced
- ½ green bell pepper diced
- 1 ½ cups tomato passata
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- toppings of your choice (optional) cilantro, sour cream, avocado, jalapeño pepper, tortilla chips
- Preheat some olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Then sauté the onion, garlic, and chili pepper until fragrant.2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 yellow onion, 3 garlic cloves, 1 chili pepper
- Next, add the ground turkey and sauté over medium heat until the ground turkey is evenly colored. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for 1 minute.1 pound ground turkey, salt and pepper
- Now add in the tomato paste and all seasonings. Stir until combined and continue to sauté everything for around 1 minute.2 tablespoons tomato paste, 2 tablespoons chili powder, ½ tablespoon paprika powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon curry powder (optional), ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Add the kidney beans, borlotti or pinto beans, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, tomato passata, and chicken broth to the pot. Stir until combined. Cover the pot and let the turkey chili simmer for 15-20 minutes.1 15-ounce can kidney beans, 1 15-ounce can borlotti beans or pinto beans, ½ red bell pepper, ½ green bell pepper, 1 ½ cups tomato passata, 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- Check if you want to adjust the seasoning. Then serve the chili with your favorite toppings and enjoy!toppings of your choice (optional)
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