why you’ll love this recipe
A rain fall football sunday calls for this fun-to-make Healthy Turkey Chili! September is honestly the best month of the year —fall is starting, football is starting, you can wear plaid flannels. So what is better to slow cook all day then chili! This healthy turkey chili is packed with lean turkey protein and beans. You can make it spicy or mild and top it off with as much cheese, avocado and sour cream as you want! Its thick base is perfect for dipping chips or crackers into.
This healthy turkey chili is gluten free and is dairy free. You can add fat free, full fat or dairy free cheese on top for serving! This healthy turkey chili even has a vegan option.
This turkey chili recipe is classic in flavor, thick in texture, and ready for any and all of your favorite chili toppings.
I choose to make my healthy chili with ground turkey. Its a lean and low carb option which keeps this recipe healthy. Then, I pack this chili with beans, peppers and onions to make it filling and absolutely delicious.
Andrew, my fiance, loves to make this healthy turkey chili too! It could be a 90 degree afternoon in the middle of August and he’ll be in the kitchen dicing the peppers and onions and preparing the chili. I’m telling you, any day of the week, any month of the year, he’s down for chili. This healthy turkey chili really only takes 20 minutes to prep and then simmers on the stove slow cooking for as long as you’d like.
ingredients & substitutions
Peppers and onions
For the peppers and onions in this healthy turkey chili, you can select the colors you like best. I like to use red onions in recipes but Andrew likes to use white onions. The sweet onions are also a great option! We tend to use yellow, orange and red peppers since they are sweeter but you can use green peppers if you have those as well.
lean ground turkey
You can use any protein you want for this turkey chili. If you don’t like turkey or choose not to use turkey you can sub ground chicken or ground beef. If you are vegan you can sub extra beans or add shredded jackfruit. See my notes below!
beans of choice (we use kidney beans!)
You can use any beans for this healthy turkey chili. We choose to use kidney beans but you can use black beans, white beans, etc. This is a clean-out-your-fridge recipe so throw whatever beans you have in there!
tomato sauce, diced or crushed tomatoes
This tomato sauce and tomatoes create the thick base for the healthy turkey chili. Its packed with healthy tomato flavors. I choose to buy the tomato sauce in a can that is unseasond and does not have any oil. It keeps this chili recipe lower in fat and a healthier option.
You want to use a sauce like this: https://amzn.to/3RR0bvS
Spices: chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper
This spice and herb combination is the perfect flavoring for this healthy turkey chili. Its sweet and spicy, plus you can add extra cayene pepper and red pepper flakes to make it extra spicy!
Brown sugar, coconut sugar or sugar substitute
We make this recipe with brown sugar but you can use any kind of sugar you want! The key is to give the healthy turkey chili a little bit of sweetness to offset the spice.
How to make this sugar free?
To make this sugar free you can use a sugar substitute. You can use a white sugar substitute or a brown sugar substitute.
On a cutting board, dice up the peppers and onions. In a large pot, add the olive oil, peppers, onions and ground turkey.
Cook for 5-7 minutes on medium heat until the peppers and onions are soft and meat is browned.
In the same pot, add in the beans, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and sugar.
Cook covered, on medium low heat, for 1-2 hours. Stir every 15-20 minutes.
When chili is done cooking, remove from the stove and ladle 1-2 cups into individual serving bowls.
how to serve & store:
I like to serve this chili over rice! I usually use 1/2 cup fully cooked white rice! I’ve added some lower carb options below as well! I also like to add cheee and slices of avocado on top. Adding crispy corn tortilla strips on top is also a fun option for a good crunch.
How to make this vegan
The 2 ingredients in this recipe that are not vegan are the cheese and the meat inside the chili. So, to make this vegan chili you can top with dairy free cheddar cheese and nix the ground turkey. Instead of turkey you can add either 1-2 extra cups of beans or add 1-2 cups of shredded jackfruit instead.
How to make this low carb
Instead of serving this healthy turkey chili with white rice you can choose from 1/2 cup of brown rice or 1/2 cup fully cooked brown rice. Or feel free to mix the two! You can use 1/4 cup brown rice mixed with 1/4 cup cauliflower rice to keep the same rice texture but making sure it has extra vegetables.
Here is one of my favorite cauliflower rices: https://amzn.to/3d5icYF
How to make this low fat
To make this healthy turkey chili lower in fat you can use fat free cheese and option to skip the avocado! Although avocado is filled with healthy fats!
Healthy Turkey Chili (gluten free)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large bell pepper
- 1 large onion
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 1 15 oz can of beans of choice we use kidney beans!
- 2 15 oz can of tomato sauce
- 1 15 oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp brown sugar coconut sugar or sugar substitute
- On a cutting board, dice up the peppers and onions.
- In a large pot, add the olive oil, peppers, onions and ground turkey.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes on medium heat until the peppers and onions are soft and meat is browned.
- In the same pot, add in the beans, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and sugar.
- Cook covered, on medium low heat, for 1-2 hours. Stir every 15-20 minutes.
- When chili is done cooking, remove from the stove and ladle 1-2 cups into individual serving bowls.