Turkey Chili Recipe

This hearty turkey chili recipe is a savory blend of spices, ground turkey, and beans, simmered to perfection. It's the ideal comfort food for chilly nights, packed with protein and brimming with beautiful flavors that warm you from the inside out.

Turkey Chili Recipe
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While most of the ingredients in this recipe are common pantry items, you may need to look for rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies which add a wonderful zest and kick to this chili. They may not be a typical item in your grocery list, but they are usually easily available in the canned vegetables section of your supermarket.

Ingredients for Hearty Turkey Chili

Ground turkey: A lean source of protein that forms the base of this chili.

Onion: Adds a sweet, aromatic flavor.

Garlic: Gives a robust and earthy taste.

Chili powder: Gives the chili its characteristic spiciness.

Bell pepper: Adds a crunchy texture and sweet flavor.

Kidney beans: They are hearty and hold up well during the cooking process.

Oregano: Adds a hint of earthy and minty flavor.

Cumin: Brings a warm and earthy flavor.

Tomato sauce: Gives a thick, rich base to the chili.

Chicken broth: Adds depth of flavor and liquid for cooking.

Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies: Adds a tangy and spicy kick.

One reader, Aindrea Robledo says:

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This hearty turkey chili recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are rich and comforting, and it's so easy to make. The combination of spices and ingredients creates a delicious and satisfying meal. It's become a family favorite in our household. Highly recommend trying it out!

Aindrea Robledo

Key Techniques for Making Hearty Turkey Chili

How to brown ground turkey: In a large skillet, heat some oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until it is no longer pink.

How to simmer: Once all the ingredients are added, bring the chili to a simmer over medium-high heat. Then, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer gently for 35 to 45 minutes, uncovered, until it thickens.

How To Make Turkey Chili

This turkey chili is a lighter version of a classic dish but it still has all the flavors and heartiness. It also has beans, tomatoes and lots of spices.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes



  • 1lbground turkey,or ground chicken
  • 1onion,diced
  • 2clovesgarlic,minced
  • tbspchili powder
  • 1bell pepper,red or green
  • 19ozkidney beans,drained and rinsed
  • ½tsporegano
  • ½tspcumin
  • 1cuptomato sauce
  • 1cupchicken broth,or beef broth
  • 10½ozRotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies,1 can


  1. Brown ground turkey onion, garlic and chili powder until no pink remains.

  2. Add remaining ingredients and bring chili to a simmer over medium high heat.

  3. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 35 to 45 minutes uncovered until thickened.


  • Calories: 485.30kcal
  • Fat: 7.78g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.88g
  • Trans Fat: 0.08g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 2.42g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.50g
  • Carbohydrates: 68.47g
  • Fiber: 26.19g
  • Sugar: 9.76g
  • Protein: 39.71g
  • Cholesterol: 53.36mg
  • Sodium: 436.12mg
  • Calcium: 192.51mg
  • Potassium: 1987.55mg
  • Iron: 10.18mg
  • Vitamin A: 124.68µg
  • Vitamin C: 160.75mg

Crucial Technique Tip for Perfecting Turkey Chili

When browning the ground turkey, onion, garlic, and chili powder, make sure to break up the turkey into small crumbles. This not only ensures that the turkey cooks evenly, but also allows the flavors of the onion, garlic, and chili powder to permeate the meat more effectively. Additionally, don't rush this step. Allowing the turkey to brown properly will add a depth of flavor to your chili.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Chili Recipe

Prep ahead: Chop and measure all ingredients in advance to streamline the cooking process.

Use canned beans: Save time by using canned beans instead of soaking and cooking dried beans.

One-pot wonder: Opt for a single pot to minimize cleanup and simplify the cooking process.

Utilize kitchen gadgets: Use tools like a food processor or garlic press to speed up prep work.

Batch cooking: Make a large batch and freeze individual portions for quick and easy meals later.

Invest in quality knives: Sharp knives make chopping and slicing faster and safer.

Follow the recipe: Stick to the recipe to avoid mistakes and save time on adjustments.

Organize your workspace: Keep your kitchen organized to minimize time spent searching for ingredients and tools.

Substitute Ingredients For Turkey Chili Recipe

  • ground turkey - Substitute with ground chicken: Ground chicken can be used as a lean alternative to ground turkey, providing a similar texture and flavor profile.

  • onion - Substitute with shallots: Shallots can be used as a milder and sweeter alternative to onions, adding a delicate flavor to the chili.

  • garlic - Substitute with garlic powder: If fresh garlic is not available, garlic powder can be used as a convenient substitute, providing a similar flavor.

  • chili powder - Substitute with paprika and cayenne: A combination of paprika and cayenne can be used to replicate the heat and smokiness of chili powder.

  • bell pepper - Substitute with poblano pepper: Poblano peppers can be used as a substitute for bell peppers, offering a mild heat and slightly smoky flavor.

  • kidney beans - Substitute with black beans: Black beans can be used as a substitute for kidney beans, providing a creamy texture and earthy flavor.

  • oregano - Substitute with thyme: Thyme can be used as a substitute for oregano, adding a slightly earthy and floral note to the chili.

  • cumin - Substitute with coriander: Coriander can be used as a substitute for cumin, providing a warm and citrusy flavor to the dish.

  • tomato sauce - Substitute with crushed tomatoes: Crushed tomatoes can be used as a substitute for tomato sauce, adding a chunkier texture to the chili.

  • chicken broth - Substitute with vegetable broth: Vegetable broth can be used as a substitute for chicken broth, providing a savory base for the chili.

  • rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies - Substitute with diced tomatoes and jalapeños: Diced tomatoes and jalapeños can be used as a substitute for Rotel, offering a similar combination of tomatoes and heat.

Presentation Ideas for a Delicious Turkey Chili

  1. Elevate the plating: Arrange the hearty turkey chili in a shallow bowl, ensuring that the vibrant colors of the bell peppers and tomatoes are visible.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro over the chili to add a pop of color and a burst of fresh flavor.

  3. Add a dollop of sour cream: Place a small dollop of sour cream on top of the chili to provide a creamy contrast to the rich and spicy flavors.

  4. Serve with a side of cornbread: Accompany the chili with a slice of warm, buttery cornbread to complement the hearty and comforting nature of the dish.

  5. Use high-quality serving ware: Present the chili in a sophisticated and elegant ceramic bowl to enhance the visual appeal and elevate the dining experience.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Turkey Chili

  • Cutting board: A flat surface used for cutting and preparing ingredients.

  • Chef's knife: A versatile knife used for chopping, slicing, and dicing ingredients.

  • Large pot: A deep cooking vessel used for simmering and cooking the chili.

  • Wooden spoon: Used for stirring and mixing the ingredients while cooking.

  • Measuring cups and spoons: Used for accurately measuring the ingredients.

  • Can opener: To open the cans of kidney beans and diced tomatoes.

  • Skillet: Used for browning the ground turkey, onion, and garlic.

  • Ladle: Used for serving the chili.

  • Stove: To cook the chili over heat.

  • Timer: To keep track of the simmering time.

Storing and Freezing Hearty Turkey Chili Properly

  • Let the turkey chili cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • Transfer the cooled chili to an airtight container or freezer-safe bags.
  • If using freezer bags, remove as much air as possible before sealing to prevent freezer burn.
  • Label the container or bag with the date and contents for easy identification.
  • Store the chili in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
  • To freeze, place the airtight container or freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to enjoy, thaw the frozen chili overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Reheat the thawed or refrigerated chili in a pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
  • If the chili appears too thick after reheating, add a splash of chicken broth or water to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed before serving the reheated chili.

Reheating Leftover Turkey Chili for Best Results

  • Stovetop method: transfer the leftover chili to a saucepan and reheat it over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature. This method allows you to control the heat and ensure the chili is evenly reheated without burning or drying out.

  • Microwave method: place the leftover chili in a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a lid or plastic wrap (leaving a small vent for steam to escape). Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, then stir the chili and continue microwaving in 30-second intervals until it's heated through. Be careful when removing the bowl from the microwave, as it may be hot.

  • Oven method: preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Transfer the leftover chili to an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the chili is heated through. This method is ideal if you have a large quantity of chili to reheat or if you want to reheat it alongside other dishes.

  • Slow cooker method: if you have a slow cooker, you can use it to reheat your leftover chili. Simply transfer the chili to the slow cooker, cover it, and set the temperature to low. Allow the chili to reheat for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally, until it's heated through. This method is perfect for keeping the chili warm for an extended period, making it ideal for parties or gatherings.

  • Regardless of the method you choose, be sure to stir the chili occasionally to ensure even heating and prevent scorching. If the chili appears too thick after reheating, you can add a small amount of chicken broth or water to thin it out and restore its original consistency. Lastly, always ensure the internal temperature of the reheated chili reaches at least 165°F (74°C) to ensure it's safe to consume.

Interesting Trivia About Hearty Turkey Chili

Turkey chili is a great source of protein and fiber, making it a healthy and filling meal option.

Budget-Friendly: Is This Turkey Chili Recipe Economical?

The cost-effectiveness of this hearty turkey chili recipe is quite high. Ground turkey is a lean and affordable protein, while the addition of kidney beans and vegetables makes it a budget-friendly option. The total cost for a household of 4 people is approximately $15-20. This hearty dish provides a substantial and satisfying meal, earning a solid 8/10 rating for its affordability and nutritional value.

Is This Chili Recipe Healthy or Not?

This hearty turkey chili recipe is a healthier alternative to traditional beef chili. Here's why:

  • Ground turkey is a lean protein source, lower in saturated fat compared to ground beef
  • The recipe includes nutrient-dense vegetables like onion, garlic, and bell pepper
  • Kidney beans provide additional protein and dietary fiber
  • Tomato sauce and diced tomatoes offer vitamins and antioxidants, such as lycopene
  • Chili powder, oregano, and cumin add flavor without relying on excessive salt or unhealthy additives

However, there are a few ways to make this recipe even healthier:

  • Opt for low-sodium chicken broth and tomato sauce to reduce the overall sodium content
  • Add more vegetables, such as diced carrots or zucchini, to increase the fiber and nutrient density
  • Use a mix of different beans, like black beans or pinto beans, to provide a variety of nutrients and textures
  • Serve the chili with a side salad or over a bed of leafy greens to incorporate more vegetables into the meal
  • Top the chili with a dollop of Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for a protein-rich, lower-fat alternative
  • Experiment with adding other spices and herbs, like smoked paprika or fresh cilantro, to enhance the flavor profile without relying on salt

Editor's Opinion on This Hearty Turkey Chili Recipe

This hearty turkey chili recipe is a delightful blend of flavors and textures. The combination of ground turkey, kidney beans, and aromatic spices creates a rich and satisfying dish. The use of bell peppers and Rotel diced tomatoes adds a pleasant kick of heat and a burst of freshness. The simmering process allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a thick and hearty chili that is perfect for a cozy night in. It's a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with your favorite toppings. Overall, it's a comforting and delicious recipe that is sure to be a hit with family and friends.

Enhance Your Turkey Chili Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of garlic and chives, topped with melted butter.
Garlic Bread: Warm, crispy garlic bread brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with parmesan cheese.
Cornbread: Moist and fluffy cornbread with a touch of honey, served with whipped honey butter.
Green Salad: Fresh mixed greens with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a tangy balsamic vinaigrette.
Fruit Salad: A refreshing mix of seasonal fruits, such as strawberries, pineapple, and grapes, drizzled with a honey-lime dressing.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Love Turkey Chili

Savory Beef Stew: This hearty beef stew is perfect for a cozy night in. Packed with tender beef, potatoes, and carrots, it's a comforting meal that will warm you up from the inside out.
Zesty Lemon Chicken: This zesty lemon chicken recipe is bursting with flavor. The tangy citrus pairs perfectly with the savory chicken, creating a dish that is both refreshing and satisfying.
Creamy Mushroom Risotto: Indulge in this creamy mushroom risotto, a classic Italian dish that is rich, flavorful, and oh-so-comforting. The earthy mushrooms and creamy rice make for a truly decadent meal.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Turkey Chili Dinner

Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory and indulgent appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a flavorful mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs. Bake until golden and bubbly for a delicious start to any meal.
Crispy Zucchini Fritters: Whip up a batch of crispy zucchini fritters for a light and tasty appetizer. Shred zucchini, mix with herbs and spices, then pan-fry until golden and crispy. Serve with a dollop of creamy yogurt sauce for a delightful bite-sized treat.
Decadent Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and intense chocolate flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Velvety Lemon Tart: Delight in a tangy and refreshing lemon tart, with a buttery and flaky crust. The zesty lemon filling is perfectly balanced with a hint of sweetness, creating a velvety and luxurious dessert experience.

Why trust this Turkey Chili Recipe:

This hearty turkey chili recipe is a delicious and wholesome meal that's perfect for any occasion. Made with lean ground turkey, kidney beans, and a flavorful blend of chili powder, oregano, and cumin, this chili is packed with protein and essential nutrients. The addition of bell pepper and tomatoes with green chilies adds a burst of color and a hint of heat. With a rich base of tomato sauce and chicken broth, this recipe promises a satisfying and comforting dish that's sure to become a family favorite.

Share your thoughts on the Turkey Chili Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know how it turned out!
Can I use a different type of meat instead of ground turkey?
Yes, you can substitute ground turkey with ground beef, chicken, or even a plant-based meat alternative for a different flavor profile.
Can I make this chili in advance and reheat it later?
Absolutely! In fact, chili often tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld together. Simply store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave when you're ready to enjoy it.
Can I freeze the leftover chili?
Yes, you can freeze the leftover chili for up to 3 months. Store it in a freezer-safe container or resealable bags, making sure to leave some room for expansion. Thaw it in the refrigerator before reheating.
Is this chili spicy?
The level of spiciness can be adjusted based on personal preference. If you prefer a milder chili, you can reduce the amount of chili powder and omit the diced tomatoes with green chilies. For those who enjoy a spicier kick, feel free to add some hot sauce or extra chili powder.
Can I add additional vegetables to the chili?
Absolutely! You can customize the chili by adding extra vegetables such as corn, zucchini, or carrots. Just be mindful of the cooking time needed for the additional vegetables and adjust accordingly.

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