Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe with ground turkey from the Biggest Loser. Make on the stove, in crockpot or Instant Pot. It is easy, high in protein, low calorie and simply the best!
We make soup and stew year round. Kid friendly favorites include healthy white chicken chili and buffalo chicken chili.
This healthy turkey chili recipe originates from the Biggest Loser show. I used to watch it every every Monday night when I still had post-baby weight to lose. I found show motivational and relatable.
One episode, there was healthy chili recipe on the menu that became a staple in our house.
This healthy turkey chili is more healthy than a beef chili. Made with low fat ground turkey, chock full of vegetables and low sodium beans, tomatoes and spices.
Ingredients You Will Need
Turkey chili ingredients do not lack flavor.
- Ground turkey
- Onion and garlic
- Celery and bell peppers
- Tomato sauce and low sodium stock
- Chili powder and taco seasoning
- Oh, and canned chili in adobo sauce adds a wonderful flavour boost. If you don’t have it, skip or use 1 tsp smoked paprika or liquid smoke.
Canned vs. Cooked Beans
Years ago I got into organic and BPA free cans for health reasons. It gets pricey. So I started cooking my own beans. That was circa 2012.
Now I cook all beans from dried without soaking in Instant Pot. It saves a lot of money and you can control amount of sodium.
Feel free to use canned beans. I just thought I would share. Just remember to start with less salt than my turkey chili recipe because I use unsalted cooked beans.
How to Make Turkey Chili on the Stove
Stove top is great for a last minute dinner idea – I highly recommend to use quality dutch oven like Lodge or heavy bottom pot (second choice) for even cooking.
- Brown ground turkey. If you incur any juices, just drain them. Turkey doesn’t have to be golden brown but would be nice for extra flavour.
- Sauté onion and garlic first for maximum flavour.
- Then add celery and bell pepper. Saute for a few more mins.
- Combine sauteed veggies, beans, tomato sauce, stock and spices in a Dutch oven.
- Bring to boil and cook on low for 1 hour.
In a Crockpot
Crockpot turkey chili comes in handy when you want to start chili in the morning for dinner, while you are busy doing other things.
For turkey chili in a crockpot, the only difference from a stovetop version is the cooking time. And of course you transfer browned turkey and sauteed veggies into the slow cooker.
Cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.
In Instant Pot
I have adapted this healthy turkey chili recipe to make Instant Pot chili.
All you have to do is to brown ground turkey and then throw everything together and cook for 20 minutes. Because in electric pressure cooker food cooks under pressure resulting in rich flavor, you don’t even have to saute the veggies. Just saute the meat to avoid Burn.
Best Toppings for Turkey Chili
What would a turkey chili be without all the traditional chili toppings, right?!
- Shredded cheese like Tex Mex, Colby Jack etc.
- Crushed tortilla chips
- Plain yogurt or sour cream
- Green onion and cilantro
- Diced avocado
- Chopped red onion
- Limes to squeeze over the chilli
- Canned diced green chiles
You can also serve chili as an appetizer with tortilla chips or over Instant Pot baked potatoes.
Can I Freeze Chili?
Make turkey chili recipe, cool completely and freeze in a glass container for up to 3 months.
To thaw, defrost on a counter or in the fridge overnight. Then simmer on the stove covered on low, stirring occasionally and until warmed through. It is the best!
- 2 lbs ground turkey, extra lean
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 4 large celery stalks, chopped
- 3 large bell peppers, chopped
- 14 oz can low sodium red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
- 14 oz can low sodium white beans, drained & rinsed
- 28 oz can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, low sodium
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, low sodium
- 1 tbsp chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp taco seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt*
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Oil, for frying
- Healthy Turkey Chili in Slow Cooker: Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on high heat and add ground turkey. Cook until brown or about 7 minutes, stirring and breaking into small pieces with spatula. Transfer to a large slow cooker.
- Return skillet to medium heat and swirl a bit of oil to coat. Add garlic and onion, sauté until translucent or 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add celery and bell peppers, sauté for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer to slow cooker along with beans, tomato sauce, broth, chipotle pepper, chili powder, taco seasoning, salt and pepper, and stir.
- Cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours. Serve warm.
- Healthy Turkey Chili on the Stove: I recommend using large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot. Follow the same steps as for slow cooker, only once turkey is browned, transfer to a bowl.
- Then sauté vegetables and add pre-cooked ground turkey back in the dutch oven along with remaining ingredients.
- Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer on low heat for about 1 hour.
- Instant Pot Chili: Here is the recipe.
Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a stovetop covered on low.
*You might need to add less salt if canned tomatoes and beans you are using are not low sodium.
Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.