Healthy Turkey Chili

Healthier Classic Turkey Chili - Lexi's Clean Kitchen #turkey #chili #soup #intstantpot

This easy-to-make Healthy Turkey Chili is perfect for a big gathering, football Sunday festivities, or for weekly meal prep option since there are tons of leftovers! With ground turkey, beans and tomatoes, it is hearty comfort food. It’s made easily in the slow cooker or Instant Pot and easily customizable by adding on all your favorite toppings. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free and Paleo friendly.

Healthy turkey chili topped with avocado, diced onions and cheese.

Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe

This is my classic go-to healthy turkey chili recipe all fall and winter long. I think I could make this recipe with my eyes closed at this point because I truly make it weekly! It is always a huge hit and it’s one of my top rated recipes for years now. We’ve given the photos an update so more of you can find this amazing recipe. It’s perfect for game day eats or even meal prep.

The best part of the chili is you can customize to your liking, some days I’ll add more vegetables based on what’s in season! For a beanless turkey chili, and to make this Whole30 compliant and Paleo, simply omit the beans! And of course you get to choose the toppings to customize your dietary needs.

A ladle full of turkey chili.

Ingredients Needed

  • Ground Turkey or Beef
  • Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Sweet Potatoes (optional)
  • Beans (optional)
  • Broth
  • Spices
  • Tomato Sauce and Paste
  • Diced Tomatoes

A hand sprinkling cheese on turkey chili in a bowl.

How to Make It

We’ve got options for making this for both the stove top and the pressure cooker.

Making it in the Instant Pot is great because it builds flavor quickly without much hands on time. The chili is under pressure for 15 minutes, with a quick pressure release. However, don’t forget to account for the prep time (gathering up your ingredients and dicing some up), the saute of the veggies and the time it takes to come up to pressure. It will take at most about an hour to cook this in the Instant Pot. But it’s mostly hands-off cooking time and it adds a ton of flavor.

When I cook this on the stove top I simmer it for a long time, close to 2 hours, so it’s perfect to cook on a slow Sunday afternoon. Make sure to check back in on it, stirring occasionally and adding in more water if needed.

Chili Toppings

  • Scallions
  • Avocado Slices
  • Cheese
  • Cilantro
  • Diced or Marinated Onions
  • Cilantro
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Guacamole
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Sour Cream

Cornbread with Chili?

OH yeah, if it’s your thing! Cornbread is super popular served with chili. Here is our easy recipe for cornbread and it’s a winner for sure.

Two servings of ground turkey chili in bowls.

How to Freeze It

Never stick hot — or even warm! — chili in the freezer. Putting food in a freezer when it’s at a high temperature can increase the overall temperature in the unit and may place all of the food in the danger zone.

Instead, cool very the chili briefly at room temperature before moving it to the refrigerator, uncovered for finish cooling. Place it in the freezer once it’s at least room temperature or chilled. In a similar fashion, don’t cover hot chili until it’s well chilled.

You can store chili in freezer-safe containers or storage bags for about 3 months.

Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat on the stovetop.

Watch the video here:



If you love chili, check out these other recipes:

For more soup recipes, check out these:


4.8 rating
12 reviews

Healthy Turkey Chili

This easy-to-make Healthy Turkey Chili is perfect for a big gathering, football Sunday festivities, or for weekly meal prep option since there are tons of leftovers! With ground turkey, beans and tomatoes, it is hearty comfort food. It’s made easily in the slow cooker or Instant Pot and easily customizable by adding on all your favorite toppings. It's gluten-free, dairy-free and Paleo friendly.


Prep Time 15 minutes
Yield 6-8
Cuisine Gluten-free
Cook Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Recipe Type: Dinner
Difficulty: Easy
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Author: Lexi

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds ground turkey or grass-fed beef
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed (optional)
  • 1-15 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (optional)
  • 1-15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained (optional)
  • 1-15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1-15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1- 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, more to taste

Directions

To Cook on the Stove:

  1. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven. Once hot add onions, peppers, carrots, celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until very softened, about 10 minutes. 
  2. Add in the garlic and the ground turkey and cook until no pink remains, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add in the remainder of the ingredients and stir together. Bring up to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer until very thickened about 1-1/2 to 2 hours, adding more water if necessary.
  4. Serve with desired garnishes.

To Cook in the Instant Pot:

  1. Heat the oil using the saute function in a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot. Once hot add onions, peppers, carrots, celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until very softened, about 10 minutes. 
  2. Add in the garlic and the ground turkey and cook until no pink remains, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add in the remainder of the ingredients except the beans, and only add 1 cup of water (instead of the two listed in the ingredients).
  4. Cover and set the steam valve to sealing. Cook on manual high pressure for 15 minutes and then use a quick pressure release.
  5. Open lid, and turn on the saute function. Add in the beans and cook until warmed through. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  6. Serve with desired garnishes.

Recipe Notes

  • Omit beans to make this Whole30 compliant and paleo-friendly!
  • Store in refrigerator for 1 week or store in the freezer for up to 3 months!
  • This recipe was updated in 2020 with new photos.

Nutrition

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33 comments
February 19, 2020

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Join The Discussion

33 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing this recipes, Lexi! It’s so helpful to make this ahead of time for a busy week. My husband and I can eat if for days and not get tired of it. Best chili I’ve tried so far.

  2. Made this last night – WOW!!! I cut the recipe in half as it was only for 2 people; had a super hot kick, but it was fantastic!!!!!!! Can’t wait to try the buffalo chicken chili next!!!!

  3. I have been searching for a healthy turkey chili recipe for awhile, and I am SO happy I landed on this one. I made it yesterday and it was delicious (and made the house smell amazing). I omitted the carrots but couldn’t be more happy with the turnout!

  4. This recipe is fantastic. I used 1 lb of ground turkey with (4) spicy Italian sausages (out of the casing) for the near. I used 1 red bell pepper with a handful of diced sweet peppers. My whole family loved this recipe! #lckchallenge

    5.0 rating

  5. Just made this tonight and its so good! Accidentally went a little heavy handed on the cayenne but will 100% make again!

    5.0 rating

  6. This is my husband’s favorite chili recipe that we’ve ever tried! Love that it’s loaded with veggies too.

    5.0 rating

  7. Just made this last night, it was sooooo good. Already looking forward to leftovers today. This will definitely be a staple in our house!

    5.0 rating

  8. This is my favorite chili recipe. I make it at least once a month and have shared it with so many friends that love it too. My pressure cooker didn’t like it too much (would register as burning)… but the stovetop version is great.

    5.0 rating

  9. I’m a little confused. Step 3 for the Instant Pot directions, it says to add one cup of water instead of 2. Is that the 2 cups of chicken broth/ water in the ingredients list and instead of 2 cups, you put in 1?

  10. This is by far my favorite chili recipe! Always a hit! I have made this dozens of times (sometimes no beans, sometimes no sweet potatoes – just depends on what I have). Goes really well with Lexi’s cornbread!

    5.0 rating

  11. Turned out great! Whole family loved it. I’m a big fan of turkey chili and this recipe is a keeper. I especially appreciate how many veggies are in it. I followed the recipe as written but added a few flavor boosters at the very end and that really put it over the top (teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, tsp of cinnamon, squeeze of fresh lemon juice).

    5.0 rating

  12. This was delicious! I made it today for the first time.
    Does anyone know what the Weight Watchers points would be for 1 serving?

    5.0 rating

  13. Are there more detailed freezer directions? For instance, to make this just a freezer meal, do I fully cook it then freeze? Then when I am ready to eat it, do I fully cook it again?

    1. Hi Ellie! I went ahead and added a section about freezing it in the post so you can check that out. Yes, we recommend fully cooking it, and then freezing it! Defrost in the fridge overnight, and then reheat on the stovetop!

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