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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!
Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe
With ground turkey or beef, spices, beans (optional) and a tomato blend, 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.
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.
For a bean-less 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.
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!
Scroll down for the full recipe
- Ground Turkey or Beef
- Bell Peppers
- Water or Broth
- Spice Blend
- Tomato Sauce, Diced Tomatoes or Crushed Tomatoes, and Tomato Paste
- Sweet Potatoes (optional)
- Beans (optional)
How to Make It
We have two options for making this for:
- the stove top
- the Instant Pot
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.
Healthy Chili Topping Ideas
- Avocado Slices
- Diced or Marinated Onions
- Diced Tomatoes
- Tortilla Chips
- Shredded Lettuce
- Sour Cream
Cornbread with Chili?
Oh yes, 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.
Otherwise tortilla chips and toppings (below) are great!
How to Freeze It
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.
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.
Watch the Video:
Other Chili Recipes:
For more soup recipes:
Healthy Turkey Chili
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 medium bell peppers, diced (I like green and red)
- 2 large carrots, peel and diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced optional
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds ground turkey or beef
- 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 2 cups water or chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, more to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 15 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained optional
- 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinse and drained optional
- Once hot add onions, peppers, carrots, celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until very softened, about 10 minutes.
- Add in the garlic and the ground turkey and cook until no pink remains, about 8 minutes.
- 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. Taste and adjust spices as desired! I'll often add a bit more salt, cumin, and chili powder as desired.
- Serve with desired garnishes.
- 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.
- Add in the garlic and the ground turkey or beef and cook until no pink remains, about 5-8 minutes.
- 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).
- Cover and set the steam valve to sealing. Cook on manual high pressure for 15 minutes and then once done, use a quick pressure release.
- Open lid and add in the beans and cook until warmed through.
- Taste and adjust spices as desired! I'll often add a bit more salt, cumin, and chili powder as desired.
- Serve with desired garnishes.
- 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.