This easy Turkey Chili comes together in just 1 hour with lean ground turkey, beans, and veggies, and a SECRET INGREDIENT that enhances the flavors! A delicious dish that’s perfect for dinner and game days!
Make your game days more exciting and the cooler days warmer with this quick and delicious Turkey Chili! This easy-to-make chill recipe is even one you can count on for a family-pleasing dinner or a protein-packed meal prep for the week!
Made in just one hour on the stovetop, this dish can be loaded up with toppings, made in the crock pot, or smothered onto other foods as you cheer on your favorite team!
🍗 All About This Healthy & Delicious Turkey Chili
Taste: If you’ve never tried chili with ground turkey before, you’ll hardly notice the difference in this recipe! Just one spoonful will wake up your taste buds using a mouthwatering blend of spices, diced jalapenos, light brown sugar, and lots of tasty toppings!
Texture: This thick and hearty chili is loaded with tender chunks of ground turkey and diced fresh vegetables! Finish your bowl off with creamy sour cream, melty cheese, and crunchy corn chips!
📜 Turkey Chili Ingredients
- Olive Oil
- Yellow Onion
- Red Bell Pepper
- Garlic Cloves
- Jalapeno Pepper
- Ground Turkey
- Chicken Stock
- Diced Tomatoes
- Tomato Sauce
- Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
- Dark Red Kidney Beans
- Chili Powder
- Ground Cayenne Pepper
- Bittersweet Baking Chocolate
- Light Brown Sugar
- Ground Black Pepper
Did you catch the secret ingredient in the list? That’s right; it’s CHOCOLATE! I know what you’re thinking, chocolate in my chili? Yup, and it’s awesome!
An ounce of 60% dark chocolate is just the thing to smooth out this chili recipe and marry the spices together. If you think about it, chocolate and peppers were made for each other. Mexico totally got it right with their hot cocoa!
A little heat and a little sweet, and you’re in for a wicked good treat!
Another key ingredient that makes this the best chili is the raw apple cider vinegar. This vinegar creates a great depth of flavor and drives this recipe home, making it incredibly delicious!
👩🍳 How To Make Turkey Chili Step-By-Step
Step 1: Simmer diced yellow onion and red bell pepper in olive oil until the onion becomes translucent and the pepper softens. Afterward, add in the minced garlic cloves and diced jalapeño pepper if using.
Step 2: Add in the pound of ground turkey and increase the heat to medium; cook until the meat has browned.
Step 3: Add the chicken stock, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and raw apple cider vinegar to the pot and stir to combine.
Step 4: Stir in dark red kidney beans, chili powder, paprika, ground cayenne pepper, bittersweet baking chocolate, and light brown sugar.
Step 5: Simmer the turkey chili over medium heat while stirring occasionally. Lastly, turn off the heat to allow the chili to rest on the stovetop before serving.
🍅 How To Serve Turkey Chili
This Turkey Chili is simply great as is when serving it in your favorite soup bowls. Setting up a toppings bar would be a fun way to ensure that everyone finishes their bowl of chili exactly the way they want.
You could include your favorite chili toppings such as sour cream, shredded cheese, green onions, corn chips, tortilla chips, or saltine crackers. You could even serve this chili up in delicious bread bowls!
Some also enjoy their portion served over spaghetti or a bed of rice. For game days, try pleasing the crowd by serving the chili as a sloppy joe on buns, smothering hot dogs or French fries, or over plates of nachos.
🧀 Slow Cooker Instructions
In a large skillet over medium-low heat, simmer the diced onion and red bell pepper in olive oil until the onions become translucent and the pepper softens. Then stir in the minced garlic cloves and jalapeno pepper.
Next, increase the heat to medium and add in the ground turkey; cook until browned. Afterward, transfer this to the crock pot. Add the dark red kidney beans, chili powder, paprika, ground cayenne pepper, bittersweet baking chocolate, and light brown sugar to the crock pot as well and stir to combine.
Cook on high for 2 to 4 hours or on low for 5 to 6 hours.
🥘 How To Store Chili
Store leftover cooled chili in the refrigerator in airtight containers to enjoy for up to 3 to 4 days. Leftovers can also be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.
To freeze, transfer the cooled chili into quart-sized Ziploc bags and squeeze the excess air out of them.
🧅 Turkey Chili Substitutions And Variations
- Kick Up The Heat – For chili that has a stronger kick of heat, you can sprinkle in additional chili powder, use smoked paprika in place of regular paprika, add a few splashes of tabasco sauce, or more diced jalapeno.
- Looser Chili – If you enjoy chili that’s looser, you can add in additional chicken stock.
- Dairy Free – For a dairy-free turkey chili, skip the cheese and sour cream.
- Meat Choice – Ground turkey can be replaced with ground beef, ground chicken, sausage, or a meat substitute.
- Light Brown Sugar – Granulated sugar can be used in place of light brown sugar if needed.
- Kidney Beans – Though this recipe calls for dark red kidney beans, feel free to use your choice of kidney beans. Both light or white kidney beans would work in this chili.
- Chicken Stock – An equal amount of chicken broth can be used instead.
❔ Turkey Chili FAQs
Yes, since this chili yields 27 grams of protein per serving, it makes a great option for meal planning for the week!
Often times you can thicken chili just by simmering it for longer. However, if that doesn’t work, stir in a slurry of 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water to achieve a thicker chili consistency.
I find that this chili is packed with flavor from ingredients such as chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, light brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Though if you feel as though something is missing, just add additional amounts to taste!
Try These Other Delicious Recipes
- Stuffed Acorn Squash – Preps in only 15 minutes using delicious ingredients such as chopped apples, kale, ground turkey, and dried cranberries!
- Burger Bowls – A Keto-friendly recipe that’s filled with fresh, crisp veggies, shredded cheese, and a 4-ingredient special sauce.
- The Best Taco Salad – Packed with seasoned meat, fresh ingredients, and crunchy tortilla strips!
- Slow Cooker Chili – Hearty, homemade chili made with Tabasco sauce, three different kinds of beans, and dark chocolate!
👋 Let’s Connect!
If you’ve tried this recipe, please let me know how you liked it in the comments below and leave a review; I love hearing from you! And don’t forget to tag me – @sugarandsoulco – on Instagram and Pinterest with your photos or join our Sugar & Soul Show-offs Community and share them there, where you can join our recipe challenges and win prizes!
This recipe was originally published in 2015 and was updated in April 2023 with fresh photos.
Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 jalapeno pepper minced
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 14 ounces diced tomatoes
- 14 ounces tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
- 14 ounces dark red kidney beans thoroughly rinsed
- 1½ tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
- 1 ounce bittersweet baking chocolate or 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar packed
- salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- In a large pot, add the 1 tablespoon olive oil, diced 1 small yellow onion, and 1 red bell pepper and simmer on medium-low heat until the onions start becoming translucent and the pepper are soft.
- Add the 2 garlic cloves (minced) and 1 jalapeno pepper (if using) and cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute.
- Increase heat to medium and add 1 lb ground turkey and cook until browned.
- Add 1 cup chicken stock, 14 ounces diced tomatoes, 14 ounces tomato sauce, and 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar and stir together.
- Add in 14 ounces dark red kidney beans, 1½ tablespoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon paprika, 2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper, 1 ounce bittersweet baking chocolate, 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, and stir together.
- Simmer over medium heat for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Chili will be watery at first but will thicken up.
- Turn off heat after the 40 minutes has passed and let rest on the stove for another 10 minutes. Add salt and ground black pepper to taste.
- Serve with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and green onions and any other desired toppings.
- Keep it dairy free by leaving off the cheese and sour cream.
- Adapted from Weight Watcher’s Hearty Turkey Chili.