Healthy Turkey Chili

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 6-1/2 hours


12 servings (3 quarts)

Updated: Aug. 26, 2022
I've taken my mother's healthy turkey chili recipe and made it thicker and more robust. It's a favorite, especially in fall and winter. —Celesta Zanger, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan


  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) meatless pasta sauce
  • 1 can (16 ounces) hot chili beans, undrained
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • Optional toppings: Sour cream, cubed avocado, diced jalapeno peppers


  1. In a large skillet, cook and crumble turkey with celery, onion and green pepper over medium-high heat until turkey is no longer pink, 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Stir in seasonings, tomatoes, pasta sauce, chili beans, water and corn.
  2. Cook, covered, on high 1 hour. Reduce setting to low; cook, covered, 5-6 hours or until flavors are blended.
  3. Stir in kidney and pinto beans; cook, covered, on low 30 minutes longer. If desired, serve with sour cream, avocado and jalapeno.
Turkey Chili Tips

Can you make this turkey chili recipe on the stovetop instead of in the slow cooker?

Yes, you can make this chili on the stovetop in a Dutch oven or large stockpot. It may take some trial and error to get the cook time just right. Before you begin, check out our ultimate guide to making chili from scratch.

How can you make turkey chili your own?

There are many creative ways to give your chili a flavorful upgrade. Use coffee or beer instead of water to add depth of flavor. Add lime or orange zest at the end of cooking for a citrus twist. Simmer chili with a cinnamon stick for extra spice. Swap out ground turkey for ground beef. For an extra spicy kick, add sliced fresh jalapeno or serrano peppers, ground cayenne pepper, or canned chipotles in adobo.

What can you serve with turkey chili?

The best accompaniment is buttery cornbread! Or add fun garnishes such as shredded cheese, chopped green onions or scallions, sliced radishes, corn chips, oyster crackers, popcorn, pico de gallo, pickled red onion, limes and more. Here are more pro tips for making the perfect pot of chili!

Amy Glander, Taste of Home Book Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 200 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 26mg cholesterol, 535mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 8g fiber), 15g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 2 vegetable, 1 starch.