This Three Bean Turkey Chili Recipe is loaded with fresh vegetables, lean ground turkey, and three different beans. It’s customizable, easy to make, and perfect for busy weeknights or game day grub. Add this to your healthy chili recipe collection!
Everyone should have a turkey chili recipe
This turkey chili recipe has been a foundation recipe for years here at TKG…and it’s time we shared it with you!
It’s not the only chili recipe up our sleeve, but it’s so reliable, we use it as a guideline for other chili recipes.
It’s so versatile that we’ve made it in large batches for game day food as well as weekly meal prep.
The best part is that it feeds a small army, and is so easy to freeze and reheat on those busy weeknights.
How do you make healthy turkey chili?
In my book, a healthy turkey chili starts with LOTS of fresh, everyday vegetables, like onions, celery, and bell pepper, sautéed with garlic in extra virgin olive oil.
Then, a 99% lean turkey is added to the vegetables and sautéed it until it’s cooked through.
Next, the easiest part, add remaining ingredients like canned beans, chicken broth (or water), canned diced tomatoes, corn, and a handful of spices.
Everything gets boiled for about 5 minutes and simmered for about 25 minutes, and served warm.
How do you make turkey chili thick?
Chili naturally thickens as it cooks.
By heating it, the liquid evaporates, which reduces the sauce, causing it to thicken…and build all that chili flavor we love!
If your turkey chili is not thick enough at the end of the cooking cycle, remove some of the liquid with a spoon and continue simmering.
Repeat as needed until you reach your desired consistency.
Just remember, more time on the flame equals more flavor!
What are the ingredients in turkey chili?
- extra virgin olive oil
- bell pepper
- 99% lean ground turkey
- canned diced tomatoes
- tomato sauce
- reduced-sodium chicken broth (or water)
- kidney beans, northern beans, and black beans
- corn (fresh or frozen)
- tomato paste
- chili powder, crushed red pepper flakes, and cumin
- salt and pepper
What toppings go with chili?
- tortilla chips
- Serrano or jalapeno peppers
- sour cream
- shredded cheddar cheese
- green onions
- crushed up crackers
- hot sauce
Secret ingredients in my healthy chili recipe
Here’s a bonus for anyone who reads the blog post and doesn’t skip right to the recipe.
There are two secret ingredients we often use for our chili recipes here at TKG headquarters.
- cocoa powder (about 1 tsp per quart of chili)
- dark beer, baby! (1 – 12oz bottle per 2-3 quarts of chili. Replaces chicken stock.)
Jeff and I have been doing this for…a bunch of years.
It was my idea to add cocoa powder and Jeff’s idea to add beer. Daym people…just YUM!
If you do one, or the other…or both, you will taste the difference in chili…forevah!
Trust me on this one, guys! And please, do let me know in the comments below if you tried the secret ingredients!
What can you do with leftover chili?
Sky’s the limit, but we’ll take leftover chili any day of the week and turn it into:
- Chili mac and cheese – chili and mac and cheese together, forevah!
- Chili dogs – chili and hot dogs (grilled or pan-fried, not boiled)
- Loaded potatoes – chili topped baked potatoes with ALL the fixings
- Cheesy Chili fries – French fries with chili and cheese, and hot sauce
- Shepherd’s pie – because mashed potatoes and chili together are divine
- Breakfast bake – eggs and chili, baked
Can you freeze turkey chili?
Yes, we freeze this turkey chili every time we make a batch because the recipe yields 3 quarts, which is more than we can eat in one week.
To freeze turkey chili, allow it to cool completely, then package into desired sizes of airtight containers, plastic freezer bags, or vacuum sealer packaging.
Tools I used to make this recipe:
Other soup and chili recipes to love
Three Bean Turkey Chili
- 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 cloves Garlic minced
- 1/2 large Onion 1 cup diced
- 1 large Celery Stalk 1/2 cup diced
- 1 large Bell Pepper 1 cup diced
- 1 lb Extra Lean Ground Turkey
- 1 14.5 oz can No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes keep juice
- 1 14oz can Tomato Sauce
- 2 cups Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth or water
- 1 12oz can Red Kidney Beans drained and rinsed
- 1 12oz can Great Northern Beans drained and rinsed
- 1 12oz can Black Beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup Corn fresh or frozen
- 3 oz No Salt Added Tomato Paste
- 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
- In a 5 quart pot on medium heat, heat OLIVE OIL (about 2 min)
- Add GARLIC, ONIONS, CELERY, and BELL PEPPER; sauté until slightly tender (about 4 minutes).
- Add GROUND TURKEY; stir as needed to break apart, and cook until it’s no longer pink.
- Add CHICKEN BROTH, DICED TOMATOES, TOMATO SAUCE, KIDNEY BEANS, GREAT NORTHERN BEANS, BLACK BEANS, CORN, TOMATO PASTE, CHILI POWDER, SALT, PEPPER, RED PEPPER FLAKES, and CUMIN.
- Turn heat to med-high; bring chili to a boil for a few minutes, stirring as needed.
- Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 25 minutes (or more) to reach desired consistency.