This is an easy healthy turkey chili recipe that is a zip to make in one-pot and done in 30 minutes. Made with ground turkey, zucchini, white kidney beans and spices!
Originally published Dec. 27, 2018, and has been updated with new pictures and more content.
This time of year calls for some hearty meals that will warm your soul and with football season underway and the winter not far off this easy turkey chili recipe is absolutely perfect!
WHAT MAKES THIS RECIPE GREAT
- Made in one-pot for less mess.
- Dinner is done in less than 30 minutes.
- Uses lean ground turkey which is a healthier than usual beef chili.
- Uses zucchini but picky veggie haters would never know because it almost disappears in the sauce.
- Can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 4 months.
- You can turn the heat up or down as you like by adding or decreasing the amount of chili flakes used.
- Add more veggies to add even more nutritional goodness.
INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Lean ground turkey – You can also use chicken if you can’t find turkey.
- Onion – Yellow onions are typically the most often used in cooking but you can also swap out for a Vidalia onion for a slightly sweeter flavour.
- Zucchini – look for zucchinis that are firm with no soft spots. Wash thoroughly before chopping.
- Crushed tomatoes – One large can will do.
- Chili powder – Chili powder is a mix of spices that has a base of chipotle chili powder. Since chili powder is a blend the spice level will vary from brand to brand.
- Chili flakes – Add more or less depending on your spice tolerance but beware that as these chili cooks and the oils are released from the seeds things will heat up slowly over time. I personally recommend sprinkling extra on at the end once it is done cooking if you need a bigger kick.
- Garlic – Fresh minced garlic is best.
- Cumin – A familiar spice in any southwest or Mexican recipes.
- Sugar – A little bit in any tomato-based recipe helps to tame down the acidity in the tomatoes.
- White kidney beans – otherwise known as cannellini beans or you can use a mixed-bean blend if you prefer.
What is the difference between chili powder and chipotle chili powder?
Glad you asked because I learned the hard way! The last time I made this recipe I used chipotle chili powder instead of regular chili powder and my tongue was on fire!
Chili powder is a blend of spices with the base being a ground chili powder. That chili could be jalapeno, chipotle, ancho, cayenne etc. But the powder is mixed with other spices like salt, cumin, oregano and the like so it tends to tame down the heat quite a bit.
It is important to note that because the blends vary between brands so will the heat level. So if you have switched up the brand and need to know how the new powder compares the best way to find out is to taste it… a tiny bit. If it blows your socks off maybe use a little less in the recipe than you normally would.
Chipotle chili powder is just straight up heat! Ground up smoked and dried jalapenos.
how to make This healthy turkey chili
In a large heavy-bottomed stockpot add the lean ground turkey and diced onions. Cook over medium-high heat breaking up the turkey into small pieces and continuing to cook until the turkey is browned and no longer pink. The onion will become translucent as well.
Add the spices and mix well. Continue to cook for another minute or 2 to let the flavours of the spices blend with the meat.
Stir in the diced zucchini and mix well until combined. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes to soften the zucchini.
Add the ground tomatoes and the chili beans to the pot and mix well. Cover the pot with allowing a small gap for the steam to be released and let simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
Taste and and adjust the heat as desired by adding in more chili flakes if needed.
In just 30 minutes you have in my opinion the best turkey chili ever and you did it all in just 1 pot!
To make this chili your own why not add a few toppings! Some of my favourite toppings are…
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream
- Greek yogurt – a healthier alternative to sour cream
- More chili peppers
- Hot sauce
- Crumbled tortilla chips
What to eat with chili
- Garlic bread
- Side Salad
- Nachos – You can pour this chili over your nachos or use the tortilla chips as chili scoops
- Corn bread
- Hot dogs – pour this chili over your hotdog and you’ve got a chili dog!
- French fries – you guessed it. Top your fries with some chili for chili fries!
- Onions rings
- Grilled cheese – just like dipping your grilled cheese in ketchup you can dip it this turkey chili
How to store turkey chili
To store this easy turkey chili recipe you can place it in the fridge in a sealed container or the same pot with a lid for up to 4 days. Or freeze it in a resealable freezer container in individual containers for a quick lunch recipe for up to 4 months. Reheat over medium-low heat on the stove or in the microwave.
One-Pot Healthy Turkey Chili
- Large heavy-bottomed stockpot
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Chopping Knife
- Large wooden spoon
- Ladle for serving
- 2 lbs lean ground turkey
- 1 1/2 cups diced zucchini about 2 large or 3 small zucchinis
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp crushed chili flakes
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 1/2 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp sugar
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes or 1 large can
- 2 cups White kidney or tri-blend canned beans drained and rinsed well
- Heat large pot or stockpot to medium-high heat. Add ground turkey and onions and cook until turkey is browned. Use a wooden spoonbreak meat into small pieces.
- Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, sugar and chili flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Mixing occasionally.
- Stir in diced zucchini and cook for about 5 minutes or until softened slightly. About 5 minutes
- Add crushed tomatoes and beans and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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For the step-by-step version of this recipe, check out the How To Make One-Pot Healthy Turkey Chili Story.