Skinny Turkey Chili

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Chili is one of those comforting winter dishes that fills you up and clears your sinuses as you scarf down the hearty mix of ground meat, beans, and LOTS of spice. Living in Texas, I’ve definitely heard the claim that real chili doesn’t contain beans, but I really enjoy the textural variety and fiber content that beans bring to a big fat bowl of chili, so, sorry Texans, but I’m voting on the beany side.

This recipe is a stab at taking this comfort food to the healthy, hot, and delicious level. It is truly a great dish for anyone looking to eat healthfully without sacrificing on flavor and heartiness.  The turkey is lean and protein packed. The beans give you fiber. All the spice lends a lot of flavor without overloading on salt, while also helping to speed your metabolism.

Dig into a steaming bowl of this chili to learn how GOOD healthy can taste!

Servings: 6-8

Cook & Prep Time: ~45 min


  • 1.5 lb lean ground turkey (I used 97/3)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 medium yellow/white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 small can diced tomatoes in juice – no salt added
  • 1 large can whole peeled tomatoes in juice – no salt added
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • Olive oil


  1. Brown the meat in a large pot, stirring to break up.
  2. While the meat is cooking, dice the bell pepper & onion. Chop the carrots. Mince the garlic.
  3. Once the meat is done browning, drain any excess fat and put the meat in a large bowl.
  4. Heat up the same pot to high with 1 TB olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp oregano and stir to cook. Feel free to use a little less spice here if you are sensitive. I can’t handle too much spice and this was just the right amount of burn!
  5. Once the onion is translucent, add back the meat and stir to combine.
  6. Add the diced tomatoes with juice.
  7. Grab the whole peeled tomatoes out of the can and crush them in your hands into the pot, adding all the juice.
  8. Stir and let it come back up to  boil.
  9. In the meantime, rinse out the black beans from the can. This reduces any extra salt from the canning process.
  10. Once the pot is boiling, add the remaining cumin, salt, sugar, black pepper. Stir and taste. Add more as you see fit for more spice or more salt.
  11. At this point, also add the beans & bell pepper.
  12. Once the pot comes back to boil again, lower heat to medium low and cook with a loose cover about 15 min.

Serve immediately or wait till the next day. You know that chili always tastes better after a day in the fridge! This recipe also freezes well to save some for those random chili cravings that strike when you don’t have the time to put together a whole pot!

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