Three Bean Ground Turkey Chili

The most delicious ground turkey chili made with three varieties of hearty beans! Every spoonful is full of zesty flavor. This cozy winter stew is beyond easy to make, takes just under an hour to cook, and is a satisfying meal all in one bowl.

A bowl of turkey chili with avocado and herbs on top. The bowl is sitting on a dark background with a gray napkin and a small bowl of pepper flakes arranged around it.

If you’re looking for a new chili recipe to try this winter, look no further than our favorite ground turkey chili! It’s filled with flavor, hearty beans, red bell pepper, and lean turkey rather than ground beef for a healthier twist.

Chili con carne is a Mexican-inspired stew that means “chili with meat”, so the two main ingredients you’ll find in these recipes are a type of ground meat with chili peppers (usually in the form of chili powder). This stew also is made with beans, tomatoes, and additional spices like cumin and garlic!

Whenever winter rolls around and the weather gets particularly cold, you can find me making chili often. It’s super filling and always so delicious! And the best part about this turkey chili? It takes just under an hour to make and cook. We make this recipe on repeat and absolutely love it – especially served alongside homemade cornbread mmm.

Ingredients – What You Need

Below you’ll find the full list of ingredients (minus salt & pepper) needed to make this recipe.

ingredients for turkey chili arranged on a wooden background.

Turkey: ground turkey is used as the lean protein.
Beans: for this chili I use three beans – chickpeas, navy, and kidney beans.
Bell pepper: any color works, but I like to use red bell pepper for some sweetness.
Onion: yellow onion is used to add flavor to the base of the chili.
Garlic cloves & garlic powder: I like to layer this chili with both fresh garlic and garlic powder – but don’t worry, it only adds flavor, it’s not too garlic-y!
Broth: for the base of the soup I like to use low-sodium chicken broth.
Tomato paste: to thicken the chili.
Spices: for this chili, I like to use a blend of cumin, oregano, and chili powder with a pinch of cayenne for spice!

Step-by-Step Recipe Instructions

(1) First, saute the veggies! In a large pot, saute the diced onions and peppers in oil for 3-4 minutes until soft. Then add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds with the onions and peppers.

(2) Next, add the turkey. In the same pot, add the ground turkey and use a spoon to break it into pieces while cooking it completely (about 5-7 minutes).

Two photos side by side showing steps for how to make ground turkey chili. The first photo is showing a spoon stirring cooked onions and diced peppers in a black pot. The second photo is showing cooked ground turkey in the same black pot with the diced onions and peppers.

(3) Add the spices! Once the ground turkey is cooked and no longer pink, stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, and cayenne.

(4) Add the final ingredients and simmer. Then add the chicken broth, beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, and salt & black pepper. Stir, partly cover and let cook on a gentle simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. Before serving, taste, and season with additional salt if needed!

Two photos side by side showing how to make ground turkey chili. The first photo is a spoon stirring spices into cooked ground turkey in a black pot. The second photo is beans, tomatoes, and broth in the same black pot.

Tips for Success

Best beans for chili – for this recipe I use a blend of three beans – navy, garbanzo/chickpea, and kidney beans. Some other beans we love to use in this chili are cannellini, pinto, or black beans!

Toppings for chili – one of my favorite ways to get more flavor out of chili is by adding flavorful toppings. Some of our favorites are sour cream, avocado, cheddar cheese, hot sauce, cilantro, or tortilla chips!

Don’t use spicy chili powder – Not all chili powders are the same. Before you use your chili powder in this recipe, check the ingredients and see if it has any spicy peppers in it such as cayenne or chili flakes. If so, lessen the amount to about 2 teaspoons rather than 2 1/2 Tablespoons. I like to use Frontier chili powder for this recipe, it’s not spicy but perfectly balanced!

Fresh garlic + garlic powder is key for flavor! I know it seems crazy to some that I would use so much garlic in a chili recipe, but it’s key for deep flavor. I learned from a family friend to not only use fresh garlic but also layer chili with garlic powder too. And don’t worry, the flavor is not garlicky – it adds richness and so much flavor!

Other meat you can use- if you want to switch up the ground turkey in this chili, you can also use ground beef, ground chicken, or even ground venison!

Keep leftovers fresh – store leftover chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator to keep it fresh. Leftovers should keep for about 4-5 days. If you aren’t going to use chili up in that time, then you can freeze it! See notes below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What gives chili the best flavor? Using proper spices and seasoning with salt gives chili its flavor! This recipe is flavored by using chili powder, dried oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. But if the flavor isn’t there, use additional pinches of salt to draw the flavors out until just right. Additional spices you can use for chili are smoked paprika or regular paprika.

Should chili be thick or like soup? Chili is supposed to be thicker in consistency and hearty. That’s why this recipe uses tomato paste to thicken it as well as keeping the chili uncovered while it simmers – which naturally reduces it!

What broth is best for chili? I like to use chicken broth as a base for chili. It adds the right subtle flavor needed, but if you’re doing a vegetarian chili you can use vegetable broth instead.

Two hands holding a bowl with ground turkey chili in it. The chili is topped with avocado and has a spoon in it that one hand is holding. The bowl is sitting on a gray napkin.

How to Freeze Chili

Freezing chili: first, let the chili cool until it reaches room temperature. Then place it into a freezer-friendly container or ziplock bag (with the air removed) and freeze for up to 2-3 months!

How to reheat frozen chili: when ready to serve the frozen chili, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for several hours. To speed up the thawing process, you can also add the container or bag of chili to a large pot of cold water. When it’s thawed or less frozen, add it to a pot and heat up until warm – then serve!

What to Serve it With

Our favorite side dish of all to serve with chili is homemade cornbread! What could be a better pairing?! If we don’t have cornbread around, my family also loves to serve the chili over rice – I don’t know if it’s an east coast thing, but we love this pairing.

And if you’re looking for a vegetable side dish, this vegetarian taco salad pairs perfectly with it too!

More Chili Recipes to Try

If you love chili as much as we do, you might also love these recipes too!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili
Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
Vegetarian Chili

If you tried this Three Bean Ground Turkey Chili recipe or any other recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, and FACEBOOK for more crave-worthy content.

A bowl of turkey chili with avocado and herbs on top. The bowl is sitting on a dark background with a gray napkin and a small bowl of pepper flakes arranged around it.

Three Bean Ground Turkey Chili

The most delicious ground turkey chili made with three varieties of hearty beans! Every spoonful is full of zesty flavor. This cozy winter stew is beyond easy to make, takes just under an hour to cook, and is a satisfying meal all in one bowl.

Servings 8
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins

Course: Soup
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Tags: ground turkey chili, turkey chili
Freezer Friendly: Yes
Calories: 188 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced green or yellow pepper works too
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb ground turkey I used 93% lean
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28 oz can) fire roasted diced
  • 1 (14 oz can) red kidney beans
  • 1 (14 oz can) navy beans or cannellini beans
  • 1 (14 oz can) chickpeas
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 quart (28 oz) chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Saute onion & pepper: In a large pot, saute diced onion and red pepper in oil with a pinch of salt until soft – about 3-4 minutes. Stir frequently. Then add the minced garlic cloves and cook with the peppers and onions for about 30-60 seconds.

  2. Cook the turkey: Next, add the ground turkey and cook until no longer pink – about 5-7 minutes. Use a spoon to break the turkey into small pieces while you cook it. Then add the chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, and cayenne pepper and stir into the meat and cook for about 30 seconds.

  3. Add the remaining ingredients: After adding the spices, add the chicken broth, tomatoes (with the juices), tomato paste, and beans with 1/2 teaspoon salt & black pepper. Stir ingredients together.

  4. Simmer: let the chili simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  5. Serve: when the chili is finished, it should be thickened and slightly reduced. Taste, adjust with additional salt if needed until the flavor is just right, then serve!

Notes

Toppings for chili – one of my favorite ways to get more flavor out of chili is by adding flavorful toppings. Some of our favorites are sour cream, avocado, cheddar cheese, hot sauce, cilantro, or tortilla chips!

Don’t use spicy chili powder – Not all chili powders are the same. Before you use your chili powder in this recipe, check the ingredients and see if it has any spicy peppers in it such as cayenne or chili flakes. If so, lessen the amount to about 2 teaspoons rather than 2 1/2 Tablespoons. I like to use Frontier chili powder for this recipe, it’s not spicy but perfectly balanced!

Nutrition Facts
Three Bean Ground Turkey Chili
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 188 Calories from Fat 47
% Daily Value*
Fat 5.2g8%
Saturated Fat 1.2g6%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.2g
Cholesterol 36.4mg12%
Sodium 918mg38%
Carbohydrates 18.1g6%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 3.5g4%
Protein 18.3g37%
Vitamin A 9IU0%
Vitamin C 34mg41%
Calcium 5mg1%
Iron 21mg117%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Bethany Kramer

Bethany Kramer is the cook and photographer behind A Simple Palate. She found a deep love for food and nutrition after learning to cook from her mom at eight years old. Since then she’s been developing and sharing recipes from her own kitchen that are bold in flavor and nourishing to the body!

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