Easy Healthy Chili Recipe (Packed With Flavor!) (2024)

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This healthy chili is packed with flavor, featuring a delicious blend of lean ground turkey, sweet potatoes, and spices. It’s a comforting, hearty meal that's not only gluten-free but also packed with protein and nutrients. It’s great for meal prep and perfect for any time of the year!

Easy Healthy Chili Recipe (Packed With Flavor!) (1)

The best thing about this chili is how simple it is to make. It's easy to throw together, making it perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends. With its bold flavors and wholesome ingredients, this chili stands out from other gluten-free recipes, and it's a healthier take on traditional chili without skimping on taste or satisfaction.

This chili recipe is loaded with lean ground turkey, sweet potatoes, and black beans, all simmered in a rich tomato sauce with a hint of chili powder and cumin. The end result is a hearty, tasty dish that even picky eaters will devour! Top with shredded cheddar for an extra layer of flavor and creaminess.

Jump to:
  • Why You’ll Love This Healthy Chili
  • Ingredients
  • How to Make Healthy Chili
  • Variations
  • Helpful Tips
  • Dietary Substitutions
  • Storage Instructions
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Serving Suggestions
  • Healthy Turkey Chili

Plus, it's got the perfect combo of savory ground turkey, sweet potatoes and hearty black beans brought together with a mix of spices. The sweet potatoes add a fun twist to regular chili, giving it a subtle sweetness that perfectly balances out the savory flavors.

Serve this chili hot, topped with shredded cheddar and your favorite chili toppings. Whether you're looking for a cozy meal on a cold day or a hearty dish for game day, this healthy turkey chili will definitely hit the spot. Trust me, you’re going to love it!

Why You’ll Love This Healthy Chili

  • Comfort Food: There's nothing like a hot bowl of chili to comfort you on a cold day or any day! This recipe provides a healthier alternative to traditional chili without compromising on the much-loved flavor. It’s comfort food at its best but with a healthy twist.
  • Quick and Easy: This healthy turkey chili recipe comes together quickly and is hands-off once all the ingredients are added. It’s your perfect meal for busy weeknights or a Sunday game day, making it a go-to recipe for many.
  • Gluten-Free: This delicious chili is entirely gluten-free, thanks to the careful selection of ingredients. Using gluten-free chicken broth or stock guarantees that even those with dietary restrictions can enjoy this hearty meal.
  • Healthy: Packed with protein and nutrients from lean ground turkey and sweet potatoes, this chili is not just tasty but also incredibly nutritious. It’s a satisfying and delicious meal that can be enjoyed any time of the year.
  • Family-Friendly: This chili is sure to be a hit with the whole family. Its simple and familiar ingredients, combined with its rich and comforting flavor, make it a meal that both kids and adults will love.
  • Perfect for Meal Prep: This chili makes a great recipe for meal prep. It heats up wonderfully and tastes just as good the next day, making it an ideal option for those busy weekdays.

Ingredients

Making this healthy turkey chili recipe is super easy, thanks to the easy-to-find ingredients. Whether you're shopping at a local grocery store or using what's already in your pantry, each ingredient contributes to a hearty and flavorful bowl of chili.

  • Olive Oil: A little olive oil is used to sauté the onions and garlic, providing a flavorful foundation for our chili. It also helps to cook the ground turkey evenly.
  • Ground Turkey: Lean ground turkey is our protein of choice for this healthier chili recipe. It’s packed with protein and nutrients, making it a satisfying and delicious choice.
  • Onion and Garlic: These aromatic ingredients are sautéed in olive oil to release their flavors, providing a fragrant and flavorful start to our chili.
  • Cinnamon, Chili Powder, and Cumin: These spices add a warm, smoky flavor to the chili, making it a comforting dish with much flavor.
  • Diced Tomatoes with Juice: These add a tangy sweetness to the chili, and their juice provides a rich and hearty broth.
  • Chicken Stock or Broth: This forms the liquid backbone of our chili. Make sure your chicken broth or stock is gluten free.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Diced sweet potatoes add a hint of sweetness to balance the spices, and their starchy texture helps to thicken the chili.
  • Black Beans: A classic chili ingredient, black beans provide a hearty texture and are a great source of protein and fiber.
  • Salt and Pepper: These simple seasonings are used to enhance the natural flavors of the other ingredients.
  • Shredded Cheddar: A sprinkle of shredded cheddar adds a creamy, tangy finish to each serving of chili. Feel free to use your favorite chili toppings.
Easy Healthy Chili Recipe (Packed With Flavor!) (2)

How to Make Healthy Chili

Ready to whip up a comforting bowl of healthy chili? Let me walk you through the simple steps to make this tasty meal. For more detailed instructions and nutrition facts, see the recipe card at the end of this post.

Step 1.

Prepare and Cook the Turkey: Start by adding a little olive oil to a Dutch oven and bring it to medium heat. Add the lean ground turkey and cook until browned and fully cooked. Once done, remove the turkey and set it aside.

Step 2.

Cook the Onion and Garlic: In the same Dutch oven, add another teaspoon of olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook until they are browned and aromatic.

Step 3.

Combine Turkey, Onion, Garlic, and Spices: Return the cooked turkey to the pot with the onions. Add your chili powder and other spices. Stir everything together and let it cook for about one minute to allow the flavors to meld.

Step 4.

Add Remaining Ingredients: Next, add the tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, kinds of beans (like black beans, kidney beans, and white beans), and sweet potatoes to the pot.

Step 5.

Simmer the Chili: Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for about ten minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft.

Step 6.

Season and Serve: Finally, season your chili with salt and pepper to your personal preference. Serve your healthy chili hot, topped with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Enjoy this perfect meal on a cold day or as a game-day comfort food!

Variations

  • Spicy Chili: If you're a fan of spicy food, consider adding a kick to this healthy turkey chili recipe. Toss in some cayenne pepper or diced green chiles for an extra heat. Remember to adjust the seasonings accordingly to maintain a balanced flavor profile.
  • Veggie-Loaded Chili: Want to pack in more nutrients? Add extra veggies like green bell peppers or even cauliflower rice! Not only will this bulk up your chili, but it will also add an interesting texture and make your meal even more filling.
  • Bean Swap: If you're out of black beans or simply prefer another variety, feel free to substitute. Pinto beans, kidney beans, or cannellini beans are all excellent choices for chili. Each type of bean will bring a unique flavor and texture to your dish.
  • Tomato-Infused Chili: For a more traditional chili, try adding some tomato sauce or tomato paste. This will give your chili a rich, tomato-based flavor while keeping it healthy and nutrient-dense. Be sure to adjust the seasoning to compliment the added tomato component.

Helpful Tips

  • Choose lean ground turkey: Opting for lean ground turkey over other ground meats is a healthier alternative. It’s packed with protein and adds much flavor to your chili without the excess fat.
  • Use a Dutch oven: Cooking your chili in a Dutch oven on medium heat allows for even cooking and brings out the flavors of the ingredients. Plus, it is a one-pot meal which makes cleaning up a breeze.
  • Don't skip the spices: The combination of cinnamon and chili powder in this recipe adds a unique twist to your traditional chili. These spices, along with cumin, contribute to the overall flavor profile of the dish.
  • Make sure your broth is gluten-free: Not all chicken broths are created equal. Make sure to check the label to guarantee that your chicken broth or stock is gluten-free if you're following a gluten-free diet.
  • Add sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are not just for roasting. They add a touch of sweetness to balance out the spices in the chili and provide additional nutrients. Plus, they make this chili recipe a perfect meal for a cold day.
  • Don't forget the cheese: A sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese on top of your bowl of chili adds a creamy texture and additional flavor. It is the perfect finishing touch to this hearty meal.

Dietary Substitutions

This healthy turkey chili recipe is already gluten-free, so it is perfect for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. However, there are a few adjustments you can make to ensure it fits other dietary needs as well:

  • To Make This Recipe Vegan and Dairy-Free: To make this chili recipe vegan and dairy-free, substitute the ground turkey with a plant-based ground meat alternative and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Omit the shredded cheddar cheese or use a vegan cheese substitute for serving.
  • To Make This Recipe Paleo and Whole30 Friendly: This recipe is nearly Paleo and Whole30 compliant. Just make sure to omit the beans (as they are not allowed on these diets) and use homemade chicken stock or a store-bought version with no added sugars or non-compliant ingredients.
  • To Make This Recipe Keto Friendly: To make this chili keto-friendly, you'll need to make a few more adjustments. First, replace the sweet potatoes with a lower carb vegetable like zucchini or bell peppers. Second, omit the beans, as they are too high in carbs for a keto diet. Also, make sure that the diced tomatoes you use are no-sugar-added to keep the carb count low.

Storage Instructions

To Refrigerate: Allow your healthy chili recipe to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days, making it a perfect meal prep option.

To Freeze: This hearty chili recipe is freezer-friendly. Once cooled, place it in a freezer-safe container or bag and make sure to leave some space for expansion. It can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

To Reheat: If frozen, thaw your chili in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat it on the stove top over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it is hot throughout. Alternatively, you can reheat it in the microwave using a microwave-safe dish. Be sure to stir it well before serving to redistribute the flavors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I substitute the ground turkey in this recipe for ground beef?

Yes, you can use ground beef in place of ground turkey in this recipe. However, keep in mind that it will increase the calories and fat content of the chili significantly. If you're looking for a chili or soup recipe that uses ground beef, you might want to try this Hamburger Soup instead.

Can I make this chili recipe in the Instant Pot?

Absolutely! This chili recipe can be easily prepared in the Instant Pot. Just use the sauté mode and follow the directions for the stove-top chili. If you're interested in other Instant Pot chili recipes, you might want to check out this Instant Pot Turkey Chili with Quinoa.

Is this healthy turkey chili low in calories?

Yes, it is! This healthy turkey chili is very low in calories thanks to the lean ground turkey. Depending on the toppings you choose, a bowl of this chili can be under less than 200 calories!

Serving Suggestions

When it comes to enjoying a bowl of our hearty, healthy chili recipe, the possibilities are endless! Here are some of my favorite ways to serve this delicious dish:

  • As a Main Course: This chili is a satisfying meal all on its own, especially when topped with shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.
  • With a Side of Salad: Balance out the richness of the chili with a fresh, crisp salad. Try a simple cucumber tomato salad, a tangy coleslaw, or a vibrant marinated tomato basil salad to add some additional color to your meal.
  • Accompanied by Corn Casserole: Enjoy this delicious chili with some gluten-free corn casserole on the side. It’s a delicious, classic combo that’s perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes: For a hearty, filling meal, serve the chili over oven-roasted sweet potatoes. The sweetness of the potatoes pairs perfectly with the savory, spicy chili.
  • With Tortilla Chips: Scoop up your chili with some crunchy tortilla chips for a fun and casual meal. This is a great option for game day or a family movie night.
  • As a Topping for Nachos: Take your nachos to the next level by using this chili as a topping. Add some shredded cheddar cheese, green onions, and jalapeño peppers, then bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • In a Chili Bar: Set up a chili bar with bowls of the chili and an array of your favorite toppings like grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, and diced avocado. This is a fun and interactive meal idea that the whole family will love.
Easy Healthy Chili Recipe (Packed With Flavor!) (3)

Easy Healthy Chili Recipe (Packed With Flavor!) (4)

Healthy Turkey Chili

This gluten free Healthy Turkey Chili is easy enough to prepare on a busy weeknight. It is flavorful and healthy, full of black beans, sweet potatoes, and ground turkey.

4.90 from 55 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Dinner

Cuisine: American

Diet: Gluten Free

Keyword: healthy turkey chili

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes minutes

Servings: 8

Calories: 196kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ¼ lbs ground turkey 85% lean
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 ½ cups chicken stock or broth gluten free
  • 2 cups diced sweet potatoes
  • 1 can black beans rinsed
  • salt and pepper
  • shredded cheddar for serving

Instructions

  • Put a swirl of olive oil in a dutch oven and brown turkey until cooked. Remove and set aside.

  • Brown onion and garlic in another teaspoon of olive oil until done.

  • Add turkey back to pot with onions and add spices. Stir and cook for one minute.

  • Add tomatoes and juices, chicken stock, beans and sweet potatoes.

  • Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are softened.

  • Salt and pepper to taste.

  • Top with cheese and serve hot.

Video

Notes

WW Smart Points - 6

Make sure your chicken broth or stock is gluten free.

Nutrition

Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 297mg | Potassium: 654mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 5285IU | Vitamin C: 11.7mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 3mg

Tried this recipe?Mention @seasonal_cravings or tag #seasonal_cravings and I will repost on my stories.

Karen Kelly

Website

Hi, I'm Karen Kelly a certified health coach, freelance food and travel writer, and blogger. At Seasonal Cravings, you will find delicious recipes and fun travel ideas.

Easy Healthy Chili Recipe (Packed With Flavor!) (2024)

FAQs

What can I add to chili to make it healthier? ›

Vegetables. Bell peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, and celery help make this chili incredibly nutritious and flavorful. The varying textures of these veggies also create a wonderful chili consistency. Tomato Sauce + Diced Tomatoes.

What adds the most flavor to chili? ›

Elevate with Extra Flavor

Elevate your chili recipe by adding an extra layer of flavor. Cocoa powder, bacon, cinnamon, ground coffee and tomato paste will all add a rich sweet & salty flavors that are sure to surprise and delight.

What not to put in chili? ›

Beans and non-vegetable fillers such as rice and pasta are not allowed." If that sounds a bit uptight, the ICS's Homestyle Chili competition defines chili as: "any kind of meat, or combination of meats, and/or vegetables cooked with beans, chili peppers, various spices, and other ingredients.

Can homemade chili be healthy? ›

In general, chili is seen as a healthy food since chili contains ingredients from key food groups. If you want to build a healthier bowl of beef chili, choose lean ground beef. Reducing the fat content in the meat is important for heart health and can lower your risk of developing diabetes.

How do you add flavor to bland chili? ›

You can use sauce, diced, whole, even rotel for some kick. Add garlic, cumin, and probably more salt. Chipotle chili powder is really nice in chili.

Why do you put cinnamon in chili? ›

I'm a firm believer that a pinch or two of cinnamon adds great depth of flavor to chili (looking at you Cincinnati Chili!), and I often pair my chili with a 'sweeter' bread like cornbread, challah bread, or Parker House Rolls.

Does sugar make chili taste better? ›

Now for the piece de resistance: 1-2 heaping Tablespoons brown sugar. The chili tastes completely different without the brown sugar so if you like a subtle sweetness in your chili then you've just got to go for it! Trust me, it will not make your chili taste like candy.

Why do you put brown sugar in chili? ›

The brown sugar gave it a sweet/tangy flavor that reminded me of BBQ-sauce! Th chili was so good - it was hard to stop eating it! I did had some extra veggies (1 cl. garlic, 1 celery stalk, 1 carrot, 1 bell pepper, 1 hot pepper) and used a can of diced tomatoes rather than tomato juice.

Why do you put vinegar in chili? ›

With only about 1 tablespoon per pot added toward the end of the cooking process, the vinegar will make the flavors more vibrant without overwhelming the dish with its biting tang. Through just a splash, everything becomes a little brighter, and the chili's flavors are more balanced.

How to make chili taste homemade? ›

Make your own spice blend

Although canned chili will already have some seasonings, fresh herbs and spices will add bolder flavor. You can upgrade your chili using ingredients you likely already have on your spice rack, such as chili powder, ground cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper.

How do you fix chili that has no flavor? ›

How to Give Chili a Flavor Boost
  1. Add something acidic. ...
  2. Try to identify what about your chili is boring. ...
  3. Add tomato paste. ...
  4. Drop in some chocolate. ...
  5. Embrace pickling liquid. ...
  6. Stir in some molasses.

What makes Wendy's chili taste so good? ›

Pinto beans have a creamy texture and a nutty and slightly earthy flavor. Kidney beans have a dense texture and subtly sweet flavor. Finally, customers love Wendy's chili because it's just good, old-fashioned comfort food.

What are the best beans for chili? ›

The best beans for chili are pinto, kidney, and black beans, like in this easy and tasty recipe. This 3-bean chili freezes great for meals later in the week. If you prefer thinner chili, add an extra can of tomato sauce. The green chiles are not hot and add a wonderful flavor, so don't be afraid to use them.

Can chili be healthy? ›

And the evidence suggests they may provide some significant health benefits. Researchers have found that capsaicin—the component that gives chili peppers their heat—has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer, and blood-glucose regulating effects.

What else should I put in my chili? ›

If you want more of a smoky flavor, add cumin, Spanish paprika, ancho chili powder, or a combination. If you are looking for more heat, add cayenne, crushed red pepper, or Hungarian paprika. If it's too spicy add a little brown sugar and some sweet paprika.

Is chili OK for weight loss? ›

Yes, chili can be good for weight loss. It often contains ingredients like lean protein, beans, and spices that boost metabolism. The capsaicin in chili peppers may also increase calorie burning. However, moderation and choosing a chili with lean proteins and minimal added fats are key.

What can I add to canned chili to make it better? ›

"Adding fresh ingredients — like diced onions, cilantro, and jalapenos — will take any canned chili to another level," Dunleavy said. "The fresh burst of flavor will brighten and elevate the chili while also adding great texture and crunch."

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