Skip to Content

Three Bean Turkey Chili

Three Bean Turkey Chili is a hearty and simple chili recipe, made easy on the stove top. Whip it up any night of the week for a hearty meal. Don’t forget the cornbread to go along with it!

Top down bowl of turkey chili with sliced avocado, green onions and red onions on top

The best turkey chili recipe for those times you’re itching for healthy comfort food? 

This hearty turkey chili recipe is pure gold.

Not only is it just so packed with those yummy chili flavors we all know and love, but it’s an incredibly filling meal.

Loaded with lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber, and lower in fat, this homemade turkey chili is a great way to hit your targeted macros.

I mentioned in my Instant Pot Lentil Soup recipe that beans and lentils are remarkably satiating. 

This in conjunction with the satiety factor of protein makes turkey chili a great option for those times you want your meals to make you full and not be remarkably calorically dense. 

I originally shared this recipe way back in 2016. 

At the time, I felt so strongly about the fact that there are three types of beans in this turkey chili recipe, that I was compelled to name it 3-Bean Turkey Chili.

While I was very tempted to give it a new title, the fact does remain: This soup is bean rich. 

Close up top down photo of a big bowl of turkey chili with sour cream, diced avocado, red onion and green onion with a gold spoon, ready to eat.

In addition to all the beans, there are all sorts of flavors being stewed up in this pot. My top tricks for making amazing chili are adding plenty of chili powder, tossing in a little cocoa powder, and adding red wine for richness and depth of flavor.

Of course, if you don’t cook with alcohol, you can leave the wine out but it does give it a little something special. 

Let’s discuss the ingredients in this easy turkey chili recipe.

Ingredients for Turkey Chili:

Avocado Oil: Used to sauté the veggies and brown the meat. Use olive oil if you prefer.

Vegetables: Onion, Garlic, and Bell Peppers. This combination of flavors does wonders for chili! Feel free to add in any of your vegetable favorites like carrots, sweet potato, and celery.

Lean Ground Turkey: The star of the show here. You can also use ground beef or ground chicken.

Seasonings: Chili Powder, Dried Oregano, Cocoa Powder, and Salt. I recommend using regular chili powder for mild chili, not chipotle chili powder or ancho chili powder, which are much spicier.

This perfect blend of spice results in the absolute best flavor. While three tablespoons chili powder may seem like a lot, I find it makes for a flavorful chili.

Canned Diced Green Chilis: I use mild canned green chilis but you can go with the spicy option for a kick if you’d like.

Liquid: Chicken Broth and Diced Tomatoes. Add red wine as an option.

Pure Maple Syrup or Brown Sugar: I love adding a little sweetener to offset the acidity of chili. I go with a little pure maple syrup, but you can also use brown sugar or regular cane sugar. Omit if if you don’t do added sweeteners.

Beans: I use a combination of black beans, red kidney beans, and pinto beans. Select your favorite beans if you’d like.

Three cans of beans draining in a colander.

Increase the heat level of this chili by adding cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or your favorite hot sauce to your personal taste. The chili is pretty mild as written.

Close up top down photo of a big bowl of healthy turkey chili

Recipe Adaptations: 

  • Use crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes if you’d like.
  • Swap the chicken broth for beef broth.
  • Mix and match your favorite beans. You can also go with garbanzo beans or white beans.
  • For meatier chili, use 2 pounds of ground turkey instead of one pound of ground turkey.
  • Use red bell peppers or color of choice instead of the green pepper.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste for more tomato flavor.
  • If you love the flavor of ground cumin, add 1 to 2 teaspoons. I find that the amount of ground cumin that is in chili powder is plenty for me.

Now that we’re familiar with the ingredient list for this easy turkey chili recipe, let’s make it!

How to Make Turkey Chili:

Heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat in a large pot such as a Dutch oven or stock pot.

Add the chopped onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until it has softened, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Red onions sautéing in a pot

Stir in the garlic and bell peppers and continue cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant.

Green bell pepper, garlic and onion sauteing in a pot.

Add in the ground turkey and use a spatula to break it into small chunks. Stir in the chili powder, cocoa powder, dried oregano and sea salt.

Ground meat and vegetables cooking in a soup pot to make chili

Pour in the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, beans, and canned green chilis. If you’re adding red wine, do so now too.

Pouring in the diced tomatoes and broth.

Cover the pot with a lid and bring the chili to a full boil. Reduce to medium heat to a gentle boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes (ideally cook the chili longer for maximum flavor).

Pot of chili with beans on top, ready to be mixed in.
Horizontal image of a big pot of turkey chili, ready to bring to a boil and cook.

Serve turkey chili with your favorite chili toppings such as red onion, green onions, avocado, sour cream, grated cheese, or tortilla chips. Whip up my Gluten-Free Cornbread for the perfect pairing to this healthy turkey chili recipe.

Big pot of turkey chili with a ladle, about to serve.

Store chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

You can also make Instant Pot Turkey Chili by pressure cooking on high pressure for 15 minutes and natural release for 30 minutes.

For a slow cooker turkey chili, make my Crock Pot Turkey Chili with Black Beans

Horizontal photo of turkey chili in a big ceramic bowl with onions and sour cream on top.

And that’s it! A hearty chili recipe the whole family will love!

If you love homemade chili, also try these great recipes.

More Chili Recipes:

Enjoy a big bowl of this ground turkey chili on any cold day. It’s the perfect meal during the cold fall and winter months.

Top down bowl of turkey chili with sliced avocado, green onions and red onions on top

3-Bean Turkey Chili

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

3-Bean Turkey Chili is hearty, satiating and loaded with flavor!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 medium-sized red onion or yellow onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 3 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 (28-oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth or beef broth
  • 1 (14-oz) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (14-oz) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (14-oz) can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 (7-oz) can diced green chilis (mild)
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt, to taste
  • ¼ tsp black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup red wine, optional*

Instructions

    1. Heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat in a large pot such as a Dutch oven or stock pot. Add the chopped onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until it has softened, about 5 to 8 minutes.

    Red onions sautéing in a pot

    2. Stir in the garlic and bell peppers and continue cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant.

    Green bell pepper, garlic and onion sauteing in a pot.

    3. Add in the ground turkey and use a spatula to break it into small chunks. Stir in the chili powder, cocoa powder, dried oregano and sea salt.

    Ground meat and vegetables cooking in a soup pot to make chili

    4. Pour in the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, beans, and canned green chilis. If you're adding red wine, do so now too.

    Pouring in the diced tomatoes and broth.

    Pot of chili with beans on top, ready to be mixed in.

    Horizontal image of a big pot of turkey chili, ready to bring to a boil and cook.

    5. Cover the pot with a lid and bring the chili to a full boil. Reduce to medium heat to a gentle boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes (ideally cook the chili longer for maximum flavor).

    Finished turkey chili, ready to serve.

    6. Serve turkey chili with your favorite chili toppings such as red onion, green onions, avocado, sour cream, grated cheese, or tortilla chips. Whip up my Gluten-Free Cornbread for the perfect pairing to this healthy turkey chili recipe.

    Horizontal photo of turkey chili in a big ceramic bowl with onions and sour cream on top.

Notes

I used lean ground turkey, but you can also use a higher fat percentage of ground turkey, ground beef, or ground chicken.

*Use a dry red wine like cabernet sauvignon or Malbec.

Store chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1 Serving
Amount Per Serving Calories 477Total Fat 16gUnsaturated Fat 0gCarbohydrates 44gFiber 14gSugar 9gProtein 36g

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)

Tuesday 16th of February 2016

This was really easy and tasty. I didn't add the herbs de provence because I don't keep that on hand. I added a small chopped b-nut squash which was a nice addition. Overall, great recipe with tasty flavors.

Julia

Saturday 20th of February 2016

Wahoooooo! Thanks so much for making the recipe and for letting me know, Kelli! The butternut squash addition sounds fabulous!

Louise

Friday 22nd of January 2016

Tell us more about the beans please?

Julia

Friday 22nd of January 2016

My apologies, Louise! I fixed the recipe to include the beans ;) Have a great weekend!

Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

Friday 22nd of January 2016

I may not be shredding the gnar, as they say (my husband says this after he goes snowboarding and I'm like WHOAREYOU), but my tummy is still growling like whoa for this chili!

Brenda

Friday 22nd of January 2016

Yes, also waiting to hear which beans you used/suggest, canned or dry, with or without liquid from the can, and amounts - thanks!

Julia

Friday 22nd of January 2016

Hiya, Brenda! Sorry for the confusion. I used all canned beans - black, pinto, and kidney. Made the change in the recipe. Let me know if you try it out!

Debra

Friday 22nd of January 2016

Interesting addition of cocoa powder, wow, be t that gives it a colour and richness like no other! The colours and presentation are gorgeous too!

Julia

Friday 22nd of January 2016

Thanks so much, Debra! I love adding both cocoa powder and wine to chili...they both provide such unique flavor! Let me know if you try the recipe!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe