Three Bean Turkey Chili is a hearty, budget-friendly protein-packed meal!
BONUS: This recipe can easily be turned vegetarian!
Three Bean Turkey Chili is the best chili recipe ever! It’s chock full of protein and veggies, and it’s totally easy to make for a crowd. I love a Classic Chili Recipe and when I feel like we need a protein boost, I love to make this healthy bean and turkey chili. It’s just as hearty as the original recipe, and just as budget-friendly too!
THREE BEAN TURKEY CHILI
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Chili is the quintessential fall soup! It’s ideal for tailgating parties, Autumn events, and weeknights when you need a simple meal that is low cost and can be on the table in less than an hour. This three bean turkey chili recipe packs a serious punch of flavor without breaking the bank!
Ingredients in Three Bean Turkey Chili
- Ground turkey
- Chopped onion
- Olive oil
- Red beans, black beans, and pinto beans
- Tomato sauce
- Diced tomatoes
- Chili powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Salt & pepper
I like to buy canned beans to save time. If you need to lower the cost and increase the volume of your chili, like when cooking for a crowd, adding more beans is a great idea! You’ll be on your way to an affordable and hearty meal that’s full of protein in no time at all!
How to Make Turkey Chili
If you’ve never cooked turkey chili before, I can promise you it’s so much easier than you’re probably thinking! Here’s what you need to do:
- Heat some olive oil in a soup pot on the stove. Add the ground turkey to the pot and saute it until it’s browned and cooked through.
- Season the ground turkey with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, & pepper, then remove the turkey from the pot and set it aside while you make the rest of the chili.
- Add more olive oil to the soup pot, and add the chopped onion. Add more garlic, onion powder, and salt & pepper, and cook until the onions are translucent.
- Next, add the beans, diced tomato, and tomato sauce to the pot. Give everything a good stir and then season with chili powder, cayenne, paprika, and more salt & pepper.
- Add the cooked turkey back to the pot and stir to make sure all of the ingredients are mixed well.
- Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Finally, serve and enjoy!
How to Make Turkey Chili with Leftover Turkey
This is the best comfort food to make with leftover turkey! Every year I go on the hunt for leftover turkey recipes and this three-bean chili is a great way to use up the extra meat from our Thanksgiving bird.
All you have to do is shred or chop up leftover turkey meat and toss it into your pot with some olive oil. Saute the turkey just until it’s lightly browned and heated through. Then, follow the rest of the recipe, serve, and enjoy!
How to Make Vegetarian Chili
Another great variation on this chili is making it vegetarian! The three different beans provide plenty of protein, so you can omit the meat and still have a hearty soup.
If you need to feed meat-eaters and non-meat eaters in one setting, simply saute the ground turkey in a separate skillet while you make the rest of the chili. Reserve vegetarian portions, then add the cooked turkey to the remaining soup and serve!
What can I add to chili?
Chili is such a versatile soup!
Try topping it with sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, shredded cheese, chopped onions, and oyster crackers.
You can also add cooked pasta to chili and make the most delicious chili mac that is certain to please picky eaters!
Check out some other great recipes for chili!
- Crock Pot Weight Watchers Chili
- Chili Con Carne
- Slow Cooker Three Bean Chili
- Instant Pot Chicken Chili
- Easy Chili Mac Skillet Dinner
- More MAIN DISHES recipes…
Tools used to make Three Bean Turkey Chili
Stock Pot: This stockpot is the perfect vessel for all of your cold-weather stews and homemade stocks. It’s great for making delicious soups for a crowd!
Ladle: This brushed stainless steel ladle features a gripped handle for safely serving hot soups and broths. I love that it’s dishwasher safe!
*This post originally posted on 08/31/2012.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder divided
- 2 teaspoons onion powder divided
- 2 teaspoons salt divided
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper divided
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 31 ounces canned red beans drained and rinsed
- 31 ounces canned black beans drained and rinsed
- 15.5 ounces canned pinto beans drained and rinsed
- 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes
- 28 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Chopped onion
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the pot you will cook your chili over medium heat.
- Add ground turkey and cook until browned. Stir occasionally, but not too much. You want to allow some color to develop. Season turkey with 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Once the turkey is cooked through, remove to a plate and set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the same pot along with the chopped onion. Season with 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, salt. and pepper. Saute until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add all the beans, diced tomato, and tomato sauce to the onions.
- Season with chili powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the cooked turkey back into the pot. (If you are preparing both vegetarian and meat chili, leave the turkey out for now.)
- Bring chili to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Once the chili is cooked, portion the vegetarian chili bowls for serving. (You can also divide the chili in half and keep them separate in two pots or the cooking pot and a slow cooker.) Add turkey to the chili in the cooking pot and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes until turkey is warmed through.
- Portion chili into bowls. Serve with your favorite toppings - mine are sour cream or plain greek yogurt, shredded cheese, and more chopped onion.