Low-Fat Turkey Chili

Turkey chili recipe

The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
741 Calories
19g Fat
95g Carbs
54g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 741
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 6g 31%
Cholesterol 83mg 28%
Sodium 254mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 95g 35%
Dietary Fiber 27g 95%
Protein 54g
Calcium 355mg 27%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There are all kinds of ways to make chili: with meat, without meat—and if you use meat, different kinds of meat. This particular low-fat chili uses ground turkey, which is nice and lean, especially if you opt for the 99 percent fat-free variety. It's a good alternative to ground beef. This turkey chili makes an ideal family supper and is one of my fall and winter favorites. It's hearty, healthy and easy to prepare. Serve with a dollop of fat-free Greek yogurt, which is a healthier alternative to sour cream, yet still manages to be thick and tangy, just like sour cream.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (seeded and chopped)
  • 1/2 stick of celery (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 3/4 pound 99 percent fat-free ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1( 8-ounce) can tomato sauce, no salt added
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 4 tablespoons fat-free sour cream or yogurt
  • Optional: 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro (chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for turkey chili
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Add onion, celery, chopped pepper, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.

    Chopped veggies
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu 
  3. Crumble the turkey into the pan, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 5 minutes or until no longer pink.

    Crumble the turkey
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  4. Stir in chili powder, cumin, coriander, and oregano.

    Turkey in pan
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  5. Add in tomatoes and tomato sauce, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Add tomatoes
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  6. Add beans, mix well and cook on low heat for a further 5 to 10 minutes.

    Add beans
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  7. Ladle into bowls. Add a dollop of fat-free plain Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream, plus some fresh chopped cilantro if you have it.

    Ladle into bowls
    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • You can substitute lean ground chicken or extra-lean ground beef for the turkey. Lean ground turkey rather than 99 percent fat-free turkey is less lean (about the equivalent of extra-lean ground beef), but more flavorful.
  • If you want to add a little more heat, add a finely chopped chipotle chile with a teaspoon of adobo sauce.
  • Canned fire-roasted tomatoes are delicious. We often use these instead of plain canned tomatoes.
  • Feel free to use pinto beans or kidney beans instead of black beans, or use a variety. Indeed, you can flesh out the chili by adding an extra can of beans.
  • Add a can of drained sweet corn, which makes a nice addition.