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)
350 Calories
7g Fat
38g Carbs
38g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 350
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 10%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 61mg 20%
Sodium 796mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 13g 45%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 38g
Vitamin C 67mg 333%
Calcium 145mg 11%
Iron 6mg 36%
Potassium 1305mg 28%
*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 stalk celery, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3/4 pound ground turkey, 99 percent fat free

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 (14.5-ounce can) crushed tomatoes

  • 1 (8-ounce) can unsalted tomato sauce

  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream, or yogurt

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, optional

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 onion is 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.