Easy 30-Minute Turkey Chili

Most of the country is in a deep freeze this time of year. Lucky for me I live in San Diego but we do have ‘winter’. Meaning it’s in the low 50s at night. I know, frigid.

So how about a big bowl of chili to warm you up. The chili is easy, hearty comfort food that’s healthy.

Easy 30-Minute Turkey Chili - Don't have all day for chili to simmer? No problem! This EASY, hearty, healthy chili is ready in 30 minutes and it's full of FLAVOR!! Perfect for busy weeknights!!

Instead of simmering away for hours in a slow cooker or on the stove, this chili is ready in 30 minutes. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners.

The chili has rich flavor with a tiny amount of kick but I wouldn’t say it’s spicy. Add the spices to your taste preferences and you can add more chili powder, add cayenne powder, or use hot green chilis if you want to kick it up.

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Easy 30-Minute Turkey Chili - Don't have all day for chili to simmer? No problem! This EASY, hearty, healthy chili is ready in 30 minutes and it's full of FLAVOR!! Perfect for busy weeknights!!

The recipe is adapted from my Slow Cooker Beef Chili. Rather than using ground beef, I used ground turkey. You can substitute ground beef and make a 30-minute beef chili if you prefer.

Where ever possible I selected low-salt or no-salt added or canned goods. If using traditional versions, add less salt in the beginning and salt to taste at the end. I prefer to control the salt level in my food rather than buying traditional versions of canned goods which are usually very high in sodium and in this recipe would unnecessarily pile salt upon more salt.

Easy 30-Minute Turkey Chili

The chili is easy, hearty comfort food that’s healthy, and has rich flavor with a tiny amount of kick but I wouldn’t say it’s spicy. Add the spices to your taste preferences. The chili is ready in 30 minutes, perfect for busy weeknight dinners. Where ever possible I selected low-salt or no-salt added or canned goods. If using traditional versions, add less salt in the beginning and salt to taste at the end.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 pounds ground turkey (I used extra lean)
  • 1 medium/large sweet Vidalia onion, diced small
  • 1 medium/large red bell pepper, diced small
  • 3 to 5 garlic cloves, finely pressed or minced
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste* (see Note below)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • one 15.5-ounce can red kidney beans (I used low-salt), drained and rinsed if desired
  • one 15-ounce can black beans (I used no-salt added), drained and rinsed if desired
  • one 14.5-ounce can petite diced tomatoes (I used no-salt added)
  • one 8-ounce can tomato sauce, plus 8 ounces water used to rinse out can (I used no-salt added)
  • about 8 ounces water, chicken or vegetable broth, optional (see step 5 below)
  • two 4-ounce cans diced green chilis (I used fire-roasted)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (regular paprika may be substituted)
  • 2 to 4 bay leaves
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, optional and to taste
  • sour cream, green onions, shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips or crackers; all optional for garnishing

Directions:

  1. To a large Dutch oven, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, turkey, and cook over medium-high heat to brown, crumbling it with a spatula as it cooks and tossing it to ensure even cooking. Cook through, about 5 minutes or as necessary.
  2. Add the onions, red pepper, drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons over the top, stir, and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until vegetables have softened, stir intermittently.
  3. Add the garlic, salt (Note because I used all low-salt or no-salt added products I use 3 teaspoons salt total; if you’re using salted versions of the other ingredients reduce salt level to 1/2 to 1 teaspoon to start with and add more if necessary), pepper, and cook for about 1 minute, stir intermittently.
  4. Add the beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, rinse can out with 8 ounces water and add the water, green chilis, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, bay leaves, and stir.
  5. Depending on how thick you like your chili and if you prefer more broth, you may wish to add up to 8 additional ounces water, chicken or vegetable broth.
  6. Bring to boil and cook for about 10 to 15 or until chili has reduced and thickened some.
  7. Stir, taste, optionally add sugar to taste (I added 2 teaspoons because the sugar balances the acid from the tomatoes and peppers), and add more salt, pepper, or seasonings to taste. Remove bay leaves.
  8. Ladle into bowls and optionally garnish with sour cream, green onions, shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips or crackers. Chili will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 4 months. The flavors meld and marry and I think it tastes even better a day or two later.

Adapted from Slow Cooker Beef Chili

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9 comments on “Easy 30-Minute Turkey Chili”

  1. We are having spring like weather right now but the first couple of weeks of March are supposed to be colder. Chili can easily be a 3 season comfort food in the midwest! I know we’d love this as much as the beef chili!

    • You can hardly tell that it’s turkey rather than beef and if you have some on hand, it’s such a healthy swap. Enjoy that warm snap – it will turn cold all too soon again!

    • It was 70 degrees yesterday and 27 today as I type this. The timing of your post this past week was perfect because we were both in the mood for chili. The turkey is a great swap for beef, and as always, we loved this too! A bit of a kick from the chiles and I love the smoked paprika and cumin.

  2. This chili looks amazing Averie!! After months finally we are having bright spring days in Denver and I am so happy! But I can seriously go for chili any time of the year. This one looks so good!

  3. Hi Averie the Chile loos delic we here to have had the temps in the 70*F but will change here by the end of the week and The Chili will hit the spot thank you for coming along with this warm meal at the perfect time.
    Phyllis

  4. Hey girl- this looks so yummy!

  5. This is the best chili I have ever made and I have been cooking for 33 years. I always  change chili recipes because we are never satisfied.  The spices in this chili are wonderful.  I loved the smoked paprika in this.
    I did not have fire roasted chilies so I just used green chilies.  I will try it again with the fire roasted. 
    I will also try it with grassfed beef for a change.  Thanks for such an awesome chili recipe.  Everyone loved it!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! And what high praise, thank you, for saying it’s the best you’ve ever made! I too always tinker with recipes, am never quite satisfied, but glad you love this without changes!

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