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turkey chili with pinto beans in a black bowl with avocado on top

Healthy Turkey Chili with Pintos Beans

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4.8 from 10 reviews

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Here’s the best way to make Turkey Chili from scratch with lean ground turkey (or chicken if you prefer), lots of fresh vegetables (including bell peppers), onions, scallions and jalapeno and a little cornmeal to thicken it! Serve topped with avocado and toasted pepitas for a healthy winter meal.


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey or chicken
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small green bell peppers or anaheim peppers, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced, seeds to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 28ounce can peeled tomatoes , crushed by hand or cut into chunks
  • 2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • Garnishes: diced avocado, toasted pine nuts or pepitas, minced red onion, chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Heat oil in a large heavy-bottom soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Crumble in turkey or chicken and cook, breaking up large pieces until no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Stir in garlic, peppers, onion, scallion whites and jalapeño and cook, stirring often until the vegetables are cooked down and mostly softened, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in chili powder, cumin and salt and cook until the spices are fragrant 30 seconds to 2 minutes.  Sprinkle the cornmeal over the vegetable mixture and stir to coat. 
  4. Stir in tomatoes, beans and broth and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat to maintain simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until the chili is thick and the onions and peppers are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. 
  5. Stir in lime juice, oregano and the remaining scallion greens.  Serve with garnishes if desired.


This recipe can be made up to three days in advance. Rewarm over medium low heat, stirring often.

Freeze this recipe up to three months. Thaw in refrigerator or microwave. Warm until piping hot before serving.

  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups each
  • Calories: 330
  • Sugar: 5.5 g
  • Sodium: 850 mg
  • Fat: 12.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 34 g
  • Fiber: 10 g
  • Protein: 23 g
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