The Best Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe

turkey chili

Here’s what you should know about me. Once the temperatures dip below freezing, I crave a few things: warm slippers, flannel pajamas, chai tea, red wine, and chili. Seriously, I could eat chili every night during the Winter months as long as the flavors change.

Our tastes have fluctuated over the years, and we’ve most recently been eating white chicken chili rather than the traditional red chili. But, after last night’s dinner, I think I’m back on team red.

In fact, I’m about to make a very strong statement. This chili recipe is the best, healthy chili we’ve ever tasted. Hearty, filling, flavorful and rich it leaves you smiling from a full belly while still warming your mouth with smoky, rich flavors. A few surprise ingredients, like charred red peppers, will add depth to the flavor while only requiring a minute of extra effort. Trust me, it’s worth it.


It’s one of those dishes that only gets better as a leftover, whether served for lunch or dinner. The few simple, surprise ingredients give it a rich, warm flavor that is often missing in healthy chili recipes. Made with lean, ground turkey, it’s healthy enough to eat during the month of January when 99% of blog readers are thinking twice about what they eat.

We recommend topping off your bowl with with jalapenos, shredded cheddar cheese, scallions and a dollop of sour cream before grabbing your largest spoon.

turkey chili

The Best Healthy, Turkey Chili

Servings: 12-14 depending on serving size
Active prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1-2 hours simmering
2 medium onions (diced)
6 garlic cloves (grated on a micro planer)
2 red bell peppers (charred on the burner and diced)
2 pounds ground white meat turkey
4 15oz cans red kidney beans (rinsed well with cold water)
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 28oz can whole tomatoes
1 15oz can crushed tomatoes
10 Tbsp. chili powder (divided into 8, 1 and 1)
2 tsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup bourbon
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. corn starch (to thicken if needed)
olive oil
1) Place a large stock pot on the stove over medium high heat, once hot add about 2 Tbsp. olive oil
2) Add onions and garlic and cook for about 4 minutes or until the onions begin to soften
3) Add red peppers and cook for another 3 minutes – remove contents of pot to a side dish
4) Return pot to stove and add additional olive oil – once hot, add 1 lb of turkey and season well with salt, pepper, 1 Tbsp. chili powder and a little cumin (you can also add any other spices you like such as garam masala, turmeric, or paprika)
5) Once brown remove turkey to bowl with onions and peppers and repeat with other pound of turkey
6) Return all cooked ingredients to the pot and add kidney beans, tomatoes (crushing whole tomatoes in your hand as they go into the pot), stock, spices, herbs, bourbon and syrup
7) Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and let simmer for at least an hour, up to 2 hours (the kidney beans should not be broken)
8) Season to taste with salt and pepper and if the chili seems a little thin, add corn starch a little at a time to thicken the broth
9) Garnish with any combination of white or green onions, avocado, cheddar cheese, sour cream, corn chips, cilantro, etc.

Don’t Get Intimidated by Pinterest


Some days, the idea of cooking dinner can easily be overwhelming.

Miraculously, I had no plans on Tuesday night, which therefore allowed me to get excited about a relaxing night at home in the kitchen. I could open a nice bottle of champagne, put on the Spotify Michael Buble Christmas channel and just relax while cooking dinner. As soon as the clock struck 7pm, I headed downstairs, not even stopping to change out of my work clothes, and did a quick scan of ingredients in the fridge and pantry.


Inspired by the carton of eggs in the fridge and pile of onions in the pantry, I started skimming Pinterest for inspiration. Not the right move at 7pm, Diamond.  Leave it to Pinterest to immediately intimidate and overwhel. After typing in a few key ingredients I wanted to use, the results quickly included multiple step, complicated recipes. Instead of getting frustrated, I reached out to Kristine, whose Instagram feed never ceases to make me hungry, for some inspiration.

Within minutes, I found myself opening cans and cracking eggs, excited to whip up a dish that I fell in love with in London.  Little did I know that impressive, delicious dish only takes 30 minutes and uses ingredients most of us have in our pantry or refrigerator.

Friends, this New York Times Shakshuka is a recipe that you should pin on your “weeknight dinner” Pinterest board and enjoy often. It only has three, primary recipe steps and one of those is preheating the oven. I’m not kidding!


If you aren’t familiar with shakshuka, it is a traditional Israeli breakfast dish featuring eggs poached in tomatoes, peppers and onions.   The bright, spicy, one-pan dish is easy to make but the flavors will linger with you for hours. The smoky sauce will have you scooping up the remnants on your plate with pieces of crusty bread.  When paired with a small green salad and a hearty pour of wine or bubbly, it is the perfect, healthy, heart comfort food.

So, what did we learn from this post?

  • Open bubbly before cooking.
  • Don’t fall down the Pinterest intimidation rabbit hole.
  • Phone or test friends for help.
  • Eggs are great kitchen staples!
  • Shakshuka is easier to make than you’d think.
  • Have fun!

I Feel Home

Tonight I felt like I was at home. An old school favorite song of mine from high school and early college days even sang in my head as I cooked.

Even though our furniture isn’t set to arrive until Friday at 8am, I hosted someone in the flat for the first time tonight! Maybe it’s my Southern roots or just my upbringing but there is nothing I love more than opening my home to friends, whether it’s 1 or 20, and sharing a bottle of wine while enjoying homemade meal and conversation.

I realized this morning that I kept putting off hosting my girlfriends merely because I didn’t feel I could properly host without our furniture, fresh flowers and a spotless home. But, an evening like tonight is far more important than any of that. When I realized that Emily was working late and hadn’t gone to the grocery store due to a weekend trip to Amsterdam I thought it was the perfect opportunity to host and use some of the produce on their last legs. IMG_0929

Within an hour of walking through the door the apartment was cleaner than it’s been in the five weeks I’ve been here and the candles aroma filled the apartment.  It wasn’t a fancy evening but it was one more step in making Geneva feel like home versus an extended work trip.


We laughed over stories from our respective weekends and sipped a local white chardonnay. Since I was starving I put together a quick cheese plate with a Manchego and Brie cheese bought from the store this evening paired with some crackers and cornichons. Our main course was a dinner salad featuring a bed of baby spinach topped with freshly sliced and salted tomatoes, figs, goat cheese, sautéed mushrooms, and grilled chicken sausage. The chicken sausage was a bit random as I swore it was just chicken when I took it out of the freezer this morning in my pre-run morning stupor, but it did the job.