Ground turkey chili is a healthy and frugal dinner idea. Toss this together in minutes on busy weeknights for a great meal your family will love.

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Close up image of turkey chili in a white bowl topped with sour cream and cheese.
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Ground Turkey Chili Recipe:

Some people are afraid of ground turkey and I just don’t understand why. It is so easy to make and your family won’t even realize it is turkey and not beef.

We love to cook with ground turkey because it is not only healthier for you, but it is much cheaper too. The ground turkey takes on the flavor of all the other ingredients and makes a delicious chili recipe.

You can also try this recipe in your crockpot. The flavors still blend perfectly and your family will come home to dinner done.

Close up image of turkey chili in a white bowl topped with cheese and sour cream.

Can I substitute ground turkey for ground beef in chili?

Now if you are still afraid to go all ground turkey then double this recipe and cook with 1 pound ground turkey and one pound lean ground beef.

The ground turkey will take on the flavor of the beef, so your family will never notice. That is an easy way to save some money without your family even noticing.

More ideas to try:

Our secret to adding more flavor and more health benefits is by shredding zucchini and adding it in the chili.

You will place your chunks of zucchini in the food chopper and it will make it into tiny pieces.

Close up image of zucchini being chopped in a food chopper.

Add it into your chili after you have browned the turkey and the zucchini almost disappears. However, the flavor doesn’t.

The zucchini ads the most delicious flavor to this chili that I don’t want to miss. It is a great way to get them to eat more veggies without even realizing!

Close up image of turkey chili in a white bowl topped with cheese and sour cream.

Topping ideas for easy turkey chili:

We love having a chili bar when our friends come over. Chili is a crowd pleaser and easy on me to pull together when people come over.

  • shredded cheese – I like to use different cheeses. Try Cheddar Cheese, Monterey Jack Cheese or Pepper Jack Cheese.
  • chives
  • sour cream – You can even top with plain yogurt.
  • hot sauce – If you need more heat in your chili – use some hot sauce
  • diced jalapeno peppers
  • saltine crackers – Crushed up crackers is always a family favorite.
  • corn chips
  • tortilla chips
  • cornbread
  • cilantro – We love cilantro and we love the extra flavor it brings out for the tex mex flavor.
  • onions – Chop some onions or green onions for extra flavor
  • Flour Tortillas – We love making Frito Chili Wraps.
  • Slice Avocados – Topping your chili with avocados can take some of the heat off.
Close up image of turkey chili in a large pot.

What to make with Ground Turkey?

We love cooking with ground turkey. It is healthier than ground beef so I just feel better feeding it to my family. Here are some of our favorite Ground Turkey Recipes:

Close up image of ingredients for turkey chili - turkey, onion, beans, crushed tomatoes and seasoning.

Ground turkey chili ingredients:

  • Ground Turkey Meat
  • Olive Oil
  • Zucchini Shredded
  • Onion Diced
  • Cans of Kidney Beans Do not drain
  • Cans of Crushed Tomatoes
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin
  • Garlic Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Chicken Broth

Bell peppers are also delicious. Sometimes we also add green bell pepper and black beans. You can also add cayenne pepper for more heat.

Diced tomatoes are also delicious. As you can see, this recipe is versatile and one of our favorite turkey chili recipes.

How to make ground turkey chili in the crock pot:

  • Heat the oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat.
  • Then add in the turkey and cook the ground turkey. Add in the shredded zucchini and add in the onions. You can also add in the garlic here.
Close up image of turkey and vegetables being cooked in a large pot.
  • Cook until translucent.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients including the salt and pepper.
  • Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes to let all the flavors combine.
  • You may need to add more water or broth if you don’t want the chili to be as thick.
Close up image of ground turkey chili in a large pot.

Can you Freeze chili?

I love to freeze this chili to have for quick lunches. It’s so handy to have individual portions on the freezer.

You can also freeze larger portions for dinner for the family.

I prefer to freeze this chili in freezer bags so I can stack them easily. It takes up less space and I  can stack several bags.

Close up image of a pot of turkey chili.

Time saving tip:

  • My favorite time saving tip is to use a small food chopper or food processor to quickly and easily chop onions. We chop the onions and peppers at once and then freezing them. Saves me so much time in the kitchen.
  • Sneak in vegetables. Your kids will never know and it is great way to throw in vegetables that might be close to getting bad.
  • You can substitute the meat for ground beef or chicken. You can always do a combination of meats.
  • This is also a great way to use up already cooked meat. Just throw it in the crock pot with your other chili ingredients and you are set.
  • Some recipes call for brown sugar. It is not needed but you can definitely add in a tablespoon.
Close up image of a pot of turkey chili with a wooden spoon.

What to serve with chili

Did you know that I also make my own homemade cornbread mix to make preparing cornbread even easier?  I love having these cornbread mixes on hand so I can whip up some delicious cornbread in no time at all!

Print this easy ground turkey chili recipe below:

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Turkey Chili recipe

5 from 15 votes
Try this easy ground Turkey Chili recipe where you can sneak in veggies in too! Our family doesn't even know we are eating ground turkey or zuccini!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 6
Cuisine American
Course Chilis, Main Course
Calories 237
Author Eating on a Dime


  • 1 pound Ground Turkey
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Zucchini Shredded
  • ½ Onion Diced
  • 2 Cans of Kidney Beans Do not drain
  • 2 Cans of Crushed Tomatoes 15 oz.
  • 2 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth


  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Then add in the turkey and brown the ground turkey. Add in the shredded zucchini and onion.
  • Cook until translucent.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients.
  • Cook on low and allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes to let all the flavors combine
  • You may need to add more water or broth if you don't want the chili to be as thick.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 237kcal, Carbohydrates 30g, Protein 27g, Fat 3g, Saturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 42mg, Sodium 625mg, Potassium 1122mg, Fiber 9g, Sugar 9g, Vitamin A 478IU, Vitamin C 30mg, Calcium 88mg, Iron 5mg

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Ground turkey chili is a healthy, easy and frugal dinner idea. This ground turkey chili recipe easy stovetop recipe is the best! The best healthy quick ground turkey chili tastes great and is easy to make too! Everyone will love this simple healthy ground turkey chili recipe easy to make in one pot! #eatingonadime #chilirecipes #turkeyrecipes #onepotrecipes #dinnerrecipes
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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I’m so sorry about that! I used 2 (15 oz.) can for crushed tomatoes for this recipe. I have updated the recipe in the post. Thank you!

  2. Just want to confirm – the kidney beans you don’t want us to empty out the liquid, the whole can goes into the pot? Your picture looks like the beans are drained so I wasn’t sure. I put the whole can in and my soup is pretty runny… just want to make sure I’m doing it right 🙂

  3. I would drain them just because that decreases the salt content but you do you boo! It will be great either way.