turkey-bean chili

Easy Turkey-Bean Chili Recipe

By Dana Angelo White, R.D.N.
December 20, 2023

Chili is sometimes heavy on fatty meat and light on the veggies. But this homemade version is low in fat and packed with nutrient-dense ingredients.

Beans are one of the best sources of folate—a vital nutrient for fetal brain development while you’re pregnant. Use any combination of canned beans you like. We used kidney beans, black beans, and chickpeas. (Use any leftover beans you don’t put into the chili as a quick serving of plant-based protein in salads or rice bowls.)

Tip: You can make a double batch of this recipe. Save half for an easy meal on busy days once the baby arrives. Cool, pack in containers, and store the chili in the freezer for up to 3 months.

This recipe is: gluten free

Start to finish: 40 minutes

Serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1 small red or yellow onion,* diced
  • 2 cloves garlic,* minced
  • 1 bell pepper,* diced
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes*
  • 2 cups canned beans,* rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup water or broth
  • Optional: Toppings like shredded cheese,* Greek yogurt,* fresh cilantro, or tortilla chips

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil, followed by the ground turkey. Cook until browned.

Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the peppers, salt, and chili powder and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.

beans in a bowl\

Stir in the crushed tomatoes, beans, and water or broth and cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

bowl of chili

Serve in bowls with your desired toppings.

bowl of chili topped with cheddar cheese and cilantro

Note: You can make this recipe in a slow cooker if you have one. Just combine the ingredients and cook on high for 6 hours. (You can brown the turkey first but don’t have to!)

Nutrition per serving: 365 calories; 10 g fat (2 g saturated fat); 62 mg cholesterol; 339 mg sodium; 30 g carbohydrate; 10 g fiber; 7 g sugar (0 g added sugar); 34 g protein.

Price per serving: About $3.41

*WIC-eligible ingredient

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