High Protein Turkey Chili

High Protein turkey chili in a bowl with toppings

An easy and healthy option for dinner on your schedule

High Protein Turkey Chili is a great option for after school or work.  When you get home, you can have a pot of warm chili waiting for you. This chili is high in protein and, thanks to the turkey, lower calorie than its beef competitors. Not to mention the 2 cans of beans that add their own blast of protein to the meal. Added to that are fresh vegetables in the form of onion and green bell pepper, plus canned tomatoes for all the vegetables you could want in a meal.

High protein turkey chili served over a baked potato

Slow cooker vs stove top: Which is best?

This High Protein Turkey Chili is delicious slow cooked or made on the stove top. Both options will make a wonderful chili. The slow cooker method is without a doubt the easiest and more hands off. Put everything in the slow cooker, set it, and forget it until you’re ready to eat.

One difference you may find between your slow cooker chili and your stove top chili is the thickness. Depending on if you slow cook or use the stove top, your chili might end up thinner than mine. Don’t worry, thickness can always be managed at the end of the cook time by adding tomato paste and simmering for a couple minutes. However, the thickness of the chili can be controlled more easily when cooking on the stove top, as you have total control over the temperature. If a thick chili with little or no tomato paste is most important to you, the stove top method will be best.

high protein turkey chili after cooking in a crock pot

What beans should I use in my High Protein Turkey Chili?

For a long time, I always used one can of dark red kidney beans and one can of pinto beans in my chili and it always turned out well. However, once when I was out of pinto beans, I found a can of chili beans in my pantry. Chili beans come with the beans in chili sauce (often as pinto beans), and could be eaten alone as a bean chili in a pinch. I found that the chili sauce the beans are in adds an extra pop of flavor to the chili, and now I always include them in my chili. 

Regardless of what kind of beans you use in your High Protein Turkey Chili, do not drain them! The liquid your beans have been sitting in is packed with flavor that really adds to the chili. Trust me, your chili will taste better if you include the bean liquid.

Turkey beans onion and peppers in a crock pot

What if I don’t have turkey?

If you don’t have turkey, have no fear. You can use the same quantity of ground beef with no other changes to the recipe and it will be just as delicious. You could also use shredded chicken (or turkey if Thanksgiving leftovers are still available). For shredded chicken I still recommend using the same raw weight, 2 pounds. In fact, simply combine all other ingredients in the slow cooker then add the raw chicken in and cook as directed. Then shred the chicken once it’s done cooking and return to the slow cooker. I would recommend including some tomato paste if you’re going to use shredded chicken, as it may turn out more watery.

Another interesting option is to use leftover bbq meat.  If you have any leftover brisket, ribs, or pork butt, chop it up and throw it in!

Creative ways to serve your High Protein Turkey Chili

A warm bowl of chili topped with shredded cheese, sour cream, and a little cilantro is a delicious way to serve this meal. Add a biscuit, cornbread, or roll for a delicious side.  In fact, you really should try this chili with my Moist Honey Corn Bread. And there you have a delicious, traditional chili dinner. However, if you’re looking for something different, here are a few suggestions:

  • Chili Loaded Baked Potatoes: Serve your chili over a baked potato, topped with cheese, sour cream, and cilantro or green onions.
  • Cincinnati Chili: Serve your chili over spaghetti and top as above for a fun take on Cincinnati based chain Skyline Chili. It’s not a direct copycat, but it sure hits the spot.
  • Chili Loaded Fries: Over freshly cooked fries, pile chili, cheese, and optionally diced onions, tomatoes, and cilantro for a fun meal.
High protein turkey chili Cincinnati style

What kind of pierogi fillings can I make?

Cabbage Pierogies are only my second favorite pierogi.  You should check out my Farmers Cheese Pierogi recipe.  They’re savory, creamy, salty, and all around delicious.  

Other easy pierogi fillings include:

  • Mashed potatoes mixed with cheese.  I like to use farmers cheese here too.
  • Mushrooms:  Similar to cabbage, pan fry mushrooms, onions, and bacon for another delicious pierogi.
  • Ground meat and cheese:  Mix ground pork, turkey, or beef together with cheese.

How to make High Protein Turkey Chili

high protein turkey chili after cooking in a crock pot

High Protein Turkey Chili

Ground Turkey and beans make this easy meal high in protein and flavor.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 376 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 slow cooker If slow cooking
  • 1 Dutch oven or stock pot If cooking on the stovetop

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lb ground turkey
  • 64 oz Whole or diced tomatoes, partially drained
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 cans beans, undrained pinto, dark red kidney, or chili beans
  • 1-2 dried peppers optional
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1.5 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • Brown the ground turkey in a skillet until it is cooked through. Remove to a paper towel covered plate to drain.
  • Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on high heat for 4 hours or 8 hours on low heat.
    Turkey beans onion and peppers in a crock pot

Stovetop Instructions

  • In a dutch oven, over high heat, brown the ground turkey until cooked through. Drain and remove to a paper towel covered plate.
  • In the same dutch oven, heat a little oil and saute the onion and green pepper until softened.
  • Return the ground turkey to the dutch oven and add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a rapid boil, then reduce heat to a strong simmer and let cook for 20-30 minutes, or until thickened.
  • If the chili is not thickened to your liking, add 1-2 tbsp of tomato paste and stir to combine. Cook for 1-3 more minutes until thickened.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.17gCalories: 376kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 35.1gFat: 11.7gSaturated Fat: 3.4gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 909mgPotassium: 78mgFiber: 7.4gSugar: 7gCalcium: 150mgIron: 4mg
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Nutrition Facts
High Protein Turkey Chili
Serving Size
 
0.17 g
Amount per Serving
Calories
376
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
11.7
g
18
%
Saturated Fat
 
3.4
g
21
%
Cholesterol
 
108
mg
36
%
Sodium
 
909
mg
40
%
Potassium
 
78
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
27
g
9
%
Fiber
 
7.4
g
31
%
Sugar
 
7
g
8
%
Protein
 
35.1
g
70
%
Calcium
 
150
mg
15
%
Iron
 
4
mg
22
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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