Turkey black bean chili is brimming with flavor while also being packed with protein. It’s a simple and light chili that tastes even better the next day, which makes it perfect for meal prep.
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This turkey black bean chili is a belly-warming and incredibly tasty dish that’s also good for you.
It’s a lighter chili that doesn’t make any compromise on flavor and I love to have some in the fridge or freezer for those lazy nights when I can’t be bothered to cook.
If you’re a fan of black beans, you definitely have to try it, and if you’re not, you’re about to become one!
I make the chili with lean ground turkey, but you can also make it with ground beef if you prefer; it’s still delicious.
Serve it with tortilla chips, sliced jalapeño, avocado, and a dollop of sour cream, and you’re in for a real treat.
Why you’ll love this turkey black bean chili
- Super easy to make: This high-protein chili is a no-fuss, one-pot wonder. Just throw everything in and let the magic happen.
- Healthy & hearty: Filling, yet good for you. It's like a cozy hug in a bowl!
- Budget-friendly: No fancy ingredients here, which makes the turkey chili friendly on the wallet.
What you’ll need
Olive oil — You’ll need a splash of olive oil to sauté the veggies in. Canola oil or avocado oil also work.
Onion and garlic — Yellow onions work best for their sweet, caramel-like flavor when cooked. For garlic, fresh is best but if you don’t have any, frozen garlic or garlic in a jar are also good.
Red bell pepper — Red bell peppers add a sweet note and a pop of color. Make sure to dice them uniformly for even cooking.
Jalapeño — For less heat, remove the seeds and membrane.
Ground turkey — I typically make this chili with lean ground turkey to reduce fat content. If you like a bit more fat for flavor, choose a mix with a higher fat content.
Tomato paste — Tomato paste adds depth and a concentrated tomato flavor. Cook it for a minute with the spices to deepen its flavor.
Crushed tomatoes — Crushed tomatoes add body and richness. For a chunkier chili, you can use diced tomatoes.
Black beans — Rinse canned beans to remove excess sodium. If using dry beans, you’ll need to soak and cook them in advance.
Chicken broth — Low-sodium chicken broth is a great choice as it lets you control the salt level.
How to make black bean turkey chili
Stir in the red bell pepper and jalapeño and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the ground turkey to the pot and cook for 5-6 minutes or until no longer pink. Break it up with your skin as you go.
Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes. The chili should thicken slightly.
Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. If you prefer a thinner chili, you can add more chicken broth.
Serve the chili garnished with fresh cilantro and your favorite toppings such as tortilla chips, sour cream, avocado slices, jalapeño slices, shredded cheese or lime wedges.
- For a thicker chili, let it simmer uncovered for a little longer, or mash some of the beans before adding them to the pot.
- Opt for lean ground turkey to make this chili healthier, but if you prefer richer flavors, a higher fat content turkey will do the trick.
- If cooking for kids, you can reduce or omit the jalapeño and spice level to make it more palatable for them.
Substitutions and variations
- Bulk it up: Feel free to add other veggies like corn, zucchini, or sweet potatoes for extra nutrition and texture.
- Make it vegan: Substitute the ground turkey with a plant-based meat alternative, or simply increase the amount of black beans and add some diced mushrooms for extra texture.
- Use a mix of beans: This turkey chili is also super tasty with a mix of beans, such as pinto beans, red kidney beans and white beans.
What to serve with black bean chili
- Cornbread: A classic pairing! The sweet, buttery flavor of cornbread complements the savory, spicy notes of the chili perfectly.
- Rice or quinoa: A bed of warm rice or quinoa can soak up the delicious chili flavors, making for a fulfilling and wholesome meal.
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt: A dollop on top adds a creamy texture and helps balance the heat.
- Tortilla chips or strips: These add a crunchy texture; great for dipping or sprinkling on top.
- Shredded cheese: Sprinkle some cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a Mexican cheese blend for a gooey, melty addition.
- Chopped green onions or red onions: For a bit of crunch and sharpness.
- Avocado slices: Creamy avocado provides a rich, buttery contrast to the chili.
Leftovers and storage
- Storing: Pop any leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate. It'll stay good for up to 4 days.
- Reheating: Warm it up in a pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Microwave works, too – just give it a stir midway.
- Freezing: Let the chili cool, then freeze in airtight containers or freezer bags. It's perfect for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
If you liked this turkey black bean chili recipe, you might also like some of my other easy one-pot recipes:
- Kale and White Bean Sausage Soup
- Pork and Apple Casserole
- Beef Stroganoff Soup
- Easy Butter Bean Stew
- Chicken Alfredo Tortellini Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 small jalapeño, finely chopped
- ¾ lb (350 g) ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 can (14 oz / 400 g) crushed tomatoes
- 2 cans (14 oz / 400 g) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 ½ cup (350 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
- A handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the red bell pepper and jalapeño and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the ground turkey to the pot and cook for 5-6 minutes or until no longer pink. Break it up with your skin as you go.
- Stir in the tomato paste, taco seasoning, dried oregano, ground cumin, and ground turmeric.
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes, drained and rinsed black beans, and low-sodium chicken broth. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
- Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes. The chili should thicken slightly.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. If you prefer a thinner chili, you can add more chicken broth.
- Serve the chili garnished with fresh cilantro and your favorite toppings such as tortilla chips, sour cream, avocado slices, jalapeño slices, shredded cheese or lime wedges.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 343Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 661mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 12gSugar: 4gProtein: 25g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.