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High Protein Turkey Chili Recipe (Macro Friendly)

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This high-protein turkey chili, made with lean meat, fresh peppers, beans, and tomatoes, is the perfect meal to come home to after a long day. Filled with protein, veggies, and just the right blend of spices, it’s both delicious and macro friendly.

Looking for more easy dinner recipes? Try this chicken and broccoli penne, turkey smash burgers, or healthy beef and broccoli next.

High protein turkey chili in a white bowl with toppings.

This macro friendly chili recipe could not be easier…just toss everything into your slow cooker, and let it work its magic. While you’re out running errands, working, or just catching up on your favorite show, this chili is bubbling away, ready to greet you with its comforting warmth on a cold day. This will be your new go-to recipe for chili. 🙌🏻

But the best part? Piling on your favorite chili toppings. Whether it’s a spoonful of sour cream, a sprinkle of cheese, or those irresistible tortilla chips – make this chili truly yours.

Are you on the hunt for more macro-friendly dinner ideas? Check out these macro meals.

What You’ll Love About This Recipe

  • Macro-Friendly: With lean proteins, balanced carbs, and minimal fat, this high protein chili recipe easily aligns with many dietary goals, making portion control and macro-tracking a breeze.
  • Meal Prep Champion: This recipe is ideal to make in bulk and portion out for several days.
  • Versatility: This slow cooker turkey chili is perfect for game day, a family dinner, or meal prepping for the week. It’s a one-pot wonder that serves multiple purposes.

Rachel’s Nutrition Tip: Using lean turkey boosts protein without excess fat, and pairing it with high-fiber beans promotes fullness and healthy digestion.

Recipe Ingredients

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this Healthy Chili Recipe:

Ingredients for white turkey chili in individual containers.

Ingredient Notes

Ground Turkey: 93/7 is the sweet spot—packed with protein and just enough fat to keep things juicy without going overboard, making it perfect for those mindful of their meals.

Ground Chipotle: You can find this in the spice section at any grocery store. It adds a unique smokey flavor to your chili. It may also be labeled as “Chipotle Chili Pepper”.

Bell Pepper: Any color works! I used green but a red bell pepper would be great too. 

Love chili? Try this Instant Pot No Bean Chili next.

How to make High Protein Chili: Step by Step

Here are quick visual instructions. Be sure to check out the full instructions with exact ingredients in the printable recipe card below.

Step 1:  Start by browning the meat. To do this, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground turkey and break it up. Then season the ground turkey with salt and pepper.

Ground turkey being browned in a skillet.

Step 2:  Next, add the green pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until you can no longer see pink in the ground turkey

Ground turkey, garlic, onions, and green bell peppers being cooked in a skillet.

Step 3: Add all the ingredients into the crockpot, including the turkey mixture, add in the chili powder, cumin, ground chipotle, and ground cayenne pepper. Mix in the Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce.

Ground turkey, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, onions, in a crock pot ready to be cooked.

Step 4:  Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours (time may need to be adjusted based on your crockpot.

Turkey chili being served out of crockpot.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

Deglaze the Pan: After browning the turkey, there might be bits stuck to the bottom of your pan. Add a splash of broth or water to the hot skillet, scrape up those flavorful bits, and add them to the crockpot.

Spice Gradually: If you’re uncertain about the heat, start with less of the cayenne and chipotle. You can always add more later!

Storage, Freezing, & Reheating

Storage: Let your chili cool to room temperature. Once cooled, transfer it to an airtight container and pop it into the fridge. It should stay fresh and tasty for 3-4 days, making it perfect for meal prep.

To Freeze: Want your chili to last even longer? Consider portioning it out into individual or family-sized servings and then freezing. This makes it convenient to grab just what you need later on. Be sure to use freezer-safe containers or bags, squeezing out as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn and ensure the best flavor when you’re ready to eat.

Reheating: When you’re ready to dive back into your chili, make sure to thaw frozen portions in the fridge overnight. For reheating, use a microwave or stovetop, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating. If you find your chili has thickened up a bit in the fridge or freezer, just add a splash of broth or water to bring it back to your desired consistency.

Additions, Substitutions, and Variations

SUBSTITUTIONS
Meat Options: Instead of turkey, you can use lean ground chicken or beef. For a vegetarian version, lentils or textured vegetable protein can be used.

Beans: Swap out kidney beans for black beans, pinto beans, or even white beans for varied texture.

Spices: If ground chipotle is hard to find, smoked paprika is a great alternative. For a milder version, decrease or omit the cayenne pepper.

ADDITIONS
Veggies: Consider adding zucchini, carrots, or corn for more texture and nutrition.

Grains: Quinoa or barley can be mixed in for a heartier chili and an additional protein boost.

Greens: Spinach or kale stirred in during the last half hour of cooking can add color and nutrients.

Cocoa Powder: Surprisingly, a sprinkle of unsweetened cocoa powder can deepen the flavors of the chili, giving it a rich, slightly smoky undertone.

Sweet Potatoes: These add a slight sweetness and hearty texture to the chili. They complement the spices beautifully and make the dish even more filling.

VARIATIONS
Creamier Chili: Add a dash of coconut milk or cream during the last half hour for a creamier consistency.

Beer-Infused: Substitute some of the tomato sauce with a dark beer for a richer, deeper flavor profile.

Taco Twist: Incorporate taco seasoning and serve with tortilla chips for a fun, taco-inspired chili.

This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you decide to replace or add any ingredients, please let me know how it turned out in the comments below…I would love to hear how it turned out.

What to Serve With Turkey Chili

Turkey chili’s pretty awesome on its own, but toss in the right side, and it’s a whole new game. Here are some fun ideas:

Cornbread: A classic pairing! The sweetness of cornbread complements the spicy, savory flavors of the chili.

Rice: Whether it’s white, brown, or wild rice, a bed of fluffy rice serves as a neutral base that soaks up the rich chili sauce.

Baked Potato: Load up a baked potato with chili, cheese, sour cream, and green onions for a fulfilling meal.

Tortilla Chips: Great for scooping! Plus, the crunchy texture contrasts nicely with the softness of the chili.

Crusty Bread: Fresh, warm bread is perfect for mopping up any leftover sauce at the bottom of the bowl.

Green Salad: A light, crisp salad with a tangy vinaigrette can balance out the richness of the chili and provide a refreshing counterpoint.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich: Dip slices of a gooey grilled cheese sandwich into the chili for a comforting, indulgent treat.

Pasta: Similar to chili mac, you can serve your turkey chili over pasta for a filling twist.

Toppings for Ground Turkey Chili

Now for the fun part: dressing up that bowl of chili! Toppings can really make each serving unique and personalized. How about setting up a topping bar for dinner? That way, everyone can deck out their bowl just the way they like. Here are some must-haves for your chili topping spread:

Shredded Cheese: Cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, or pepper jack all melt beautifully over a hot bowl.

Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt: For a touch of creaminess and to balance out the heat.

Sliced Green Onions or Chives: They add a fresh bite and a pop of color.

Diced Avocado: A creamy addition that’s a cool contrast to the chili’s warmth.

Fresh Cilantro: For those who love its unique flavor, it adds a fresh herbal note.

Jalapeños: Sliced fresh for a bite, or pickled for a tangy kick.

Lime Wedges: A squeeze of lime can brighten up the flavors.

Tortilla Chips: Great for scooping or just adding some crunch.

Diced Red Onions: For a sharp, fresh contrast.

Hot Sauce: For those who want to turn up the heat even more!

Make It On The Stovetop

Your turkey chili can be easily adapted for the stovetop. Start by browning the ground turkey in a large pot over medium-high heat, seasoning it with salt and pepper. Once browned, add the diced green bell pepper, onion, and minced garlic, cooking until they’re softened.

Stir in the seasonings: chili powder, cumin, ground chipotle, and cayenne. Pour in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke, mixing well. Reduce the heat and let your chili simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Instant Pot Turkey Chili

Set your Instant Pot to the sauté function and brown the 1 lb ground turkey, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add diced green bell pepper, onion, and minced garlic, cooking until softened. Stir in spices, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce.

Secure the lid, ensuring the vent is set to “Sealing”, and pressure cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow a 10-minute natural release, then manually vent any remaining pressure. Stir, adjust seasonings if needed, and serve with your favorite toppings.

Macro friendly turkey chili being served out of a white bowl with toppings around it.

Frequently Asked Questions

To make the chili vegetarian, omit the ground turkey and replace it with a plant-based protein like lentils (about 1.5 cups dried) or crumbled tofu. Add more beans like black beans or chickpeas for added texture and protein. Adjust seasoning to taste, and you’re good to go!

Ground turkey is a leaner alternative to ground beef, often containing fewer calories and saturated fats, making it a popular choice for health-conscious recipes.

Chili, with its lean protein, fiber-rich beans, and nutrient-dense veggies, provides a balanced meal. However, “healthy” is subjective and can vary based on toppings and specific ingredients


My Favorite

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High Protein Turkey Chili Recipe (Macro Friendly)

This high-protein turkey chili, made with lean meat, fresh peppers, beans, and tomatoes, is the perfect meal to come home to after a long day. Filled with protein, veggies, and just the right blend of spices, it's both delicious and good for you.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 339kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey 93/7
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground chiptole
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 14 oz kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes undrained
  • 15 oz tomato sauce

Instructions

  • Start by browning the meat. To do this, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground turkey and break it up. Then season the ground turkey with salt and pepper.
  • Next, add the green pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until you can no longer see pink in the ground turkey
  • Add all the ingredients into the crockpot, including the turkey mixture, add in the chili powder, cumin, ground chipotle, and ground cayenne pepper. Mix in the Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce.
  • Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours (time may need to be adjusted based on your crockpot. You can serve the chili with diced red onion, corn chips, sliced jalapenos, shredded cheese, sour cream, and fresh cilantro.

Notes

Serve with: diced red onion, corn chips, sliced jalapeños, shredded cheese, sour cream, and fresh cilantro.
If you’re uncertain about the heat, start with less of the cayenne and chipotle. You can always add more later!
 

Nutrition

Calories: 339kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 1484mg | Potassium: 822mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 13g

The nutritional details for recipes are estimated using MyFitnessPal and can vary with different products, measurement accuracy, and source reliability. We aim to provide accurate information but cannot guarantee the precise accuracy of the nutritional data

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