summer turkey chili
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Summer Turkey Chili

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It has been a while since I last made chili and now that it’s getting warmer I wanted to make it a little lighter. The answer was a brighter Turkey-based chili that maintained that key heartiness but feels a lot lighter.

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The turkey was a really great meat for chili. Its on the leaner side and brings some light flavor. We did a mix of ground white and dark meat to keep it lean overall but also get some of that great dark meat flavor.

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For flavors, I used a pretty classic spice mix, but instead of going for smoky like my normal beef chili and went bright. We went with a whole can of the diced green chilis, green onion, and then fire roasted tomatoes to round it all out. We left out some of our normal winter chili items like beer as well. This helped to lighten it up a lot and it just felt a lot healthier overall.

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I also tried something that I don’t normally put in my chili: beans. I know many view beans as core to a chili, but Rob and I typically aren’t fans. More than anything the big reason we don’t add them is that they don’t really add anything to the dish. Flavor-wise not much going on there; texture-wsie corn always provided a little better pop in my opinion. But, we tried it out this time and it came out really well. We used canned cannellini beans, which may not be traditional, but I liked them a lot.

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For toppings, we added items that complemented the built in flavors. Green onions was obvious along with cheese. We also did some avocado to give some cooling fattiness (but good fat). Lastly, we used some fresh cilantro from our AeroGarden.

Summer Turkey Chili

A lighter, healthier take on Chili that is perfect for the warm weather.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: beans, chili, cilantro, corn, mexican, pepper, southwest, tex mex, turkey


  • 2 Lb Ground Turkey mix of light and dark meat
  • 28 oz Canned Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 14 Oz Canned Cannellini Beans drained
  • 1 Green Onion chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves finely diced
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion finely diced
  • 1 Can Diced Hot Green Chilis
  • 1 Cup Frozen Corn
  • 1 Tbs Cumin
  • 1/2 Tbs Ancho Powder
  • 1/2 Tbs Chipotle Powder
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  • In a large dutch oven, heat a little olive oil over medium heat.
  • Cook the onion for 4-5 minutes until soft and translucent.
  • Add the garlic cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the ground turkey, cook for 7-8 minutes.
  • Add the spices, chilis, and green onion, cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the beans and tomatoes, bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and coo for 15-20 minutes.
  • Add the corn at the end and cook for about another 1-2 minutes to defrost.

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