Turkey Black Bean Chili

This is a great hearty and healthy chili recipe that is family friendly and perfect for those cool fall evenings.  My children like to top theirs off with sour cream and a sprinkling of sharp cheddar cheese.  As a special treat, they use a small handful of Frito scoops to spoon up the chili.  I am okay with the small Fritos portion given that they are getting a nutritionally power packed chili and it makes it fun for them to eat.

In the seasoning additions, we use Smoked Paprika – this is a very different taste than regular paprika and adds that smoky taste that is perfect for chili.  In fact, when recipes call for paprika we ONLY use Smoked Paprika as it adds such depth.  Some like their chili with a lot of pizazz – this is a family friendly chili so the addition of “zing” is used sparingly.  Please adjust the seasonings according to your heat preference.  Making this chili a day in advance will help to enhance the flavors even further.
Why Healthy

  • Using LEAN ground turkey instead of ground beef cuts back on calories and fat.  Note: Not all ground turkey is created equal – choose a lean ground turkey package or choose ground turkey breast.
  • Loading this chili up with vegetables increases its fiber and antioxidant content.
  • Black beans provide and excellent source of fiber and are nutrient rich.
  • Cooking the spices slightly helps to enhance the flavor and that gives a lower fat dish more flavor without additional fat.


Turkey Black Bean Chili

Great choice for cool fall evenings!

Yield: Serves 8

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 1 hr 15 mins


1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Cup Chopped Onions
1 Red Bell Pepper, Diced (1/4 inch)
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, Dice (1/4 inch)
1 Cup Diced (1/4 inch) Carrots
2 Cups Diced (1/2 inch) Acorn Squash (Peeled) or Sweet Potatoes (Peeled)
2 Garlic Cloves, Finely Chopped
1.5 Tablespoon Chili Power
1/2 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1 Pound Lean Ground Turkey
2 Cans Black Beans (16 ounce cans), Drained and Rinsed
3 Heaping Tablespoons Tomato Paste
2 Cups Chopped Tomatoes With Juices
4 Cups Reduced Sodium, Low Fat Chicken Broth
Freshly Ground Pepper
Freshly Chopped Cilantro
LowFat Sour Cream or LowFat Plain Yogurt
Chopped Fresh Green Chili Peppers
Sprinkling of Sharp Cheddar Cheese


Heat the Oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
Add the onions, peppers, carrots, squash and garlic, stir and cook until the vegetables are tender and the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle the chili powder, cumin and smoked paprika over the top, stir and let the spices toast for a minute as this enhances their flavor.
Add the turkey, and while cooking, stir the meat and break up the turkey well, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Add the paste, beans, tomatoes and broth and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
After the chili is brought to a near boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until the liquid has reduced in the chili and it has thickened, about 1 hour.
Adjust the seasonings according to your preference, serve and garnish with your favorite chili toppings.


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