13 net carbs

Turkey Chili

A rich and hearty meal, this low-carb turkey chili is bursting with flavor. Packed with ground turkey, sauteed vegetables, tender beans, lots of rich tomato flavor, and is perfectly spiced.

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Turkey Chili

Low-carb turkey chili, rich and hearty, topped with avocado, cheese, and onions.

Low-Carb Turkey Chili

Total Diabetes Wellness
Low-carb turkey chili is bursting with flavor, protein, and fiber. Simmered until thick and delicious, this turkey chili recipe can be adjusted for spice level and will quickly become a favorite! This recipe can be made on the stovetop or in your crock pot.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Lunch and Dinner, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 18 servings
Net Carbs 13 g
*Net carbs are per serving


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ pounds ground turkey
  • 15-ounce can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained & rinsed
  • 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatos
  • 2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin

Optional Garnish

  • avocado, shredded cheese, red onion, cilantro, sour cream, green onions


  • In a 5-quart dutch oven, or a large heavy pot, over medium heat, add olive oil and saute onions until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
    Top view of large dutch oven sautéing onions and garlic.
  • Add ground turkey, cook until no longer pink, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon.
    Top view of a large pot cooking ground turkey, onions, and garlic to make Turkey chili.
  • Add all other ingredients - black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, zucchini, bell pepper,  jalapeno, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, dried oregano, salt, and cumin.
    Top view of a large pot cooking turkey chili.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes.
    Top view of low-carb turkey chili in a large pot, ready to eat.
  • Remove from heat, let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
    Dutch oven pot of low-carb turkey chili, next to bowls of chili toppings - avocado, cheese, and onions.
  • Optional: garnish with avocado, shredded cheese, red onion, cilantro, sour cream, or green onions.
    Low-carb turkey chili topped with avocado, cheese and onions.




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Keywords healthy chili recipe, low-carb chili, low-carb turkey chili
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Photos of Low-Carb Turkey Chili


Recipe Variations

  • Meat substitutionsYou can use a different protein if preferred. Ground beef, ground chicken, shredded beef, shredded chicken, or shredded turkey are all great options.
  • Vegetable substitutions – You can adjust the vegetables in this recipe to your preference. Other vegetables that add a great flavor to this chili are corn, celery, and carrots.
  • Bean substitutions – This recipe uses three different types of beans: black, pinto, and kidney. If you prefer another variety, feel free to adjust the type of beans. We like this mix for the variety of flavors.
  • Adjust the spice level – Much of the spiciness of this recipe depends on how spicy your chili powder is. If you prefer a mild chili, omit the jalapenos and use a mild chili powder. If you like a spicier chili, use a hotter chili powder or add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper. Be careful – a little goes a long way! You can also add an additional jalapeno or some serrano peppers (or other spicy peppers of choice.)

Serving Size

A serving size is approximately 1 cup. This recipe yields approximately 18 cups of chili. Don’t be overwhelmed by the quantity! This chili freezes really well. We love to keep individual servings of chili frozen for a healthy, quick dinner on busy nights. You can also cut the recipe in half if desired.

Crock Pot (Slow Cooker)

To make this recipe in a crock pot (slow cooker): Brown the onions, garlic, and turkey before adding to the crock pot. Mix in all other ingredients. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours. This turkey chili recipe is great for football parties and tailgating!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this low-carb turkey chili recipe Keto?

No, this low-carb turkey recipe is not Keto. This recipe contains 13 net carbs for a 1-cup serving. If you are looking for a Keto chili recipe, you can significantly reduce the carb count by reducing the beans and/or substituting the tomato sauce for chicken broth.

Is turkey chili gluten-free?

Yes! This turkey chili recipe is naturally gluten-free.

Storage and Reheating Guidelines

  • Make-ahead: Many people find chili made ahead of time has a richer flavor as a result of the ingredients having more time together. You can make turkey chili 1-2 days ahead of time and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
  • Storing leftovers: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • Freezing instructions: Once cooled, store in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • To reheat: Reheat turkey chili in a pot on the stove over medium-low heat, stirring often. You can also reheat in the microwave.

Additional Details

Turkey chili is a delicious and nutritious dish that combines lean protein, fiber-rich beans, and a medley of aromatic spices. It’s a fantastic option for individuals with diabetes who are seeking low-carb recipes that don’t compromise on taste.

Benefits of Turkey Chili for People with Diabetes

Managing diabetes requires careful attention to diet, and turkey chili offers numerous advantages for those looking to control their blood sugar levels. Here are some key benefits:

  • Low Carbohydrate Content: Turkey chili is a great choice for those managing diabetes due to its low carbohydrate content. By using turkey as the main protein source and incorporating fiber-rich beans and vegetables, this recipe helps stabilize blood sugar levels. It provides the satisfaction of a hearty meal without the excessive carbohydrates.
  • Lean Protein: Turkey is a lean protein that offers a plethora of health benefits. It promotes satiety, supports muscle health, and provides essential amino acids without excessive fat content. Incorporating lean protein sources into meals can help individuals with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Fiber-Rich Beans: Beans are a fantastic source of dietary fiber, which aids in regulating blood sugar levels. The soluble fiber in beans slows down digestion, preventing rapid spikes in blood glucose. Additionally, fiber contributes to improved heart health and promotes feelings of fullness, supporting weight management goals.

Turkey Chili Preparation Tips

  • Sautéing the Aromatics: Start by heating olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until they turn translucent and fragrant. This step helps to enhance their flavors and create a flavorful base for the chili.
  • Browning the Turkey: Push the onions and garlic to one side of the pot, and add the ground turkey to the other side. Break up the turkey into smaller pieces with a spatula and cook until the turkey is browned and fully cooked through. Turkey is an excellent lean protein option for those with diabetes due to its low fat content.
  • Spice It Up: Once the turkey is cooked, mix it together with the sautéed onions and garlic. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, and a pinch of cayenne pepper (if desired). These aromatic spices bring depth and complexity to the chili, making it truly delicious.
  • Simmer and Let It Blend: Pour in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and kidney beans, along with a dash of salt and pepper. Stir well to combine all the ingredients. Allow the chili to simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, letting the flavors meld together. Simmering also ensures that the beans and turkey absorb the delicious spices.

What to Serve with Turkey Chili

  • Toppings Galore: Serve turkey chili with a variety of toppings to add extra flavor and texture. Options include shredded cheese, sliced avocado, fresh cilantro, sour cream, and a squeeze of lime juice. These toppings provide a burst of freshness and creaminess to complement the chili’s robust flavors.
  • Sidekick Salads: Pair your turkey chili with a crisp green salad or a refreshing cucumber and tomato salad. These low-carb sides provide additional nutrients and a refreshing contrast to the warm and hearty chili. The vibrant vegetables add a crunchy element and contribute to a well-balanced meal.
  • Whole Grain Options: For those who want to incorporate carbohydrates, serve the chili over a small portion of cooked quinoa or brown rice. These whole grain options provide extra fiber and complex carbohydrates, promoting a balanced meal. They also contribute to satiety and help manage blood sugar levels.

Turkey Chili Variations

  • Veggie-Packed Chili: Add extra vegetables to boost the nutritional content of your turkey chili. Consider incorporating diced zucchini, mushrooms, or spinach. These additions add vibrant colors, texture, and a variety of essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Spicy Kick: If you enjoy a fiery chili, feel free to amp up the heat by increasing the amount of cayenne pepper or adding diced jalapeños or crushed red pepper flakes. Adjust the spice level according to your preference, keeping in mind that some individuals with diabetes may have sensitivities to spicy foods.
  • Smoky Flavor: For a smoky twist, substitute some or all of the chili powder with chipotle powder or smoked paprika. These ingredients add a distinct smokiness to the chili and create a complex and unique flavor profile.
  • Ground Beef Substitute: If you prefer a different protein source, you can substitute ground turkey with ground beef or chicken.
  • Bean Varieties: While kidney beans are a classic choice for chili, you can experiment with different types of beans or legumes. Black beans, pinto beans, or even lentils can be used as alternatives. Each variety brings its own texture and taste, allowing you to customize the chili to your liking.
  • Slow Cooker Method: To save time and infuse the flavors, you can adapt this recipe for a slow cooker. Simply follow the preparation steps until simmering, then transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. This method allows the flavors to develop and results in tender meat and well-blended spices.
  • Adding Herbs and Spices: Feel free to experiment with additional herbs and spices to further enhance the flavor profile. Adding a bay leaf, oregano, or a touch of cinnamon can bring a delightful complexity to the chili. Remember to taste and adjust the seasoning as you go along.

Turkey chili is a satisfying and diabetes-friendly recipe that is packed with flavor and nutrients. By using lean turkey, fiber-rich beans, and a fragrant blend of spices, you can enjoy a hearty meal while keeping your blood sugar levels in check. Experiment with toppings and sides to tailor the chili to your preferences, and savor every spoonful of this delicious and diabetes-friendly dish. So, grab your apron and get ready to delight your taste buds with this wholesome turkey chili recipe! With its low-carbohydrate content and balanced nutritional profile, it’s a fantastic addition to any diabetes-friendly meal plan.

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Recipe Rating

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. I didn’t have zucchini so I used celery instead. I also didn’t have kidney beans on hand so I left those out. The chili was good!

    1. Hi Cassandra! Thanks for your feedback 🙂 Celery sounds like a great substitution, I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    I was skeptical to use turkey instead of beef, but really glad I gave the recipe a try as written without making a bunch of changes. Delicious, flavorful, and made my house smell so good! Great recipe to kick off autumn 🙂

    1. Hi Pamela! We’re thrilled to hear you tried the recipe and enjoyed the turkey twist! Ground turkey does have a different flavor if you’re used to the taste of ground beef. It’s great you gave it a chance 🙂