Turkey Chili With White Beans

8 servings
1 hr 20 min

This healthy, hearty chili is perfect for the chilly weather during the fall and winter.

My favorite go-to chili recipe is Turkey Chili with White Beans. It’s not hot and spicy, though you could certainly add heat to it. This recipe is richly textured with flavors and is simple to make. I don’t recall where I found the original recipe but I’ve been making it for years

Unsweetened cocoa and cinnamon, add to the depth of flavors. For the beans, I look for cannellini beans. An excellent source of iron, magnesium and folate, a single serving of cannellini beans provides more than 20 percent of the recommended daily values of these nutrients. They are also a good source of protein, providing more than 15 grams per serving. Other nutritional benefits include their low fat content and calorie count. Each serving contains only 225 calories and less than one gram of fat.

All you need is a large pot and the ingredients below. Sauté the onions, add the spices.

Break up the turkey as it cooks with the back of your spoon.

Mix in the stock and tomato sauce and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the beans and complete the recipe.

What I love about this recipe is that you can enjoy the rich flavors and add more heat if you like.

Garnish with chopped red onion, cilantro and low-fat yogurt or sour cream. This would also be good with shredded cheese and avocado!

This recipe can be made a day ahead of time. It also freezes nicely. Add garnishes after defrosting and re-heating. To see more about this recipe, click here.

Turkey Chili With White Beans

Recipe details

  • 8  servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 65 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 20 min
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  • 1 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1.5 lbs lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
  • 3 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 3 15 oz. cans small white beans rinsed and drained


  • chopped red onion
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • Plain low-fat yogurt or light sour cream


Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions, sauté until ight brown and tender, about 10 minutes. Add oregano and cumin; stir 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high. Add turkey, stir until no longer pink, breaking up with back of spoon.
Stir in chili powder, bay leaves, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon. Add tomatoes with their juices, breaking up with back of spoon. Mix in stock and tomato sauce. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add beans to chili and simmer until flavors blend, about 10 minutes longer. Discard bay leaves. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium-low heat before continuing.)
Ladle chili into bowls. Pass red onion, cilantro and yogurt separately.


  • Total fat 11 g; saturated fat 2 g; cholesterol 68 mg

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