Healthy Crockpot Turkey Chili is a low calorie chili recipe made lower in fat with tons of flavor. Easy to make thanks to the slow cooker! Low Calorie + Gluten Free
I grew up eating a lot of chili and it's always been my go-to recipe during the fall and winter. You can never go wrong with a bowl of thick, hearty chili. It's a meal in a bowl that's packed with healthy ingredients and it's incredibly easy to make.
What Makes This Turkey Chili Recipe Healthy
This healthy chili recipe has the right balance of each macronutrient in it. Macronutrients are the protein, fat and carbohydrates in your diet. The body needs all three macronutrients to feel its best and even to lose weight!
Most chili recipes are not well balanced. They have too much fat and too many carbohydrates making it not an ideal recipe for weight loss. Too many starches and fats together can be a problem for losing weight.
This healthy chili recipe is lower in fat by swapping beef that's higher in fat for lean turkey and is lower in carbohydrates by adding the right amount of beans. It's still high fiber (15 grams per serving!) yet lower in fat, lower carbs and lower in calories. It's a much better balanced healthy chili recipe.
What You Need to Make Turkey Chili in a Slow Cooker
- Slow Cooker
- Ground Turkey, 99% lean
- Tomato Sauce, canned
- Fire Roasted Tomatoes, canned
- Green Chiles, canned
- Kidney Beans, canned
- Chili Powder
- Smoked Paprika
- Red Onion
- Salt, Pepper
How To Make Turkey Chili in a Slow Cooker
It's simple to make turkey chili in a crockpot! Many chili recipes will have you brown the meat and veggies in a skillet before adding them to a slow cooker. This is unnecessary. The crockpot will do the work for you!
First step to making turkey chili is to add all the ingredients to the crockpot except the beans. Then cover and cook four hours.
Second step is to drain and rinse the beans then add the beans to the slow cooker and cook another 30 minutes. Serve your chili!
Note of caution....NEVER cook dry beans in a slow cooker. They can release toxins into the recipe you're making. If you choose to use dry beans, cook them separately in a pot, drain, rinse then add them to your chili later.
Can You Make Turkey Chili in an Instant Pot
Yes you can make turkey chili in an Instant Pot! Start by adding all ingredients to your Instant Pot except the beans and set the pot to pressure cook 30 minutes. Cover and set the valve to sealing. Note it will take time for the pot to pressurize.
Next manually release the valve and carefully remove the lid. Stir in the beans and let them sit 5 minutes to warm. Serve your chili!
Tips for Making the BEST Turkey Chili
Here's a few pointers for making the BEST healthy turkey chili recipe in a slow cooker.
- Spices - Spices are key to making the BEST tasting chili particularly the smoked paprika. Smoked paprika is much more flavorful than plain paprika. Also, check the date of your spices. If they're more than 2 years old, it's time to toss and replace them. Old spices will always be less flavorful.
- Vegetables - Chilis and soups are the best places to add vegetables because you can easily add them without affecting the flavor. In fact, vegetables add a TON of flavor without adding calories and you can sneak them by picky eaters. Zucchini and onions are in this recipe, but bell peppers or cauliflower rice could easily be added to this recipe!
- Slow Cooker - You can make turkey chili on the stovetop or in a slow cooker, but in my experience slow cooking chili is the best tasting chili ever!
- Toppings - Greek yogurt, sliced jalapeños and avocado with diced red onions are great toppings to add to your chili recipe. I love using Greek yogurt for extra protein, but sour cream could be used instead.
Substitutions for Turkey Chili
- Turkey - If you're not a turkey lover, then you could try ground chicken breast or do ground grass-fed beef. We use ButcherBox for our meat delivery and love it! If you do swap the lean turkey for ground beef, then I recommend reducing to one can of beans to balance the fat and carbohydrate content better.
- Beans - Don't love kidney beans? Try black beans, white beans or lentils! Remember to never add dry beans to a slow cooker - see note above. If you don't like beans, you can omit them like I did in this recipe or you can substitute quinoa or brown rice.
- Vegetables - Don't love zucchini? Try bell peppers, cauliflower rice or summer squash.
Healthy Crockpot Turkey Chili
- 1 lb ground turkey 99% lean
- 2/3 cup red onion diced
- 2 cups zucchini skin on, diced
- 2 tablespoons garlic minced
- 30 oz tomato sauce canned
- 14 oz fire roasted tomatoes canned
- 4 oz diced green chiles canned
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 29 oz kidney beans in a can
- Place all the ingredients except the beans in a slow cooker. Cover and cook 4 hours on high.
- After 4 hours, remove the cover and use a wooden spoon to break up the meat. It should already be broken apart or break apart easily. Add the beans, cover and cook another 30 minutes.
- Serve immediately with desired toppings. Greek yogurt is a great topping and adds more protein!
- Store in the refrigerator up to 7 days or in the freezer up to 60 days.