• Suzanne Yearley

Polar Vortex RX: Hearty Healthy Turkey and White Bean Chili

Suzanne Yearley

January 30, 2019

I owe you an apology. As of late, I haven’t given you a variety of dishes but instead have been very soup-centric. I promise to change things up next week, but there are at least two good reasons to make dinner in a pot one more time. Super Bowl Sunday is just a few days away and it is so cold outside that only hearty and warming fare will do. Whatever your motivation, I think you will enjoy this healthy yet satisfying bowl of ground turkey and beans. Whether it is the spicy, smoky taste; the generous amount of meat; or the fresh-tasting toppings, when it comes to chili this is my new favorite. I hope that you feel the same. Enjoy cheering for your team on Sunday and/or sitting by the fire safely indoors. Next week, a dish to eat with a knife and fork!

Secrets to Success:

  • Although cinnamon may seem like an unusual addition, trust me and include it. It's warm, spicy and slightly sweet flavor adds a complexity that you will really miss if you eliminate it.

  • To me, it's all about the toppings when it comes to chili. I never eat mine without plenty of sliced scallion and cilantro leaves.

  • The taste of the cilantro really elevates this dish.

  • Plain 0% yogurt has the tang of sour cream with a lot fewer calories and a lot more protein.

Healthy Turkey and White Bean Chili 

Adapted from Half-Baked Harvest


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 small yellow onions, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced, grated or pressed

2 pounds ground white meat turkey or chicken

2 red peppers, seeded and chopped

2 chipotle pepper in adobo, finely chopped (use 1 peppers for less heat)

2 tablespoons chili powder (use run-of-the-mill spice aisle stuff otherwise cut down to 2 teaspoons)

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

2-3 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 can (28 ounce) crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 bay leaves

1 can (14 ounce) white beans, drained

cheddar cheese, plain yogurt, avocado, green onions, and cilantro for serving


Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onion and cook about 5 minutes or until it begins to caramelize around the edges. Stir in the garlic and cook another minute. Add the turkey and brown all over, breaking up the meat as you go, about 5 minutes. Stir in the spices and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the red bell peppers, chipotle pepper, 2 cups of the chicken broth, the tomatoes, tomato paste, and bay leaves, stir to combine. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and simmer covered, for 90 minutes. Stir in the beans, and continue to cook, covered, for 60 minutes more. If your chili is too thick, add the remaining broth to thin as desired. Remove the bay leaves and ladle the chili into bowls. Top with cheddar cheese, yogurt, avocado, green onions, and cilantro and serve immediately. Serves 8.

Chili, without the garnishes, can be frozen for up to 6 months.



freezes well



make ahead



good for leftovers

Family Meal







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