Extra filling (18 grams of protein!) and extra flavorful, this healthy turkey quinoa chili is the perfect quick and easy weeknight meal — and it freezes well!
Why you’ll love it: Like most chili recipes, this turkey quinoa chili is easy to make and versatile.
How long it takes: 40 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: large pan or Dutch oven
Michigan and I are in a fight right now. Last week, the kids were off from school for two “snow” days, and this week, we’re 1 for 1 so far with another “snow” day.
And I write “snow” in quotations because it’s actually ice and freezing rain which is annoying me more than anything. We can’t play outside, we can barely walk in our driveway, and our backyard is one giant pond. And since I work from home, I can’t work because my kids are home.
But spring will come, just as it always does. I sure do hope it hurries though. In the meantime, I’ll be curling up with a hot bowl of chili trying to stay warm.
PS: Funny story, today my kids were upstairs playing and I hear my 4-year-old son call to my daughter, “Do I need to keep my underwear on?”
So of course, I yell to them, “Keep your underwear on!!!!”
Minutes later, they run down the stairs with their bathing suits on. I must say, I was a bit relieved. Obviously we’re all slightly stir-crazy.
About This Turkey Quinoa Chili Recipe
- It’s easy to make. I love this recipe because it’s SUPER easy to make. The quinoa cooks right in there with the rest of the ingredients as the chili simmers on the stove. It’s a one pan meal that totally satisfies and it’s easy to clean up, too.
- This chili is healthy. Along with healthy, lower-in-fat ground turkey, the chili also has quinoa which contains the 8 essential amino acids for protein. A serving of this chili has a whopping 22 grams of protein and only 1 gram of saturated fat. It’s packed with good-for-you vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes.
- The recipe is versatile. If you notice an ingredient you don’t care for, it’s easy to swap in a different one. If you’re missing one of the ingredients and you don’t feel like going to the store (I totally get that, especially when it’s icy out!), feel free to improvise.
Enjoy and stay warm!
Change It up
- Meat/No meat: Substitute any type of ground meat, including sausage. Or leave the meat out for a hearty vegetarian chili. Try my vegetarian quinoa chili.
- Omit the beer: Not a beer drinker? Simply substitute broth or water for the beer.
- Add more veggies: Go ahead and throw in diced carrots or celery. Corn, frozen or canned, is good. Dice up a sweet potato and add that. If the chili gets too thick with the added vegetables, thin in with water or broth.
- Leave out the quinoa. The chili is good either way.
Make-Ahead, Storage & Reheating
This chili is perfect for meal prep. You can make a big batch of this and you’ll have lunches ready for the whole week. It keeps for up to 4 days. It freezes well, too, for at least a month.
To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge if frozen. Reheat in a saucepan on the stove for best results.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 16 oz. ground turkey
- 1 cup diced onion (1 large onion)
- 2 bell peppers (any color), diced
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano (regular oregano is fine, too)
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
- 1 bottle (12 oz.) dark Mexican beer (I like Dos Equis Amber)
- 1 can (28 oz.) petite diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1 can (15 oz.) reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
- Optional toppings: sour cream, green onions, cilantro, cheese, etc
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add turkey, onion, bell pepper, salt and pepper and cook, breaking up turkey, until turkey is cooked through and onions are translucent.
- Add tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and garlic powder. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until tomato paste coats all ingredients and spices are fragrant.
- Add beer and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and water; bring to a boil.
- When boiling, add quinoa and black beans. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes or until tails appear on quinoa. If desired, add more water or chicken broth.
- Serve with desired toppings.
- If you want to omit the beer, substitute 12 ounces broth (chicken or beef) or water
- Make it vegetarian! Omit turkey and add an additional can of beans (black, pinto, or kidney).
- Substitute other types of ground meat for the turkey, if desired.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.