This 3 Bean Turkey Chili is a great recipe any time of the year. Easy to make, and loaded with healthy ingredients for a perfect meal for the family. Made with ground turkey, kidney beans, black beans, and garbanzo beans, corn, black olives, tomato sauce, and seasoned just right for that perfect flavor.
Turkey chili is my quick go to meal when I need a last minute dinner idea. We will eat chili spring, summer, winter, or fall. 3 Bean Turkey Chili is a healthy quick meal choice. The best part is that I set two portions aside for the boys school lunch the next day. This works out perfect.
I change up this same recipe, and add different beans and spices for a slightly different flavor. I even leave out the meat for a plant based meal, like in our 3 Bean Chili.
WHAT KIND OF BEANS ARE CHILI BEANS?
The more common beans used in chili are pinto beans, red beans, black beans, and kidney beans, but there’s so many great choices that work great in chili.
My personal favorites to use in chili are kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, and white kidney beans.
ARE YOU SUPPOSE TO DRAIN BEANS FOR CHILI?
You don’t have to drain the beans before adding to them to the chili, but I highly recommend you do. There will be too much liquid in the chili, and it will take a long time for this to reduce down. Also, canned beans are very high in sodium, so it’s best to drain and rinse the beans before adding to the chili.
Rinsing the beans will eliminate the extra unneeded salt. Don’t worry about the flavor, because now you can control the salt and flavor of the chili.
HOW TO MAKE THE THE BEST 3 BEAN TURKEY CHILI
The steps are very simple to make this easy turkey chili. Gather all your ingredients. Start by dicing the onion and garlic. Heat a pot with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and add the onion, garlic, and ground turkey.
While the meat is cooking, rinse the beans in a strainer until they rinse clear. Cook meat until liquids evaporate and is slightly browned. Now you can can add all the ingredients, beans, corn, black olives, tomato sauce, and seasonings.
Stir well and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer chili for about 30 minutes, and stirring 2-3 times in between. Definitely taste your chili a few times, and add anything if needed. Since your taste buds are different than ours, you may want a different flavor. Maybe more spicy, or less spicy, etc.
When your chili is done, fill your bowls, and add the toppings you like. We enjoy sour cream, mexi-mix cheddar blend, and green onions.
I always make cornbread with the chili. It has that traditional feel and taste, but I decided to change it up this year with corn chips. Wow, I’m glad I did! This added a nice crunch, and flavor to the chili. The kids used the corn chips like little spoons, and loved eating them like this.
Even though corn bread with honey is my favorite, it’s fun to change things up and experiment with different textures and flavors.
WHAT INGREDIENTS MAKES CHILI TASTE LIKE CHILI?
Different recipes call for different types of seasoning to get that chili flavor. What gives chili those distinct bold flavors are chili powder, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, chipotle, green chili’s, liquid smoke, paprika, onion and garlic powder, and pepper.
Add some or all of these ingredients. This depends on how spicy you like the chili. With cayenne, and chipotle your chili can get very hot.
CAN I FREEZE TURKEY CHILI?
Yes, you sure can freeze turkey chili. It freezes very well, and tastes great when defrosted and heated up.
In fact, I always make a batch to keep frozen for a rainy day. This is a great on the run/ take out of the freezer meal.
TIPS FOR THE THREE BEAN TURKEY CHILI
- Drain and rinse the beans for less sodium.
- Taste the chili a few times to adjust flavor.
- Use a different variety of beans for texture. (garbanzo beans stay firm)
- Add the chili powders a little at a time, as needed so it’s not too spicy.