Turkey Chili with Quinoa

turkey chili with quinoa

Turkey chili with quinoa is the perfect comfort chili with a healthy edge. Adding quinoa to chili is surprisingly delicious.

Quinoa absorbs some of the liquid from the tomatoes and other ingredients and helps thicken the chili, making it into a stew-like dish that is perfect for a hearty meal.

How to Make Turkey Chili with Quinoa

A turkey quinoa chili recipe starts by heating olive oil or vegetable oil in a large pot.

Then dice one onion and 1/2 of a green pepper. Add those to the hot oil and let them sauté about 3 to 4 minutes until the vegetables soften. Add about 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper to season.

onions for ground turkey chili recipe
onions and green peppers sauteeing

Once your vegetables have softened, add ground turkey to the pan, continue to cook and stir occasionally until the turkey has browned.

ground turkey cooking for chili recipe

Next, add in your cannellini beans, kidney beans, and diced tomatoes. stir to combine evenly. Add brown sugar and spices including chili pepper, cumin, cayenne, and dried oregano. Continue to cook another 4 to 5 minutes on a low temperature.

ground turkey chili with kidney beans
turkey quinoa chili recipe

Finally add the quinoa. Allow the quinoa to simmer in the mixture for about 20 to 25 minutes.

best turkey chili recipe with quinoa

You can serve your turkey chili with quinoa, warm, perhaps with a side of pita chips or cornbread. You could also use your ground turkey chili as a topper for chili hotdogs.

Storing Turkey Chili with Quinoa

Turkey chili with quinoa keeps very well. You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week and the flavors will only get better. The turkey chili may thicken as the quinoa absorbs even more of the liquid.

You can freeze your turkey chili for up to two months.

adding quinoa to chili

Want to make fresh pita chips for your turkey chili with quinoa? Try this recipe for Homemade Flour Tortilla Chips.

Turkey Chili with Quinoa

Adding quinoa to turkey chili creates a hearty and healthy version of chili. Quinoa goes surprisingly well in chili and can make a turkey chili a little thicker.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Keyword: chili, quinoa
Servings: 6


  • Large pot
  • Skillet


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 chopped white or yellow onion
  • ½ green pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 12 oz can of tomato sauce
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar


  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano


  • Heat olive oil in a large pot. Dice one white or yellow onion and ½ of a green onion and add to the pan. Sautee until soft, about 4 minutes. Add ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
  • Dice four garlic cloves and add to the mixture. Add one can of kidney beans, one can cannellini beans, and one can of diced tomatoes. Sautee about 2 minutes. Add 1 lb. of ground turkey. Stir the mixture and continue to cook, another 6 minutes until the turkey is no longer pink.
  • Add beef stock and one can of tomato sauce, brown sugar, and spices, including chili pepper, cumin, cayenne and dried oregano. Continue to cook on medium low another 5 minutes. Add quinoa and simmer on low another 20 minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve warm with a side of pita chips or corn bread, or top with cheese and sour cream.

Does turkey chili taste the same as beef chili?

Turkey chili taste very similar to beef chili, but it is not exactly the same. To add more of a beef flavor to your turkey chili you can consider adding onion powder and garlic powder or some Worcestershire sauce.

Should chili be thick or soupy?

Most chili recipes are for thicker chili, but some people prefer their chili to be more soupy. When you add quinoa to chili, it thickens the chili.

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