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High Protein Turkey Chili with Hidden Veggies

Two birds, one stone. This ground turkey chili is the perfect solution for those of us wanting to make high protein chili without any knife work and with picky eaters in the house.

With nearly two pounds of hidden vegetables that are prepared with frozen veggies and a blender, this is one of the easiest chili recipes you’ll come across. And since my ultra-picky super taster couldn’t spot the ultra-nutritious ingredients, I feel confident giving it my picky eater approved stamp.

This healthy turkey chili is also one of the most macro friendly chili recipes I’ve ever made. Each 12 ounce serving has 25 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber with just 235 calories, 24 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of fat.

bowl of turkey chili with baked tortilla chips

What You’ll Need to Make This High Protein Turkey Chili

Most of the ingredients are pretty standard for turkey chili:

  • Extra Lean Ground Turkey – Ground chicken or a higher fat percentage works perfectly fine.
  • Chili Beans – Any beans work, but I like the added chili sauce that chili beans are packed in. Swap for plain kidney and pinto beans (undrained), if you’d like.
  • Crushed Tomatoes – Go with fire roasted if you can find them.
  • Chili Seasoning – Sure, you could make your own seasoning blend. But this is meant to be an EASY recipe.
  • Non-Alcoholic Beer – The best chili is made with beer, in my opinion. There are tons of non-alcoholic versions on the market these days, but you’re welcome to use additional chicken broth or any cooking liquid instead.

But what about the vegetables and that big green sauce pictured below?

stirring a pot of turkey chili with cans of chili beans, crushed tomatoes, chili seasoning, and hidden vegetables beside the pot

I typically make chili by browning and cooking meat then sweating diced onion and peppers before adding everything else and simmering. The prep is simple enough, but I know it drives some of you crazy when a food blogger calls something “easy” but then starts by dicing a bunch of vegetables.

So this turkey chili skips all the knife work and calls for blended frozen vegetables. With a long simmer time, you’ll never spot the difference. This also allows you to sneak in some additional vegetables like spinach and carrots (or your choice of veggies).

And that’s all you need! The turkey is cooked before everything is added and simmer for a couple hours with a few bay leaves. Easy enough, right?

How to Make Baked Tortilla Chips

There are plenty of lower calorie chip options out there these days, but it’s hard to beat a classic corn tortilla chip with a dish like this ground turkey chili. Luckily, it’s easy to make baked tortilla chips using extra thin corn tortillas.

squeezing a lime wedge over baked tortilla chips on a sheet pan

To make them, cut a stack of tortillas into triangles and place the chips on a sheet pan lined with a wire rack. Spray with a bit of avocado oil or cooking spray and sprinkle with salt.

Bake the chips for 10-12 minutes at 400ºF until they turn golden brown. They’ll continue to crisp once out of the oven, so be careful not to over bake them.

I like to squeeze a bit of lime juice over the top when they’re fresh out of the oven, but that’s totally optional.

Other Things to Make with Leftover Chili

This recipe makes a huge batch of high protein chili. So, I figured I’d leave you with some of my go-to recipes to make the most of the leftovers.

Turkey Chili Cheese Burritos

slicing a chili cheese burrito in half on a cutting board

I use protein tortillas from a company I’m invested in called Counter, but any burrito sized tortilla works. The Mission Carb Balance tortillas from my chicken breast wraps work well for this style of burrito.

In addition to leftover chili I add rice and cheese. For convenience, I like using a microwaveable packet of cilantro lime rice that I featured in my high protein Costco guide and bison meal prep bowls. You could also add pico de gallo, sour cream or Greek yogurt, and any other ingredients you can fit inside.

Once rolled, I grill the burritos in a pan to seal and toast all around. You can also bake them if you’re making a large batch.

Ground Turkey Chili Mac

mini dutch oven with turkey chili mac and cheese

I used a box of high protein mac and cheese (Banza or Kroger’s private selection brand) to save time. All I did was add some leftover chili to the cooked mac and cheese in a mini Dutch oven and top with shredded cheddar jack cheese. I placed the Dutch oven on a 1/8th sheet pan and baked it for about 10 minutes at 450ºF until golden brown.

For a homemade (and higher protein) mac and cheese option, check out the cottage cheese sauce from my protein mac and cheese. This would be great for making a larger batch and using more leftovers.

Chili Stuffed Baked Potatoes

two turkey chili stuffed baked potatoes on an air fryer rack

Making stuffed spuds is one of my all-time favorites for using leftover chili. To make them, I spray a couple of russet potatoes with avocado oil spray (or rub with olive oil) and a pinch or two of salt (I like to eat the whole potato). It’s best practice to poke the potatoes with a fork to vent steam and prevent potato explosions, but I don’t always follow the rules.

I like using an air fryer at 350ºF to 375ºF for 35-45 minutes (cook times will vary based on the size of the potatoes) until the potatoes reach a 205ºF to 215ºF internal temperature.

After the potatoes briefly cool, I slice them open and fill with chili and cheese. Air fry for another few minutes and you’re ready to rock.

Final Recipe Notes

I’ve included additional ingredient substitution notes in the recipe card below. If you have a question I forgot to cover, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments at the bottom of this post.

I hope you enjoy this hidden veggie chili. If you do, I always appreciate recipe reviews!

bowl of high protein turkey chili with chopped cilantro, nonfat Greek yogurt, shredded cheese, and salsa macha

Healthy Turkey Chili with Hidden Veggies

Yield: 12 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Simmer: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

A high protein chili with ground turkey, nearly 2 pounds of hidden veggies, and zero vegetable chopping or prep required.


  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 pounds 99% Lean Ground Turkey
  • 12 oz can Non-Alcoholic Beer (or your choice of liquid)
  • 2 packets Chili Seasoning
  • 28 oz can Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 cans Chili Beans
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Hot Sauce, Lime Juice, or Vinegar (for finishing)

For the Hidden Veggies*

  • 4 cups Chicken Bone Broth
  • 12 oz bag Frozen Onions and Peppers
  • 6 oz Frozen Carrots
  • 6 cloves Peeled Garlic
  • 2 handfuls (about 6 oz) Frozen Chopped Spinach (optional)


  1. Add the frozen vegetables, garlic, and chicken broth to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and set aside. (You may need to blend in batches if you're using a smaller blender.)
  2. Heat a Dutch oven or large soup pot (5.5-quart or larger) over medium heat with the olive oil. Once hot, add the ground turkey and brown one side for 3-4 minutes before breaking apart and fully cooking.
  3. Add the non-alcoholic beer and chili seasoning to the cooked ground turkey and cook for 3-4 minutes until very little liquid remains.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes, chili beans, blended vegetables, and bay leaves, stirring everything together.
  5. Bring the chili up to a simmer before reducing the heat to low, covering, and simmering for at least 2 hours.
  6. Remove the bay leaves, stir in hot sauce or your choice of acidity, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with baked tortilla chips, shredded cheese, nonfat Greek yogurt or sour cream, and freshly chopped cilantro, scallions, or chives.


*Thawing the frozen veggies ahead of time makes blending even quicker. As for veggie swaps, I would keep the onions, peppers, and garlic in any blend, but you're welcome to swap the carrots and spinach for other vegetables. You can also use fresh vegetables to clean out your produce drawer. Just be careful to not over-fill the chili with the hidden veggie mixture. A 5.5-quart Dutch oven fits everything as-written but doesn't have much spare room.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 1/2 cup (about 12 oz)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 235Total Fat: 4gCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 5gProtein: 25g

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Josh Meek

Sunday 17th of March 2024

Silly Question is there a reason for the non alcoholic beer over... whatever i have in my fridge?

Mason Woodruff

Tuesday 19th of March 2024

Nope, regular beer works perfectly fine. I just typically use non-alcoholic so people don't yell at me about being a "kinda healthy" fraud.

Kimberly Cousins

Wednesday 14th of February 2024

This was a bit of a miss for us. It really lacks depth of flavor. I’ve loved most recipes from here, but this one wasn’t great. Definitely will continue to explore more MasonFit recipes, though!

Mason Woodruff

Thursday 15th of February 2024

Thanks for the feedback. Hopefully it's a little better on day two after it hangs out a bit longer! If there's one thing I've learned from making chili recipes over the years, it's that I'll never have a truly great chili recipe. Too many palettes out there.

Christian Sotto

Tuesday 23rd of January 2024

Does the macros in this recipe include the tortilla chips? Thanks!


Tuesday 23rd of January 2024

@Mason Woodruff, Thanks! I actually forgot putting in the chili beans, which is where the carbs are coming from!

Mason Woodruff

Tuesday 23rd of January 2024

Chili only. If you use extra thin corn tortillas, you can have 18 chips for about 120 calories, 3g protein, 24g carbs, and 1.5g fat extra.


Thursday 2nd of November 2023

Made this tonight for Thursday night football. A hit for both my man and I! So good

Mason Woodruff

Friday 3rd of November 2023

Thanks for the feedback. Glad y'all enjoyed!


Tuesday 31st of October 2023

How can I do this recipe in the Insta-pot instead of the Dutch Oven?

Mason Woodruff

Tuesday 31st of October 2023

Do everything the same with the sauté function then either switch to the slow cook function for a couple hours or try pressure cooking for 20-30 minutes to speed things up. (Though I've not tested this particular recipe pressure cooked, I think it would work okay. Just make sure you have enough broth and cooking liquid to avoid any burn notices on the Instant Pot.)

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