The best healthy and hearty gluten-free chili made with lean ground turkey or ground chicken. It’s super flavorful, full of hidden vegetables, loaded with protein, and made in one pot. The perfect comforting, secretly healthy meal!
Quick and easy healthy chili
Cold weather is upon us, and I know one thing: I will make this healthy chili recipe at least once a week. I love this recipe because you can use lean ground turkey or ground chicken. The chili is super flavorful, packed with fresh vegetables, and high in protein from the meat and beans. I love to serve mine with this gluten-free healthy cornbread too!
This healthy chili recipe is made with crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, corn, zucchini, yellow squash, and a few other delicious ingredients. It’s 100% gluten-free and dairy-free but still rich and creamy.
My favorite thing about this gluten-free chili is that you can make it with chicken, turkey, or beef. It is very customizable and secretly healthy will all the fresh vegetables we sneak in. Picky eaters will love this recipe, trust me, I tested it on with friends and my little brother!
Anyways, I cannot wait to hear what you think about this chili recipe. It is seriously the best comforting and cozy meal during the fall and winter.
Why you’ll love this gluten free recipe
- This hearty and cozy chili is 100% gluten-free.
- Super easy to make in one pot on the stove.
- You can make this chili with ground chicken, ground turkey, or even ground beef.
- It’s loaded with flavor and over 30 grams of protein per serving.
- Made with fresh vegetables like zucchini, squash, corn, beans, and onion.
- Perfect cozy dinner for cold weather!
- You can easily make this healthy gluten-free chili ahead of time for meal prep or lunch.
- Try this peanut butter chicken curry for another cozy meal!
Ingredients & substitutions
This secretly healthy chili is loaded with fresh vegetables, corn, beans, spices and can be made with ground chicken or ground turkey. Here is a list of all the ingredients, so you are prepared – scroll to the bottom of this blog post to see the entire recipe card with measurements.
- Olive Oil: To help saute the onions and vegetables. You can substitute extra-virgin olive oil with melted unsalted butter or avocado oil too.
- Yellow Onion: To add a little sweetness and texture to this homemade chili. You can also use red onion or white onion.
- Bell Pepper: I used yellow bell pepper, but you can use red or orange too. This adds texture, crunch, and a sweet flavor.
- Zucchini & Yellow Squash: You need one of each for extra hidden vegetables and to make this chili healthier.
- Garlic Cloves: Fresh garlic makes everything better! You need four cloves, but if absolutely necessary, you can substitute them with 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Ground Turkey or Ground Chicken: One of my favorite things about this healthy chili recipe is that you can make it with lean 99% ground turkey or ground chicken breast. You can even substitute ground beef if desired!
- Spices: To flavor this delicious, cozy gluten-free chili, you need chili powder, ground cumin, dried oregano, salt, black pepper, and red chili flakes or cayenne pepper.
- Diced Tomatoes or Crushed Tomatoes: This is the base of this cozy chili. You can use fire-roasted tomatoes, too, if needed.
- Chicken Broth: To add liquid and flavor to the chili. I recommend using low-sodium chicken broth to control this chili’s saltiness. You can also use bone broth or even vegetable broth.
- Kidney Beans: You need one can of dark red kidney beans for texture, fiber, and protein. You can substitute them with black beans or pinto beans.
- Corn: You can use 2 ears of fresh corn or 1 (15-ounce) can of sweet corn. I love corn in chili!
Kitchen tools required
You only need a few kitchen utensils to make this one-pot healthy chili. Clean-up is so easy! Here is a list of exactly what you need for this recipe:
- Large dutch oven or pot
- Wooden spoon
- Cutting board
- Sharp kitchen knife
- Measuring tools: 1/2 teaspoon and 1 Tablespoon.
How to make one-pot gluten free chili
This one-pot gluten-free chili is super easy to make. It’s hearty, high-protein, cozy, and super flavorful. Here are step-by-step directions and pictures for visual reference:
To start, heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Once heated, add the chopped onion, bell pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, and minced garlic. Then, saute for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
Then, create room in the middle of the pot by pushing the onions, peppers, and squash to the side and add in the ground turkey or ground chicken. Make sure to break up the meat with a wooden spoon and cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until no longer pink.
Next, add chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and red chili flakes (optional if you want some heat). Then, stir to combine.
Now add in the crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, red kidney beans, and corn. Stir to combine, then bring to a rapid boil.
Finally, reduce heat and simmer for 35 – 50 minutes or until chili thickens. Taste and adjust seasonings and salt as necessary.
I love to garnish mine with shredded cheese, green onion, greek yogurt, or sour cream. A side of cornbread is perfect too!
Gluten-free chili variations:
- Ground Chicken Chili: Use 1 pound of ground chicken breast to make this healthy chili high in protein and low in fat. It’s super delicious!
- Ground Turkey Chili: This gluten-free chili is great with ground turkey too. You can use 99% lean white meat or 93% lean – both are super good!
- Ground Beef Chili: Try making this healthy chili with ground beef too! It adds the best flavor and is perfect for Football Sunday.
- Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Chili: If you have leftover Thanksgiving turkey, make this easy gluten free chili! You can add 3 cups of chopped-up cooked turkey instead of the ground turkey.
- Leftover Chicken Chili: Do the same thing but with leftover cooked chicken breasts or thighs. Add 3 cups instead of the ground chicken!
Best toppings for turkey or chicken chili:
The sky is the limit! You can add whatever toppings you like to this gluten-free chili. I love adding shredded cheddar cheese, cubed avocado, greek yogurt, sour cream, sliced green onion, or jalapeno slices. Don’t forget to make homemade cornbread too!
Tips for making healthy chili
- Cut your veggies: If your vegetables are too large, it will take longer for them to cook and become tender.
- Let it simmer: Don’t skip this step! If you rush the cooking time, the flavors won’t have time to strengthen and develop. Give yourself enough time to let the chili simmer for at least 35 minutes.
- Save time: Use a store-bought rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken or turkey.
- Add spice: If you like spicy chili, add 1 – 2 tsp of red chili flake or cayenne pepper.
- Make it ahead: You can make this gluten-free chili up to one day in advance if you are serving a party or game day event. It is also great for meal prep and can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Add spinach: Want to add more vegetables that no one can taste? Make this chili healthier by adding 3 – 4 cups of fresh spinach at the very end and wilt it into the chili.
- Double the recipe: If you are serving a large party, you can double this recipe easily. Just make sure your pot is large enough, or use two pots.
- Serve it with cornbread: Everyone loves cornbread, so elevate this easy chili with homemade healthy cornbread.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use leftover chopped turkey?
Yes, you can use leftover chopped turkey or chicken in this chili. I love making this chili a day after Thanksgiving since we always have leftovers! Simply substitute 3 cups of chopped turkey or chicken with the ground meat.
Can I use ground beef?
Yes, you can use ground beef in place of ground turkey or chicken.
Can I double the recipe?
You can double or triple this recipe easily. Just make sure your pot is large enough, or use two pots.
Is it dairy free?
Yes, this healthy chili is 100% dairy free.
Does chili keep well for meal prep?
Turkey and chicken chili is a great meal prep recipe and keeps for four days in the fridge.
Can I freeze leftover chili?
Yes, this gluten-free chili freezes really well. Simply portion it out in separate freezer-safe containers, so on a day you don’t have time to cook, you can just reheat it for lunch or dinner!
How to store and reheat leftovers:
Storing: Store leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Reheating: You can reheat chili on the stove or in the microwave. If using a pot on the stove, heat over medium-low and reheat for 4 – 10 minutes until the chili is warm. If you are in a rush, you can microwave them for 30 – 90 seconds until warm. I recommend covering the bowl with a damp paper towel to trap the moisture inside.
If you loved this recipe, try these next!
- Creamy Tomato Soup
- Sweet Potato Chicken Shepherd’s Pie
- Peanut Butter Curry
- Greek Chickpea Soup
- Best Chicken Bolognese
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Gluten-Free Chili (Turkey or Chicken)
- 1 – 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 medium bell pepper, chopped (yellow, red or orange)
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped into crescent moons
- 1 medium yellow squash, chopped into crescent moons
- 3 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb ground turkey or ground chicken, 99% lean or 93%
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- ½ tsp black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1 – 2 tsp red chili flakes or 1 tsp cayenne pepper, optional for spice
- 1 can (28-ounce) diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth or bone broth
- 1 can (15 oz) dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 – 2 ears raw corn or 1 (15-ounce) can of sweet corn, rinsed and kernels cut off the cob
- Garnish Options: shredded cheddar cheese, cubed avocado, greek yogurt, sour cream, sliced green onion, or jalapeño slices
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Once heated, add in onion, bell pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, and minced garlic. Saute for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Create room in the middle of the pot by pushing the onions, peppers, and squash to the side. Add in the ground turkey or ground chicken, and break up the meat with a wooden spoon. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until no longer pink.
- Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and optional red chili flakes. Stir to combine.
- Add crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, red kidney beans, and corn. Stir to combine, then bring to a rapid boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 35 – 50 minutes or until chili thickens. Taste and adjust seasonings and salt as necessary.
- Garnish with your favorite toppings, serve with cornbread, and enjoy!
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