Whether you spend the next few weekends hitting your local campground to take in the fall foliage or sitting on the couch curled up under a blanket, one thing is for sure: You’re going to want a bowl of warm chili to wrap your hands around. Loaded with fragrant spices, tender beans and protein, chili is exactly the type of dish you want to have on hand in your freezer throughout the season.
But let’s not forget that part of what makes chili so comforting is the toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, maybe even some diced avocado. By the time you finish adorning your bowl with all the desired fixings, you could be looking at half a day’s worth of calories — or worse. That’s where lean ground turkey comes in. If your favorite chili involves beef, here are a few things to consider: A 4-ounce serving contains roughly 127 calories with 27 grams of protein, compared to 199 calories and 23 grams of protein found in 90/10 lean ground beef. Need some inspiration to switch up your chili routine? These are a few of our favorite turkey-based recipes from the chefs at Food Network.
Indian Summer Turkey Chili
If you plan on doing any tailgating this fall, Rachael Ray’s big-batch turkey chili is just the thing you’ll want to spoon out of your thermos. Large bell peppers brighten up the mixture with their mild sweetness. Stir in a bit of your favorite barbecue sauce for a touch of sweet heat.
Turkey and Pumpkin Seed Chili
A touch of unsweetened cocoa powder gives this hearty chili a wonderful depth of flavor. Whip up a batch and freeze the leftovers to have on hand for busy fall weeknights.
Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili
This recipe captures many of the traditional flavors of chili, but it boosts the usual texture, color and vitamins. It calls for protein-rich black beans, lean ground turkey and sweet butternut squash; chia seeds provide some unexpected crunch and work as a thickening agent.
Switch things up with Ellie Krieger’s White Chili. This heart-healthy recipe combines ground turkey with white beans, peppers, onions and spices to make for an incredibly flavorful bite.
Quick Turkey Chili
Speed is the name of the game when it comes to this 35-minute turkey chili from Food Network Magazine. Skip the tedious knife work and reach for canned tomatoes. Store-bought chicken broth and canned black beans further the ease. Just because you’re using shelf-stable ingredients doesn’t mean the dish is any less healthy; each serving contains 38 grams of protein and just 11 grams of fat.
For more comforting chili, check out these recipes from our friends:
Creative Culinary: Chipotle Chile is the BEST Ever!
The Fed Up Foodie: Tortilla and Beans
The Mom 100: Game-Day Ground Beef Chili
A Mind “Full” Mom: Wine and Mustard Braised Chili
Foodtastic Mom: Slow Cooker Chili Verde
Hey Grill Hey: Smokin’ Hot Chili
Mom Loves Baking: Quick and Easy Chili
Taste with the Eyes: Korean Chili con Carne with Red Beans and Kimchi
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Best Vegetarian Chili with 9 Beans
Devour: Warm Up Chilly Days with Genius Chili-and-Chip Combinations
In Jennie’s Kitchen: French Lentil Chili
Swing Eats: Cincinnati Chili
FN Dish: 6 Next-Level Ways to Do Up a Batch of Chili