Table of Contents
  1. This turkey quinoa chili is the perfect warm soup.
  2. Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.
  3. Here’s how to make this recipe.
  4. These pro tips will make this recipe a success.
  5. Frequently asked questions about this recipe.
  6. You'll love these other soup recipes.
  7. Watch how to make this recipe.
  8. Have I convinced you to make this recipe?
  9. Turkey Quinoa Chili Recipe

This is a pretty standard turkey chili recipe except for the addition of quinoa, which adds both protein and thickness. While some people make turkey chili for health benefits, the great news is that it’s simply a delicious soup. This recipe is perfect for a cold weeknight day when you need something warm!

This turkey quinoa chili is the perfect warm soup.

I’ll always be ready for chili. It’s usually the first soup I make when the weather even flirts with lower temperatures. By low, we’re talking about maybe a 70-degree day in August instead of the usual 90 degrees. Long story short: I love chili!

I’ve also come to terms with the fact that I’m someone who’ll always be making new versions of my favorite recipes. This chili is a perfect case in point. It has all the flavor of a classic chili but with a few twists. Instead of beef, this recipe uses ground turkey. Turkey is lean with healthy protein and offers a lighter but still hearty option. To up the flavor without any additional work, this recipe utilizes my pantry’s secret weapon: fire-roasted diced tomatoes. These canned tomatoes have a firey, smoky flavor without any spice. They’re perfect!

At the end, quinoa is mixed in and cooked with the soup. The quinoa soaks in some of the liquid and provides a perfect stew-like finish to the chili. It’s nothing short of classic flavors, simply a fresh take!

Wooden spoon sitting on top of red colored chili with scoop showing the turkey and beans in the soup.

Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.

  • Ground turkey is a great protein to keep in the freezer. This lean meat often goes unnoticed when swapped into soups, especially chili. Turkey is slightly lighter in flavor but works well with the intensity of chili seasonings.
  • Bay leaves are usually the butt of the joke when it comes to cooking. Do they actually do anything? They do, in fact! The key is to use fresh leaves that have not been hidden in the pantry for years. Bay offers a base underlying flavor that you won’t pick out but will definitely notice if it’s missing. Trust me.
  • Quinoa is a seed that’s packed with healthy omega fats and protein. It adds an ideal texture to the soup and helps thicken the liquid.
  • Fire-roasted diced tomatoes will become a favorite canned pantry good for you if you start to use them. Instead of just canning the tomatoes, they’re fire-roasted first, which adds immense flavor.
White marble surface filled with all of the ingredients needed to make turkey quinoa chili including tomato juice, bell peppers, ground turkey, beans, diced tomatoes, spices, and more.

Here’s how to make this recipe.

  1. Brown the turkey. In a large pot or Dutch oven on the stove, add some neutral oil. Once the oil has been heated, add the ground turkey. Using a wooden spatula or spoon, break up the turkey into small pieces and allow it to brown in the pot for about eight minutes.
  1. Prepare the vegetables. Chop up the onion into a fine dice and bell peppers into a rough dice. Once the ground turkey has browned, add both vegetables to the turkey in the pot. Add the salt and mix everything together until combined. Let the vegetables soften for about six minutes.
  1. Add the spices. Once the vegetables have softened, add the chili powder, dried oregano, cumin, and bay leaves. Mix all of the spices into the vegetable and ground turkey mixture. 
  1. Add the beans, liquids, and quinoa. To the pot, add the drained and rinsed red kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato juice, chicken stock, and quinoa. Mix all of the liquids together with the vegetables and spices.
  1. Cook until ready. Once everything is mixed, cover the soup, bring it to a boil, and then let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Once fully cooked, remove the bay leaves, and serve immediately.

These pro tips will make this recipe a success.

  • Since turkey does not have a lot of fat, cooking the ground turkey in some oil will add some necessary browning and flavor.
  • Adding the spices to the cooked vegetables and ground turkey before adding in the liquids of the soup will allow the spices to bloom. This translates into greater and deeper flavor, which would not be quite as noticeable if the spices were added after the liquids.
  • Using fire-roasted diced tomatoes will add just a bit of extra flavor to the chili. They’re not a necessity, and regular diced tomatoes can be used, but the fire-roasted ones make everything just a bit better.
  • If simmering the soup for longer than 30 minutes, hold the quinoa and do not add until the last 20 minutes of cooking.
White soup bowl filled with serving of turkey quinoa chili with slices of avocado resting on top.

Frequently asked questions about this recipe.

Even though it’s called turkey chili, can this soup be made vegetarian?

Yes. Simply leave out the turkey and swap the chicken stock for vegetable stock. The flavor will be just as good!

Once cooked, how long does this last in the refrigerator? Can this be frozen?

As leftovers, this will last for 10 days in the refrigerator. But a word of caution: quinoa acts just like pasta and continues to soak in the liquid as it sits. The soap will seem thicker the longer it sits. The leftovers can be frozen, but the quinoa will act the same way and absorb additional liquid.

Will the soup be thick enough if I leave out the quinoa?

Yes, many chili recipes do not have anything that soaks in liquid. Without quinoa, the chili will still be great!

What other types of beans can be used in this soup?

Most beans will work well. If not using kidney beans, I would recommend using black beans or pinto beans.

Spoon holding scoop of turkey quinoa chili with white bowl sitting below filled with more chili.

Watch how to make this recipe.

More soup recipes

Have I convinced you to make this recipe?

I hope you make this recipe and put some food on your dessert table. Leave a comment and share a star rating so you let others know how much you love this recipe. This helps show others that this is a recipe they too can make, enjoy, and love!

Turkey Quinoa Chili

5 from 1 vote
This is a pretty standard turkey chili recipe except for the addition of quinoa, which adds both protein and thickness. While some people make turkey chili for health benefits, the great news is that it’s simply a delicious soup. This recipe is perfect for a cold weeknight day when you need something warm!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 bell peppers diced
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 15-oz cans red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 15-oz cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups tomato juice (or purée)
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • ¾ cup quinoa

Instructions
 

  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a 6-quart stockpot over medium heat. Brown the ground turkey, breaking it into small bite-size pieces, 8 minutes.
    1 lb ground turkey
  • Add the onion and the bell peppers and allow them to soften, 6 minutes. Add the salt, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and bay leaves. Stir to combine.
    1 onion, 2 bell peppers, 1 ½ tsp salt, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp cumin, 2 bay leaves
  • Pour in the kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato juice, chicken stock, and quinoa. Stir and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the soup. Simmer until the quinoa is soft, 20-30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, then serve.
    2 15-oz cans red kidney beans, 2 15-oz cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes, 4 cups tomato juice (or purée), 1 ½ cups chicken stock, ¾ cup quinoa

Notes

  • Since turkey does not have a lot of fat, cooking the ground turkey in some oil will add some necessary browning and flavor.
  • Adding the spices to the cooked vegetables and ground turkey before adding in the liquids of the soup will allow the spices to bloom. This translates into greater and deeper flavor, which would not be quite as noticeable if the spices were added after the liquids.
  • Using fire-roasted diced tomatoes will add just a bit of extra flavor to the chili. They’re not a necessity, and regular diced tomatoes can be used, but the fire-roasted ones make everything just a bit better.
  • If simmering the soup for longer than 30 minutes, hold the quinoa and do not add until the last 20 minutes of cooking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 236kcal
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Difficulty Easy
Method Cooking

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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1 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I LOVE this recipe I haven’t made this yet, but I have made this very similar to yours except not using Quinoa so I will definitely have to try this next time. I was also thinking of trying a Pumpkin chili YUMMY tysvm for sharing with us.