The weather is cooling down, so chili should be on your stovetop. Whether you are a chili novice or a master, this turkey chili is a must-make recipe for a healthy and hearty fall meal.


There is something about fall in the Midwest. The minute the leaves start to turn, a slight chill returns to the air, and football fills our televisions, I start getting in the mood for fall food.

Although we have had a relatively warm start to autumn this year (not a complaint heard hear!), the first day of fall was crisp and cool, and in our house that means one thing – chili!

Making chili during the fall season isn't particularly novel, but there is one chili recipe I have made since my husband and I started dating well over a decade ago, and it has become our chili recipe.

This Simple Turkey Chili stands up to its name (it really is simple), and it has 2,000 high ratings and reviews to confirm it. If you sort through some of the reviews, you will note that many of them adjusted the recipe to their liking. and that is what makes this chili so awesome.

a bowl of Simple Turkey Chili topped with sour cream and green onions and cheese with two rolls on the bowl rim
Credit: Nerdbox

The chili is the perfect one for a novice cook, too. It requires basic chili ingredients, and if you follow the instructions to a tee, you'll still come out with a batch of awesome, healthy chili.

It's also a great dish to gain confidence in the kitchen because it's a hard one to mess up. When my kids were little and much more spice averse, I would cut the amount of cayenne and chili powder in half. If I was missing some of the spices, I would shake in a bit of blackening season.

You can start the onions and garlic earlier than directed if you prefer to get them going before you break up the turkey meat, or you can add them after browning.

To make it extra healthy, interesting, and fiber-filled, I now double the batch, and add in three kinds of beans — white beans, kidney beans, and garbanzo beans.

If you like a thicker chili (we do!), you can add less water; we usually cut the amount of water in half. Or if you don't like too many chunks of the beans, stick an immersion blender into the pot, and blend some of those beans.

This chili can do well with other additions, too. Occasionally, I will add in a small can of hatch green chiles. Other Allrecipes cooks have added in green peppers, corn, black beans, or chopped up carrots or celery.

Everyone loves a secret ingredient, so if you fancy a dash of cinnamon or espresso, go for it.

And let us not forget the fun part — all of the toppings that go along with chili. These are standard in our house: shredded Cheddar, chopped raw onions, sour cream, and oyster crackers.

If I forget the onions, I sub in scallions, and if I forget the oyster crackers I just get an "Aww, mom!"

This chili freezes well and makes amazing leftovers to boot. It is the perfect meal to make (or heat up) after fall soccer or baseball, and you could even make it in the crock pot.