Back to Quinoa Turkey Chili

Print Options


Card Sizes

Quinoa Turkey Chili Recipe

Quinoa Turkey Chili Recipe

This heart-healthy chili is not only tasty, it's a vitamin and protein powerhouse! —Sharon Giljum, San Diego, California
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. Cook: 35 min. YIELD:9 servings


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 3-1/2 cups water, divided
  • 1/2 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro


  • 1. In a large saucepan, bring quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from the heat; fluff with a fork and set aside.
  • 2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan coated with cooking spray, cook the turkey, onion, red pepper and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender; drain. Stir in the chili powder, cumin and cinnamon; cook 2 minutes longer.
  • 3. Add the black beans, tomatoes, zucchini, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, bay leaf, oregano, salt, pepper and remaining water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in corn and quinoa; heat through. Discard bay leaf; stir in cilantro.
    Freeze option: Freeze cooled chili in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little broth or water if necessary. Yield: 9 servings (2-1/4 quarts).
Editor's Note: Look for quinoa in the cereal, rice or organic food aisle.

Nutritional Facts

1 cup equals 264 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 20 mg cholesterol, 514 mg sodium, 43 g carbohydrate, 9 g fiber, 15 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 lean meat, 2 vegetable.

Reviews for Quinoa Turkey Chili

Sort By :
Reviewed Mar. 14, 2016

"Made this for my husband and I because we are trying to eat healthier. It tasted great! We are pushing 50 and our metabolisms aren't what they use to be. Thank you for submitting such a great recipe that is healthy and tasty!"

Reviewed Jan. 25, 2016

"OK -- i liked this recipe more than my other--it was hearty and tasty and i swear it felt healthy as it was consumed.But i probably will not make again...unless i have a different audience."

Reviewed Jan. 11, 2016

"Amazing recipe! It's very tasty and healthy! I feel more energetic after I eat it! I made it many times and it always come out good."

Reviewed Aug. 26, 2015

"I make this recipe for new mamas. There's so many nutrients packed in! Personally, I think it could use more kick, but that's simple to add individually at serving time."

Reviewed Sep. 5, 2014

"I've made this recipe several times, and it's always well-liked. The recipe makes quite a lot, but it freezes well. I like to use one can of kidney beans and one of black beans, instead of two cans of black beans called for. I also just leave out the "adobo" stuff since I don't know what that is and don't care to go out and find it, and it's still very flavorful and excellent.

I also leave out the corn. I put in chopped celery instead (less starchy and zero calories). I also throw in a handful of chopped kale, because why not? I like things hot and spicy, so I also add jalapeño peppers and extra chili powder. Make sure to use organic zucchini and red pepper -- those are on the Dirty Dozen list! ;-)
If you want even more protein (and flavor), add some chopped ham or turkey deli meat along with the ground turkey."

Reviewed Feb. 22, 2014

"We like spicy food at our house so this was excellent. I realized that I didnt have enough tomatoes so I added rotel and I just skipped the corn all together. It was still yummy. I think I will make this again!"

Reviewed Feb. 17, 2014

"I hate to be the Debbie Downer among all the excellent reviews, but I didn't love this. Out of fear of it being too spicy, I only added half a chipotle pepper, and a tsp of the sauce, since I have to feed my young son. I found it "ok" but I won't go out of my way to make it again. It makes so much. But it sure was simple to throw together."

Reviewed Sep. 12, 2013

"This chili was excellent. It had just enough bite to satisfy the husbands liking for spicy foods and still not too spicy for my sensitive tongue. Also it is very colorful. I will definitely make this again"

Reviewed Aug. 14, 2013

"I didn't think a delicous and healthy chili recipe existed. The recipe was A-Mazing! My husband loved it! I loved it! I don't think he even noticed that there was so little meat in there. I think the 1/2 lb. was just enough to do the trick. I should disclose, I didn't add the cilantro. My husband is not a big fan. Other than that I followed it to the T. Thanx for the recipe Sharon!"

Reviewed Jun. 8, 2013

"I loved the veggies and while I did add only half the quinoa, I appreciated their nutritional contribution. I didn't tell my husband it was ground turkey and he didn't complain, which he normally would do. Gotta' confess- served it with tortilla chips and in my opinion, everything is better on tortilla chips."

Reviewed Mar. 5, 2013

"Loved this recipe...but next time will cut the quinoa in half..I have enough chili to feed an army."

Reviewed Oct. 29, 2012

"Very healthy and easy to make. Be careful if you add the adobo sauce - I may have added too much because that taste stands out over others. Next time I may try to add more cinnamon as another poster recommended."

Reviewed Oct. 16, 2012

"Very good. However, I added two chicken bouillon to give it more flavor, a few dashes of extra cinnamon to the actual sauce, and a few dashes more of salt to the sauce. My family loved. I would not add the Quinoia again though...It doesn't add anything to the recipe. Next time I will make it with seasoned rice."

Reviewed Jul. 2, 2012

"I also added zucchini. Excellent chili!"

Reviewed Jun. 6, 2012

"did not have black beans, used northern white beans, Flavor was good but I think the texture would be better with black beans."

Reviewed Feb. 18, 2012

"Easy to make, filling and healthy. I find that cooking quinoa the suggested amount of time can make it glumpy."

Reviewed Feb. 8, 2012

"Where do you find the chili peppers in adobe sauce? And the adobe sauce?"

Reviewed Feb. 5, 2012

"My husband and I love this recipe! It's so flavorful!"

Reviewed Jan. 23, 2012

"Excellent variation on a chili recipe. Took it to a soup exchange and everyone loved it!"

Reviewed Jan. 4, 2012

"Probably my favorite chili of all time! I usually like to put cheese and sour cream in my chili, but this is so good, I don't put anything on it!! Even my kids ate it!"

Reviewed Jan. 2, 2012

"This chili recipe is fantastic! The only thing I changed was instead of turkey I used ground chicken, my husband and I prefer"

Reviewed Dec. 27, 2011

"Delicious and healthy. Can't ask for more on a chilly day!"

Reviewed Dec. 18, 2011

"I only used about 1/3 of the adobo sauce, and the chili was really great! Even my mother liked it and she doesn't like quinoa."

Reviewed Dec. 4, 2011

"Wonderful balance of flavors! I did not have any chili peppers in adobe sauce so I left that out, and I left out the adobe sauce itself. Still delicious!"

Reviewed Nov. 29, 2011

"delicious and simple; somewhat spicy for the kids but they ate it. Definitely make the Moist Mexican Corn Bread to have with it - YUM!"

Loading Image