Quinoa Turkey Chili Recipe
Quinoa Turkey Chili Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Quinoa Turkey Chili Recipe

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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.
MAKES:9 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. Cook: 35 min.
MAKES: 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

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 264 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat), 20mg cholesterol, 514mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 9g fiber), 15g protein Diabetic Exchanges:2 starch, 2 lean meat 2 vegetabl


  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.
Originally published as Quinoa Turkey Chili in Healthy Cooking December/January 2012, p47

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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."

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