Paleo Turkey Chili Recipe

Updated on January 7, 2020
Turtlewoman profile image

Kim is a board-certified holistic health coach, healthy living and cleanse consultant, and studied under Drs. Andrew Weil and Walter Willet.

Paleo chili: I wish my photo did it justice.
Paleo chili: I wish my photo did it justice. | Source

The Best Palo Chili Ever!

Paleo chili. Sounds odd, but all it really means is one thing: no beans. To be honest, I don't even like beans. They make me gaseous. Although beans can make your chili more filling, I would prefer to replace them with a ton of chopped vegetables.

Paleo turkey chili is like the ultimate healthy comfort food. I made a batch of this for our camping trip, and no one even questioned why there weren't any beans in it.

It doesn't matter if you're Paleo, non-Paleo, a picky eater, or a bean-lover—you will enjoy this turkey chili. It's hard to cook up a meal that will satisfy every type of eater. This turkey chili will make everyone happy and asking for more!

A Chili Made With Lean Ground Turkey and Vegetables

In this recipe, I added some fresh red and bell peppers, along with zucchini from the farmer's market. Since these vegetables are cheap and abundant during the summer, it makes sense to add them to your chili for added fiber and vitamins.

I used a lean ground turkey for my Paleo chili. If you have ground beef on hand, go ahead and use it! You're the cook, so you're in control of your protein!

There are a couple of things about making chili:

  • Don't be surprised as if the consistency of the chili changes over time. The longer you let it simmer, the thicker it will get.
  • Depending on how thick you prefer your chili, you can always add more water. I've been told by a Texan before that chili is supposed to be thick!
  • Interestingly enough, chili also tastes better the next day! Refrigerate your leftover chili and reheat it the next day.

This Paleo recipe uses bell peppers and zucchini instead of beans.
This Paleo recipe uses bell peppers and zucchini instead of beans. | Source


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, copped
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can of roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can or tomato sauce


  • Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper, season to taste


  1. Add olive oil to your pan over medium/high heat. Sauté garlic for 1 minute. Cook the ground turkey (or other ground meat) until brown.
  2. Sauté the onions and peppers until they become softer.
  3. Drain the fat from the cooked turkey meat and combine with the sautéed onions and peppers in a 5 quart pot.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, cover and simmer for 30 to 60 minutes.
  5. Stir periodically while it is simmering

Photo Guide

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Gather the ingredients.Saute the garlic in the olive oil.Cook the turkey meat until it's brown.Saute the onions and peppers.Add everything together and continue cooking.
Gather the ingredients.
Gather the ingredients. | Source
Saute the garlic in the olive oil.
Saute the garlic in the olive oil. | Source
Cook the turkey meat until it's brown.
Cook the turkey meat until it's brown. | Source
Saute the onions and peppers.
Saute the onions and peppers. | Source
Add everything together and continue cooking.
Add everything together and continue cooking. | Source

Tips and Hints

  • I usually don't drain the liquid from the cooked meat. Turkey meat is leaner and does not have that much fat content.
  • I also add the salt right at the end to bring out the spices. Salt is incredible. Don't tell my doctor I just told you that.
  • Many of my friends, especially the ones who claim that their chili is the best, do not know about the secret ingredient. I will share with you the spice that makes a difference between a mediocre chili and a oh-my-goodness chili: cumin. Don't forget the cumin.
  • If you're a brave soul like my fiancé, who enjoys the burning sensation of chili on his taste buds, add more chili powder or minced jalapeno peppers.
  • You can use fresh tomatoes if you prefer. Simply crush them with your hands before throwing them in the pot. If you only have tomato paste instead of tomato sauce, just add half a cup of water to the recipe.

Questions & Answers

    Comments for Paleo Chili

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      • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

        Kim Lam 

        5 years ago from California

        yes, 16 oz

      • profile image


        5 years ago

        when you say standered size is that the 16oz or the larger can?

      • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

        Kim Lam 

        5 years ago from California

        Hi Jessica-no water needed. It would change the consistency a bit. If you don't like it too thick you can add chicken stock or more tomato sauce to keep the flavor the same

      • profile image

        Jessica Sain 

        5 years ago

        So we don't have to add any water?

      • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

        Kim Lam 

        5 years ago from California

        Hi Sarah, I used the standard size for roasted tomato can. For the sauce, start with half of that and add more depending on your preference for consistency. It makes about 6-8 servings. Thanks!

      • profile image


        5 years ago

        Hello! This sounds delicious, but I have two questions about your recipe; what size cans of roasted tomatoes and tomato sauce do we need? And also, how many searvings does this make?

        Looking forward to making this!

      • profile image


        6 years ago

        Made this tonight and it was great! Served it over quinoa ~ delicious :)

      • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

        Kim Lam 

        6 years ago from California

        That's so awesome Samantha! Thank you for letting me know...I appreciate it! Cheers to real food. :-)

      • profile image


        6 years ago

        I LOVE this recipe! I went paleo for a week just to try it, and tried this recipe out. I'm doing partial paleo now, and this is a staple in my house...we make it bi-weekly. The blend of spices is perfect!

      • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

        Kim Lam 

        7 years ago from California

        Thanks KDeus, I have many friends who do partial paleo too and they're doing great! The way I see it, the more Paleo-type of foods you incorporate, the better off you are. You're already many steps ahead of most people by eating healthy. Thanks for stopping by! Cheers to health!

      • KDeus profile image

        Keely Deuschle 

        7 years ago from Florida

        This sounds delicious! I've been eating paleo (mostly) for the past year and a half. I really need to go all-in again because when I did, I felt the best I ever did. I will definitely try this chili! Voted up and pinned!

      • Sharicey profile image


        7 years ago from Rhode Island

        This sounds good. I've been gluten free for a little over a year and recently decided to go grain free and possibly completely paleo. This is day 2 of the challenge and I'm def saving this recipe to try this week. Thanks for sharing!

      • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

        Kim Lam 

        7 years ago from California

        Hi Carol, Beans are yummy but you won't miss them here lol. Take care and thanks for visiting!

      • carol7777 profile image

        carol stanley 

        7 years ago from Arizona

        I love beans for soup and other things, but this recipe with all the veggies resonates with lots of good health. I am going to try this and thanks for the recipe..


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