Packed with flavor, vegetables and protein, this is a healthier version of the Panera Turkey Chili we know and love. By using ground turkey breast and adding extra veggies, it’s the perfect quick weeknight or weekday meal. (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
Made with vegetables and simmered in a salsa verde (green salsa), this copycat panera turkey chili is a great healthy lunch or dinner ready to be made quickly!
Edamame, two types of beans (garbanzo beans and kidney beans), and lean ground turkey breast makes this meal even more high protein. Plus, who doesn’t love a one-pot meal?!
Growing up, we would have chili often. My mom would always use ground turkey, but we never knew! It was a staple weeknight meal that my sister and I were always happy to have. Being a one-pot meal, I think my mom was happy to always make it too!
This hearty blend of veggies makes this one-pot turkey chili a go-to for a healthier weeknight meal! Plus, having a go-to recipe that has protein, carbs AND vegetables makes having healthy meals easier.
I’m a huge proponent of making easy dishes with simple ingredients that don’t skimp out on taste. For other clean recipes like this one, try Panera Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich, Panera Steak and Arugula Sandwich or Carne Asada Quesadillas.
Highlights of this Recipe
This recipe is:
- High Protein
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Ground Turkey Breast - Substitute for ground chicken or ground beef. You can even use shredded turkey, cooked turkey cutlets, or dark meat turkey!
- Garbanzo Beans - Substitute for your favorite beans or omit.
- Red Kidney Beans - Substitute for your favorite beans or omit.
- Frozen Edamame - This adds extra protein to this chili recipe. Substitute for your favorite vegetable (frozen or fresh).
- Frozen Corn - Substitute for your favorite vegetable (frozen or fresh). You can use fire roasted or charred frozen corn as well.
- Salsa Verde - Because I like to keep my chili spices simple, the salsa verde adds most of the flavor. Make sure to buy a clean option. I used Late July’s Salsa Verde. You can also use red salsa. Choose whatever spice level you’re most comfortable with.
- Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes - These add a nice char flavor to the turkey chili. Substitute for diced or crushed tomatoes.
Homemade Chili Spices
Sometimes it’s easy to use a premade taco seasoning or chili seasoning. I like to make my own simple concoction of spices. For this copycat Panera turkey chili I use a combination of:
- Cumin (adds depth and earthiness)
- Chili Powder
- Cayenne Pepper (adds heat and can be omitted or halved for those who want less spice)
- Salt + Pepper
What Else To Add
Looking to add a few more ingredients or switch it up? Try:
- Red pepper
- Diced carrot
- Tortilla strips
This Panera Bread turkey chili is a great way to use leftover dark meat turkey or shredded turkey!
STEP ONE: Sear the ground turkey in oil, and add the seasoning.
STEP TWO: Pour the salsa verde into the cooked ground turkey and combine.
STEP THREE: Add rinsed and drained garbanzo and kidney beans, fire roasted diced tomato, and the beef stock.
STEP FOUR: Allow chili to cook at medium heat (covered) for 25-30 minutes, until thickened.
STEP FIVE: Add the frozen vegetables and stir together. Serve while warm plain or on top of rice or quinoa!
How to Store Leftovers
Turkey chili can stay in the fridge up to 3 days. Store in an airtight container.
Let the chili cool down to room temperature first.
Next, either use heavy-duty freezer bags or airtight containers (I also use Souper Cubes!). Fill with chili, close tightly and freeze.
Chili can freeze safely for 4-6 months. You can freeze in individual, family or other serving sizes.
TIP! A fun way to save chili (if you don’t have Souper Cubes!), is to place the leftovers in a heavy-duty freezer bag, close and then let freeze on a sheet pan in the freezer. After 2-4 hours, the bag will be frozen solid and flat! You can now remove the baking sheet and store any bags together.
What to do with Leftovers
Need some ideas on what to do with leftovers of this turkey chili recipe?
- Eat over grains (brown rice or quinoa are my fave!)
- Top a baked sweet potato with leftovers
- Use it as a filling for lasagna (you can even use zucchini as the lasagna sheets!)
- Add pasta for a Tex-Mex inspired pasta meal
- Stuff bell peppers with leftover filling
- Make a burrito
- Sprinkle on top of rice and/or lettuce for a taco salad
- Combine with eggs for a filling breakfast or use it on top of Mexican Chilaquiles
- Top with mashed potatoes as a Shepherd’s Pie
Frequently Asked Questions
You can definitely use chicken stock or even vegetable stock instead of beef broth. Beef broth will have the strongest flavor added to the turkey chili.
You can use whatever vegetables you like! Some great options would be your favorite frozen or fresh veggies, like bell peppers, peas, or mushrooms.
I prefer to use my dutch oven when cooking this panera inspired turkey chili. You can use any large pot instead.
What Can You Serve with Turkey Chili
Healthier Panera Turkey Chili
- 16 ounces Ground Turkey Breast
- 1 Cup Salsa Verde
- 15 Ounce Can Garbanzo Beans (rinsed and drained)
- 15 Ounce Can Red Kidney Beans (rinsed and drained)
- 15 Ounce Can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
- ½ Cup Frozen Corn
- ½ Cup Frozen Edamame
- 1.5 Cups Beef Stock
- 2 tablespoons Neutral Oil
Homemade Chili Spices
- 1 tablespoon Cumin
- ½ teaspoon Chili Powder
- ½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Pepper
- Drain and rinse the kidney and garbanzo beans and place to the side.
- Heat a large pot or dutch oven on the stove on medium-heat. Add 2 tablespoons of neutral oil (like avocado oil) and allow to heat up, around 2 minutes.
- Place the ground turkey and seasoning mix (cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper) into the pot.
- Using a large spoon, break up the ground turkey into small bite-sized pieces, mixing the seasoning evenly throughout the turkey.
- Cook the ground turkey on medium heat, until fully cooked (no pink spots left), about 5-7 minutes.
- Once the ground turkey is fully cooked, add the salsa verde to the pot and stir to combine.
- Add the fire roasted diced tomato (juices included), rinsed and drained beans (kidney and garbanzo), and beef stock. Stir to combine.
- Add the lid onto the pot and allow to cook at medium-low heat for about 25-30 minutes. Stir every 5-10 minutes to make sure the chili doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Once chili has cooked for 25-30 minutes, it should be thick. For a more soupy chili, cook for about 20-minutes. For a really thick chili, cook for at least 30 minutes.
- Pour in the frozen vegetables (edamame and corn) and stir together. Turn off heat and serve while warm.
- Serve plain or on top of your favorite side (brown rice or quinoa are a favorite!).
- Top with fresh cilantro, parsley, sour cream, limes, cheese, etc.