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Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe (Panera Bread Copycat)

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This copycat Panera Bread turkey chili recipe may have a few interesting ingredients in it but I have to say – it WORKS! This deliciously smoky ground turkey chili has mild heat and has amazing depth of flavor (thanks to my secret soup ingredient) that tastes like it’s been simmering all day, but in reality, it’s ready in just 30 minutes, making it a great weeknight dinner. Serve the healthy turkey chili with a variety of toppings (see my list below) for a meal that will warm you right up.

I’m so excited to add another delicious chili recipe to my roster, because I think chili is the ultimate comfort food/nutritious meal mash up! If you love chili as much as I do, be sure to try my homemade chili, chili con carne, white bean vegetarian chili, or slow cooker turkey quinoa chili next time.

Bowl of healthy turkey chili with sour cream

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

What You’ll Love About Healthy Turkey Chili

  • Deep flavor and a mild heat
  • Full of nutritious ingredients
  • Great source of protein and fiber
  • Easy-to-make
  • Just 5 minutes prep time
  • Just 25 minutes cook time
  • Just 30 minutes total time

Ingredients

This healthy turkey chili is made with a lot of simple ingredients and a few to add some tasty kick!

  • Onion – I recommend using a white or yellow onion, but you could also use a red onion in a pinch!
  • Carrot – I know, this is sort of a strange ingredient for chili (at least I thought so!), but this is a Panera copycat chili recipe, so in it goes! And I can happily report that it works.
  • Garlic – Use fresh garlic for best flavor and frozen garlic cubes for a quick shortcut. If you like jarred garlic, use that!
  • Olive oil – Use a cooking olive oil (not a drizzling olive oil) here.
  • Turkey – Use regular ground turkey that is NOT 99% fat-free or “extra lean.” The little bit of fat adds flavor and helps the turkey not dry out. You could also use any ground meat – ground beef, ground pork, ground chicken, or even vegetarian crumbles.
  • Chili powder – I used a premixed chili powder, but you can also make your own with a blend of paprika, cumin, and cayenne.
  • Garbanzo beans – Another different ingredient for a typical healthy chili recipe, but I love it! You could also use black beans if you prefer them.
  • Kidney beans – These are a classic in chili and help to add some nice deep color, but if you prefer, you can swap them out for other beans.
  • Edamame – This was the other ingredient that caused me to pause…but it works! It’s essentially a bean.
  • Marinara sauce – This is my secret soup ingredient that I use in every single soup recipes I make! It adds slow-simmered flavor, without the time typically required. Use a plain marinara or a garlic marinara instead of more Italian flavored versions like basil.
  • Tomatoes – Look for fire-roasted tomatoes for extra-smoky flavor but regular diced tomatoes will also work.
  • Broth – There are a few broth options. You can use chicken broth or vegetable broth. Or, use bone broth for extra rich flavor and even more protein.
  • Green chiles – Use mild or hot chiles, depending on how spicy you want your chili.
  • Chipotle peppers – These add great smoky flavor and some heat. If you love the flavor, feel free to add more and if you don’t want this too spicy, add less. (Freeze leftover chipotle peppers in a small souper cubes container!)
Ingredients to make ground turkey chili recipe.

How to Make Panera Bread Turkey Chili Recipe

Ok, let’s make this copycat Panera bread turkey chili recipe:

  • Prep ingredients. Chop onion, dice carrot, and mince garlic.
  • Cook aromatics. Heat oil in large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat and add onion and carrot to pot. Sauté veggies, stirring frequently, until soft.
Dutch oven with onions and carrots.
  • Cook turkey. Add ground turkey to pot and break up with the back of a spoon.
  • Season chili. Sprinkle turkey with salt and chili powder and stir to coat. Cook until turkey is cooked through.
Cooked turkey for turkey chili.
  • Simmer turkey chili. Add garbanzo beans, kidney beans, edamame, marinara sauce, tomatoes, broth, green chiles, and chipotle peppers to turkey and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer.
Turkey chili ingredients in dutch oven.
  • Season and serve. Season with additional salt if necessary and serve with lots of toppings.
Panera bread turkey chili in dutch oven cooking

Topping Ideas for Chili

Panera doesn’t serve any toppings with their chili (at least I didn’t get any when I had my research bowl!), but I can’t serve chili without toppings! Given the light Mexican-spice flavors, I think avocado, lime juice, and sour cream are musts, but here’s a whole list, serve with what you have or your favorite toppings:

  • Avocado
  • Fresh lime
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Chopped onion (white onion, red onion, or green onion)
  • Shredded cheese
  • Tortilla chips
  • Sour cream or plain greek yogurt
  • Frozen (but thawed) corn
  • Pickled jalapeno peppers or salsa
  • Tortilla chips, corn chips, or cornbread
Bowls of healthy turkey chili with toppings.

Storage Instructions

Store leftover turkey chili recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

How to reheat

Reheat chili in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove until heated through.

Can you freeze ground turkey chili?

Yes, you can freeze chili. Store in a freezer-safe container (glass containers or souper cubes work well!) in the freezer for 2-3 months.

Bowl of Panera turkey chili with toppings and a spoon

How to Serve Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe to the Whole Family

I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in. 😉

Chili and soups can be tricky for kids, especially if they don’t like food mixed together. Start with a tiny “taster bowl” aka a pinch bowl with a small spoonful of chili in it. This is helpful so that you don’t waste much if they don’t eat it and it’s also less overwhelming to them, so they’ll be more likely to try it.

Make sure you’re serving the easy turkey chili with a few sides you know they will eat. I always serve chili with tortilla chips, fruit, and milk. If they don’t eat the chili, they are still getting the nutrition they need and I’m not turning into a short order cook.

All of my articles on feeding kids can be found here and if you want a FULL list of all of the videos I have with hacks, tips, scripts, and ideas for feeding kids, check out my instagram or tiktok page.

Healthy turkey chili in a bowl with toppings.

What to Serve with Turkey Chili

I think this Panera bread turkey chili copycat recipe is enough of a meal on its own (especially when you add some of the toppings), but here are a few ideas if you want to add something or if you want to stretch it further.

More Chili Recipes

If you like this Panera bread turkey chili soup recipe, you might also like some of these other chili recipes:

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Bowl of healthy turkey chili with sour cream

Healthy Turkey Chili Recipe (Panera Bread Copycat)

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Description

You will love this Panera bread turkey chili recipe! It has amazing flavor with a mild spice and smoky flavor and it’s loaded with nutritious ingredients to keep you satisfied.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 large carrot (1 cup diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 15.5 oz can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 15.5 oz can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup shelled edamame
  • 26 oz. jar marinara sauce
  • 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 7 oz. can green chiles (mild)
  • 2 Tbsp. minced chipotle peppers in adobo

Instructions

  1. Prepare ingredients:
    Chop onion.
    Dice carrot.
    Mince garlic.
  2. Heat oil in large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Wwhen it shimmers, add onions, cooking for about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add carrots and garlic to pan and cook for another 1 minute, or until garlic is fragrant.
  4. Add ground turkey, breaking up a bit with the back of a spoon.
  5. Add salt and chili powder to ground turkey, stir to combine, and cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add garbanzo beans, kidney beans, edamame, marinara sauce, tomatoes (don’t drain), broth, green chiles, and chipotle peppers to pot.
  7. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for at least 15 minutes, or longer.
  8. Season with salt to taste and serve with toppings as desired.


Keywords: Panera bread turkey chili recipe, turkey chili recipe, ground turkey chili, healthy turkey chili

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