Instant Pot Turkey Chili With White Beans allows you to enjoy your favorite comfort food without the traditional beef version’s fat (or guilt!).
Many people crave chili for both the spicy, bold flavors as well as for the ease of making and serving. And once you master this Instant Pot turkey chili recipe, you will be able to modify it to use other proteins.
Think chicken, venison, or even a vegan recipe.
Make a big pot of white bean chili, and you can feed your entire family a healthy meal on a budget.
“Next to jazz music, there is nothing that lifts the spirit and strengthens the soul more than a good bowl of chili.”
~Harry james, American musician, trumpeter, band leader for 43 years, 1916-1938
Eat Delicious Foods as You Embark on a Weight Loss Journey
A study performed by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases compared a low-carb to a low-fat diet. At the same time, they noted the pros and cons of each weight loss method. They stated that reducing carbohydrate intake led to lower insulin.
However, the study’s team lead says the following:
“Study participants lost even more body fat during the fat-restricted diet.”
~Kevin Hall, Ph.D., NIDDK, research biology, neuroscience,
But eating a low-fat diet does not mean you will give up on great taste! And, as we know today, the keto and paleo diets are in favor of higher protein and healthy fat, and low carbs.
Instead, it would help if you learned to reimagine your tried-and-true favorite recipes. In this case, I used my best chili recipe and slashed the fat by switching from beef stew pieces to ground turkey.
My Experience With Weight Watchers (Why I Developed This Recipe)
This white bean and turkey chili recipe enjoys a regular rotation on my family menu.
Two years ago, I was overweight, suffering from high blood pressure and recovering from a mini-stroke in my forties.
I struggled to recover, and for two years after my mini-stroke, I stopped and started fitness and weight loss programs.
After trying low-fat, low-carb, non-fat, and cabbage soup diets, I was frustrated and about to give up. My doctor told me to add walking two miles a day to my routine. But I was too out of breath to do it.
One day, I finally decided that enough was enough. I walked into a WW meeting and weighed in. Tears filled my eyes as I got a swift reality check in hearing my real weight. (I had given up on scales a year earlier).
But I was determined that I would make this change. I went from a size 18 to a size 4, and I’ve maintained that success for almost two years now.
I love food. I’m a recipe writer and food blogger! But I took all the tools that WW gave me and learned how to deconstruct all my family favorites and remake them into meals my family would enjoy with me.
This easy Instant Pot turkey chili satisfies my dietary requirements and tastes so good my family doesn’t mind sharing it with me.
Once I learned to shift that attitude away from the negative word “diet” to a permanent lifestyle change, it reshaped my approach to reclaiming my health.
“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control the way you think about all the events. You always have a choice. You can choose to face them with a positive mental attitude.”Roy T. Bennett
Turkey, White Beans, and the Protein Connection
One reason why I cook this Instant Pot Turkey Chili so often is that it nicely fills your appetite. This meal satiates the appetite, keeping you full for longer.
That satisfaction means that you will be less likely to reach for the cookie jar or a bag of chips an hour after you eat.
The reason for this “fullness” is protein.
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, protein proves to achieve three processes that help facilitate weight loss:
- Protein makes you feel satisfied and full for longer than carbohydrates or unhealthy fats.
- You burn more calories in a process called thermogenesis when you consume protein over other foods.
- Protein helps you retain lean muscle mass as you burn fat. That fact becomes important on your weight loss journey, as your muscles help you burn calories and fat more efficiently.
- GROUND TURKEY: 99% lean ground turkey breast contains 28 grams of protein, which equals 61% of the USDA recommended amount.
- GREAT NORTHERN BEANS: These white beans provide 8 grams of protein in a one-fourth cup serving. However, they also help boost your fiber intake, delivering 13 grams of dietary fiber, or 19% of the USDA daily guidelines.
Of course, the fresh veggies you add to the chili also provide a no-fat boost of flavor and even more fiber!
Selecting 99% Lean Ground Turkey
Locating 99% lean ground turkey breast can be a little bit tricky. Only one or two food processors put this into grocery stores. The other companies offer up a 93% fat-free version.
If you use the 99% fat-free, you enjoy a zero WW points (on blue or purple plan) meal. That’s a huge win towards reaching your weight loss goals.
However, the 93% lean adds points, which you can find in your tracker.
So how do you get 99% lean turkey when it’s difficult to find?
93% lean ground turkey has a higher fat content because it is less carefully trimmed and has less expensive dark meat ground into the mixture. 99% lean contains all-white meat turkey breast.
Call a local grocery store with a full-service butcher on-site. Ask them to pull an all-white breast from the meat case and grind it for you. My butcher does this for me all the time! He does expect a call in advance to provide this service.
He charges me the sticker price that was on the package. The weight is slightly less than the ticket because the bones are removed. But it is still less costly than purchasing the pre-ground version.
Plus, I get the low-fat bird turkey that I need to keep on track with my ongoing weight maintenance.
Serving Ideas for Instant Pot Turkey Chili With White Beans
You can add some extra pizzazz to this easy instant pot or crock pot turkey chili by adding these toppings. Just remember, adding toppings adds fat and extra WW smartpoints.
- Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Thinly sliced jalapeno rings (they will cook down a little from the steam) (or you can use pickled jalepeños).
- Low-fat or fat-free cheddar cheese
- A small handful of crushed corn chips to add a crunchy texture (the bottom of the chip bag is perfect for this)
- Diced green onions or shallots
- Low-fat or non-fat sour cream – for a vegan or dairy free option, try this delicious cashew sour cream, or plant based almond coconut sour cream
- Non-fat, plain Greek yogurt
I also bake corn muffins or bread to serve alongside it—I just count the points. Since the chili contains Weight Watchers zero points, you can afford a little portion-controlled splurge once in a while!
Another FAVORITE HEALTHY CHILI WE LOVE: Vegetable Quinoa Chili. (We made it vegetarian, but you can choose to add your favorite meat broth and/or substitute some or all of the quinoa for ground beef for a hearty vegetable beef chili).
“I believe that everything in moderation is best.”Miranda Kerr
Instant Pot Turkey Chili With White Beans gives you the big, bold flavor you crave with a fraction of the fat. This recipe makes a WW (formerly Weight Watchers) friendly meal.
- 15 ounces of dry Great Northern beans, rinsed
- 16 ounce package of 99% fat-free ground turkey
- 28 ounce can of canned tomato sauce
- 15 ounce can of reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped, seeded and ribs removed
- 1 medium to large yellow sweet onion, chopped
- 10 ounce can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel is one brand name)
- 3 1/2 teaspoons of chili powder
- 3 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 2 teaspoons of onion powder
- 3 teaspoons of black pepper
- 2 teaspoons on ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons of smoky paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- Put the turkey into the inner liner of your Instant Pot. Set it to the browning cycle. Use a fork or spatula to break up the turkey as it cooks. Use a turkey baster to remove excess fat that cooks out. If you use 99% lean meat, as recommended, you will have very little fat to pull out of the pot.
- Add in all the remaining ingredients, stir.
- Close the lid and steam valve, as stated in the unit's instruction manual.
- Set the Instant Pot to the bean/chili mode, and press the "more" button to set the chili to run for a full forty minutes (to ensure the beans cook fully).
- When the timer chirps, release the steam. Remove the lid and stir the ingredients.
If you cannot find 99% fat-free ground turkey, you can substitute 93%. You will need to do a little more work in removing the fat, and the WW points are higher, if you are a Weight Watchers member. Check your tracker tool for the points for your specific plan.
Modifying Turkey Chili With White Beans
Don’t have an Instant Pot? No problem! You can still make this turkey chili recipe stove top or slow cooker.
Cooking White Bean and Turkey Chili in the Slow Cooker or on the Stove Top
Because you are pressure cooking, you skip soaking the Great Northern Beans. The immense pressure of your Instant Pot cooks them to a velvety, rich texture.
Therefore, cooking this chili in a slow cooker or on the stovetop means that you must first rinse and soak the Great Northerns overnight to soften up their exterior shell.
Then, you may proceed with the recipe, cooking over low, slow heat over six to eight hours.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Our family generally doubles, triples or quadruples the recipes we make for “planned-overs that last for several servings for each family member throughout the week. They use either the Instant pot or a large 8 quart stainless steel pot, stovetop.
Milder, Sweeter Turkey Chili
If you want a sweet, mild version of this chili, omit the cayenne pepper. Also, swap out the diced jalapeno pepper for a diced sweet bell pepper.
If you love peppers, try this quinoa stuffed bell pepper recipe. You can substitute the quinoa for rice if you don’t like quinoa. We love wild rice, and by wild rice or black wild rice from Amazon in 5 lb bags. This is the one we got last time because it was the least expensive price per ounce.
You can get also get it in just 8 oz sizes but for shipping economics, Amazon usually has it packaged in multiples. Check your per ounce price if wanting to save get the best price, but of course the more bulk you go the less it costs per ounce usually, but don’t assume. We’ve found some things bulk sizes that were priced more per ounce.
For Spicy Turkey
If you love spicy foods–the hotter, the better–then you may want to add an extra shake of cayenne pepper. Additionally, you can add a habanero pepper or pepper sauce along with the jalapeno.
I’m confident that this Instant Pot turkey chili with white beans will become a go-to meal for you once you taste it. In fact, if you don’t tell your family that this is a Weight Watchers chili, they will probably never know the difference!
And if you love white beans, check out our favorite Tuscan white beans soup. YUMMY!!