Turkey Black Bean Chili Recipe – Smoky, Spicy, and Seriously Healthy!
April 14, 2020
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“Turkey Black Bean Chili” – Doesn’t it just sound exciting? Well, it is – and it’s easy! Here’s a recipe for anyone who enjoys international, Creole, or even Mexican cuisine!
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It doesn’t seem fair, does it? Chicken and beef steal all the fame from turkey!
This delicious meat comes at a fair price, offers plenty of protein, minerals, and flavour, but it’s often the smallest part of the meat section in supermarkets.
There are many reasons to eat more of this pleasant poultry, and here’s my top recipe for turkey mince: Turkey Black Bean Chili! Take a classic meat, add a Latin / Creole staple bean, a few of the right spices and herbs, and it’ll be gone before you know it.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- The benefits of turkey mince (or “ground turkey”)
- A creole-inspired recipe for any meal of the day
- Serving suggestions
I started to enjoy turkey mince when I was looking for nutritious lean meats that were easy-to-cook, affordable, and – of course – delicious.
Already having a lot of fish, chicken seemed like the obvious option for something different. But that’s also a staple for curries in my house, so I took to turkey!
Ground Turkey Nutrition Info – Chicken’s Rival Lean Machine
Whilst we look to chicken for high-protein, low-fat meat, the truth is, turkey (and even pork) can be just as lean.
At the same time, all of these meats have fatty cuts! This goes to show that there is always plenty of variety available, no matter your health goals.
Is Lean Meat Always Healthier?
It’s not that low-fat is good! In fact, dietary fat is essential, including healthy saturated fats which actually protect our brain, heart, cells, bones, skin, “lipid cycles”, and pretty much any other organ.
A famous diet for many health benefits – including weight loss – is the ketogenic diet, which is very high in fat.
It all comes down to your personal genetics, health, goals, and lifestyle, but almost any balanced macronutrient split (providing adequate fat, protein, and carbohydrates) can work wonders for your health if you choose varied, whole foods!
But, a balanced diet, with lean and fatty foods is important. Lean meats are often preferred by certain athletes or those training to build muscle.
I’ve also covered the myths of saturated fatin previous posts, such as this one: Traditional Foods from England – 6 Healthiest Dishes!
So basically, if your health goals allow it, feel free to use any kind of ground turkey or turkey mince for this recipe. 🙂
The Nutrients and What They Mean – Ground Turkey Nutrition Info:
According to USDA data, 100g 7% fat turkey mince (which we use in this recipe) typically provides the following nutrition, raw:
- Calories: 150
- Protein: 18.7g
- Fat: 8.3g
- Carbohydrates: 0g
You may be thinking: “Hey, that’s over 7%”! And yes, it is.
On the other hand, look at most 7% fat ground turkey nutrition info when you’re at the supermarket, and you’ll see that it’s often lower than 7%, and protein may be even higher than the USDA’s figures!
Along with this, just 100g turkey is a considerable source of beneficial vitamins and minerals (^), including:
- Vitamin B2: 0.2mg (11%)
- Vitamin B3: 5.4mg (28%)
- Vitamin B6: 0.4mg (27%)
- Vitamin B12: 1.2mcg (50%)
- Iron: 1.2mg (15%)
- Zinc: 2.5mg (17%)
- Selenium: 18.9mcg (27%) (^)
Note: (RDI% based off of USDA figures, for reference only)
Overall, these vitamins and minerals support health in many ways. B-vitamins are vital for nerve health, metabolism, iron for hemoglobin production (and oxygen use), muscle function, anaemia prevention, zinc for tissue generation, cognitive function, skin health, and selenium for a potent immune-system boost.
Those are just a few examples. All of these nutrients are highly important and also play major roles in hormone production, aging prevention, and brain health.
Unfortunately, B12 and Iron are two of the most common deficiencies (and even Selenium in some countries).
Fortunately, eating some turkey now and again is a great way to get these 3 essential nutrients in!
Our 500g recipe provides 3 recommended servings, meaning roughly 167g turkey for each.
The Bonus Benefits of Black Beans!
First and foremost, legumes are amazingly nutritious.
Almost any bean you find will provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, carbohydrates, and plant-based protein.
Note: Properly prepared (soaked / fermented / sprouted) beans are tolerated well by most healthy people, though some may have intolerances. It’s just as with other food groups.
Onto black beans, and we have a legume known to:
- Boost heart health
- Support a healthy metabolism
- 12 adults with Metabolic Syndrome following a typical Western diet were studied (^). Inclusion of black beans (as a soup) effectively reduced insulin levels after meals, even more than after meals with the same fiber or antioxdiant levels. This shows that black beans exert multiple benefits on metabolism.
- Those with diabetes benefit from low-glycemic legumes like black beans. In fact, studies show that black beans – and other legumes – reduce the insulin-raising effects of high-carbohydrate meals such as rice (^)(^).
- Improve digestion
- One cup of cooked black beans (172g) provides 15g of fibre! That’s 60% of the USDA RDI, for reference. The fibre in black beans includes “insoluble” fibre to slow digestion and add bulk to stools, and resistant starch – which feeds friendly gut bacteria!
Being abundant in vitamin B9 also means they support the nervous system and its development, which is important at all ages.
Impressively, they’re low on the glycemic index (they don’t spike blood sugar levels much), are an excellent source of energy-boosting carbohydrates and some protein, and provide a high amount of fibre.
So, the other superstar of our turkey black bean chili recipe – black beans – truly make quite a spectacular addition!
Turkey Black Bean Chili Recipe – Let’s Get Cooking!
Turkey Black Bean Chili Recipe
- Chopping Board
- Sharp Knife
- Wooden Spoon
- Tin Opener
- 500 g Turkey Breast Mince lean (7%)
- 1 Tin Black Beans or 240g dried beans (after cooking)
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil extra virgin
- 1 large Onion
- 2 sticks Celery
- 2 medium Tomatoes
- 1 tin Chopped Tomatoes
- 400 ml Water (same volume as tin of chopped tomatoes)
- 1½ tsp Smoked Paprika
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 small – medium Chili Pepper hot variety (jalapeno or finger chillies recommended)
- 1½ tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Basil dried or 4-5 fresh leaves
- 1 tsp Oregano dried
- ½ tsp Thyme dried
Serving Suggestion (Optional)
- 2 medium Potatoes
- 20 g Natural Cheese pref. raw, unpasteurised, and organic (I used organic soft goats' cheese)
- 2-3 slices Round Courgette sliced into discs
- Using a sharp knife, dice the onion, celery stalks, and tomatoes, and finely mince the garlic cloves and chili pepper (thicker slices of pepper will be more mild).
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in the frying pan or wok, adding the onion, garlic, and pepper as soon as it is hot. Cook for 40-60 seconds, stirring constantly.
- Add in the celery and tomatoes, followed by any water to keep them cooking (as necessary). Cook for another 40-60 seconds, still stirring.
- Mix in the turkey mince and season with cumin and smoked paprika. Use a wooden spoon to break the mince up into small pieces, and slowly stir over medium heat for 3-5 minutes (until browned).
- Next, throw in the black beans (or just add them…), and pour the chopped tomatoes and water over the mixture. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer.
- Finally, add in the fresh or dried herbs and stir through. After a further 2-3 minutes, turn off the heat, let the flavours and aroma develop, and serve up!
Serving Suggestion (Optional)
- Wash the potatoes and courgette, and pat dry.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the courgette into 2-3 discs for garnishing. Carefully poke holes around each potato (3-4) and place in the microwave for 7-8 minutes, turning halfway through.
- Serve turkey black bean chili over potatoes, or top with potatoes along with the courgette and cheese.
Final Step (ONLY if You Like the Recipe)!
- Share the recipe. 🙂 (Okay, this one's not compulsory, but comes with a free imaginary high-five from me)!
Serving Suggestions – Healthy Ways to Enjoy!
There are countless possibilities when it comes to food pairings – and ones that work.
The following ideas complement the flavours of this turkey black bean chili, and are quick and easy to prepare.
That’s what we’ve got to work with so far! But we’re not stopping there…
Personally, I’m a massive fan of potatoes. Give me any kind and I’ll make it work – they’re almost like an alternative bread for me!
Think of shepherd’s pie, or a nice chili-loaded jacket potato, and it’s clear how these classic dishes make use of this humble root veg to make outstanding combinations.
Impressively, they’re also proven to be naturally filling.
That’s why I think the best way to have this meal is alongside baked (or microwaved) potatoes.
Don’t forget you can also go for sweet potatoes! (The added sweetness will also mitigate the spice).
This way, it’s a well-rounded meal, high in protein and carbohydrates, and still providing beneficial fats.
Plus, it’s perfect for the athletic or active type. I actually tailored this recipe to suit an active lifestyle – especially weightlifting, which is my main focus at the moment.
For a nice and refreshing bite, freshly sliced courgette or even cucumber is almost unbeatable!
Finally, I recommend sprinkling on a small pinch of your favourite natural cheese (preferably pasture-raised, grass-fed, and organic). Cheese works excellently with all sorts of herbs, and as a dairy product, creates a flavourful harmony for a spicy recipe like this one.
Sticking to the Creole theme of the recipe, goat’s cheese is an amazing umami-boost high in protein and fat.
What My Recommendation Comes down to:
- Turkey Black Bean Chili (1/3 recipe).
- 2 Medium or 1 Large Baked / Microwaved Potatoes.
- A Couple of Refreshing, Fresh Courgette (or Cucumber Slices).
- A Sprinkle of Natural Cheese.
Best Sides for Chili
Apart from potatoes, there are other classic side dishes which work well with any sort of chili.
Another traditional pairing is rice. Chili con carne, for example, is typically served over cooked (basmati) rice in most places. Furthermore, as a Mexican dish by origin, it’s also known to work well with chips, tortillas, or bread made from corn.
Since this recipe uses spices and herbs typical of Mexican cuisine, and even common ingredients, it’s almost a no-brainer that it will work with these as well!
However, for most people, it’s best to limit white rice consumption. As it is technically a refined grain, it could cause rapid blood sugar spikes – which over time are harmful.
That’s why I tend to recommend any sort of whole grain variety (brown, red, black, for example), which you can easily soak, sprout, or preferably ferment before cooking.
Read: Let’s Ferment Brown Rice! A Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Antinutrients
This removes “antinutrients”, which lets us enjoy this more nutrient-dense starchy grain with improved digestion, and less of a spike in blood sugar (and therefore insulin).
Since you’re still here, you’re probably a health nut like me… That’s why I know you’ll love this Turmeric Brown Rice recipe! You can see I served the chili with this rice in the recipe image above!
This is my favourite way to cook brown rice, and it always goes down well with the family. Although Indian-inspired, it pairs well with many types of meals.
Turmeric is an amazing spice we should all include in our diets. We’ve spoken about its power before, including how it’s anti-inflammatory, brain-boosting, and longevity-promoting – what’s not to love?
When It Comes Down to It…
You have to eat what you enjoy!
The best sides for chili definitely include the classics above, but nothing beats trying something new – so experiment!
Nonetheless, I hope these serving suggestions give you some inspiration with some delicious, fail-safe side dishes. 🙂
Thank you all for being such awesome readers! Remember to share this post and comment below: Let me know if you learned anything new, tried the recipe, or have any recipe suggestions! Your support truly makes all the difference.
Oh, and always have fun with your cooking! Enjoy.
Until next time, stay healthy
Frequently Asked Questions:
The benefit of dry black beans is that we can ferment them or sprout them, though as a minimum they should be soaked for at least 12 hours and boiled for 1-2 hours. Only used cooked beans when making chili – they should be the texture you want before adding them in, as the acidic tomatoes will prevent them from softening much further.
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