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Healthy family recipe: Mediterranean turkey and kale chili

If you're in the mood for a lighter chili, this Mediterranean version fits the bill.

Courtesy of Anna Nguyen

If you're in the mood for a lighter chili, this Mediterranean version fits the bill.  Using lean ground turkey and produce like carrots, mushrooms, and tomatoes, it gives you a one-pot meal that is filling, but not heavy. Bold spices such as cumin and smoked paprika add a rich depth of flavor, and add more chili flakes if you enjoy the heat!

Although this recipe uses garbanzo beans only, feel free to use any legume you like. I like to eat this chili with toasted slices of baguette that has been dipped in extra virgin olive oil with minced garlic and a touch of salt. Enjoy!

Mediterranean turkey and kale chili

Servings: 8

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes


  1. 1 tbsp olive oil

  2. 3-5 garlic cloves, minced

  3. 1 small yellow onion or ½ of a large yellow onion, diced

  4. 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced

  5. 1 green bell pepper, diced

  6. 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced

  7. 3 cups kale, chopped

  8. 1 lb. ground turkey

  9. 1 28 oz can tomatoes, diced

  10. 1 15.5 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  11. 2 tsp smoked paprika

  12. 1 tsp ground cumin

  13. 1 tsp dried oregano or 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

  14. 1 tsp dried thyme or 1 tbsp fresh thyme

  15. 1 tsp dried basil or 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

  16. ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

  17. 1 tsp salt

  18. ½ tsp ground black pepper


1. Wash and prep the vegetables. When cleaning mushrooms, use a wet paper towel and wipe away any dirt.

2. In a medium to large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to ripple, add the diced onion, carrot, bell pepper, sliced mushrooms, and salt. Sweat for 5 minutes and stir occasionally.

3. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

4. Add the chopped kale and cook until wilted.

5. Add the ground turkey and spices. Break up the ground turkey to avoid chunks and to evenly disperse the spices. Continue cooking until the turkey is done and reaches 165°F.

6. Add the diced tomatoes with its juices, chickpeas, and herbs.

7. Cook for 30 minutes, covered. If the chili begins to look dry, add 1 cup of chicken or vegetable stock. For a thicker consistency, smash a few of the chickpeas.

Cuadros, a Drexel University student majoring in nutrition, is interning with the Healthy Weight Program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.