RECIPE: Sweet and Smoky Turkey Chili, Cincinnati style

Sweet and Smoky Turkey Chili: Cincinnati Style
FOX19 photo.
FOX19 photo.

(FOX19) - You know and love it, but you may not love the calories that come along with Cincinnati's famous chili.

Chef Meg Galvin of HumanaVitality visited the FOX19 Weekend Morning News Saturday to show us a more "healthy" version of the Queen City's favorite meal.


This chili recipe uses spaghetti squash in place of pasta to put a healthy spin on Cincinnati Chili. For an alternative, you can serve with whole wheat pasta, over a salad of chopped dark mixed greens or baked sweet potato, or in a whole wheat wrap with additional grilled vegetables.


  • 1 lb ground turkey breast (99% fat free)
  • 2 tbs cumin
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs smoked paprika
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbs chipotle in adobo- minced (optional)
  • 1 tbs no sodium grill rub
  • 1 medium onion – diced
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 2 cups chopped veggies (red/orange/yellow peppers, carrots, celery, etc.)
  • ½ can beer (rest for the cook) -can sub with chicken broth
  • 1 cup  low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 small can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbs BBQ sauce
  • 1 can beans of choice – drained, rinsed and mashed (black, dark pinto, light red pinto, etc.)
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Greek yogurt and fresh cilantro to garnish
  • ½ cup of orange juice


  1. Heat large soup pot over medium high heat and spray with non-stick spray.
  2. Add turkey and spices (cumin through grill seasoning) and cook for 6-8 minutes or until turkey is browned.
  3. Add onion, garlic and vegetables and continue cooking 6-8 more minutes until veggies are tender and turkey is starting to get really brown. (Don't be afraid to walk away from the pot. We want the meat to caramelize and turn very brown – almost like it's burning.)
  4. Add beer and orange juice to deglaze the pan and scrape up brown bits on bottom of pan using a wooden spoon.
  5. Stir in chicken stock, tomatoes, bbq sauce and bring to a boil.
  6. Add rinsed, mashed beans and corn.
  7. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as necessary.
  8. Simmer for 20 minutes or longer and garnish to serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and chopped fresh cilantro. Tastes even better the next day.

Nutritional Facts: (Serving 4)

Calories 317; Total fat 2.9 g; Saturated fat.7 g; Cholesterol 55 g; Sodium 522 mg; Fiber 9 g

For more healthy recipes, visit For more information about the HumanaVitality program, visit

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