Turkey Chili

turkey chili

This recipe was created by Dr. Joseph McPhee, author of a cookbook specifically designed for bariatric surgery patients.

In most of my discussions with my patients on how to transition from the soft puree diet to sampling food with more consistency, I recommend a good homemade chili. Cooked right, it just melts in your mouth.

Ground beef is a bit hard to take early in your recovery so the turkey makes a healthy substitute. My kids can't tell the difference. Make a big batch of this on a Sunday and put some away for meals throughout the week. It’s easy to heat up.


  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup yellow corn
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 can red or kidney beans (15.5 ounce)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Main Protein Source:
Ground Turkey (3 ounces) = 23 grams
Kidney Beans (1 cup) = 16 grams


Add some olive oil to a medium soup pot and over medium heat cook the onions, garlic, corn, and bell pepper for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, separately brown the turkey meat, drain, and set aside. In a food processor blend together the vegetables and return to the soup pot. Under low heat, add the beans, tomatoes, turkey meat, cilantro, cumin, and chili powder. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Now the most important part: give it a taste. Add your salt and pepper, maybe some more chili powder for more of a kick, maybe a bit more fresh cilantro. If you’re well into your recovery, serve over a ripped piece of whole grain roll and allow the juices to soak in. If just finishing your soft puree stage enjoy straight up.

Makes 4-5 servings.

author name

Joseph R. McPhee, MD

Joseph R. McPhee, MD, is a physician specializing in bariatric surgery with Healthy Weight Management & Bariatric Surgery.

Education: A graduate of New York University and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Dr. McPhee completed a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School and his residency at North Shore University Hospital.

Call: 717-544-2935

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


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