Turkey Black Bean Zucchini Chili


By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.

When you are busy working and managing your kids, you need a quick and easy dinner for a family on the go. Here’s an easy recipe that can be made on the stove top or in a crock pot. It can be cooked in 30 minutes or simmered all day while you are at work.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:  235 calories, 17 grams protein, 3 grams of fat,  42 grams of CHO,  11 grams dietary fiber,  1599 mg sodium.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes  Cook Time:  30 minutes

Slow Cooker Time: 7 to 8 hours on low, or 4 to 5 hours on high.

Serves: 8


  • 1/2  pound ground turkey, extra lean ground beef, or ground bison
  • 2 – 14.5 ounce chili or fired roasted tomatoes
  • 2 – 15.5-ounce black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 medium zucchinis (about 1-pound) diced
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 6-oz tomato paste
  • 1 16 oz bag of frozen corn
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or ½  tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Optional: a dollop of Reduced fat sour cream, cut-up avocado and chopped fresh cilantro before serving


Brown meat in a 6-quart sauce pan. Then add tomatoes, beans, zucchini, onions, tomato paste, frozen corn, garlic, chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper.  Cover and cook over medium until the vegetables are cooked tender about 20 – 30 minutes.


Optional: You can make this a slow cooker meal. Put all the ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Make sure the meat is cooked thoroughly and the vegetables are tender.


Shopping List

  • ½ pounds ground turkey, extra lean ground beef, or ground bison
  • 2 – 14.5 ounce diced tomatoes
  • 2 – 15.5-ounce black beans
  • 3 medium zucchini (about 1-pound)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 16-oz frozen corn
  • 2 cloves garlic or dried minced garlic
  • chili powder
  • dried oregano

Image from: http://www.sweetsavorylove.com/2011/10/turkey-chili-with-zucchini/


Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N., is a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition.  The former publisher of Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine, Kentuckiana Healthy Woman magazine and radio show host of Health News You Can Use, Barbara has over 30 years of experience in promoting healthy lifestyles to consumers.  Barbara worked as Nutrition Consultant to the Navy SEALs (8 years) and the University of Louisville Athletic Department (10 years). Barbara has private practice, DayByDay Nutrition, www.DayByDayNutrition.com, where she counsels clients on weight loss, cholesterol management, performance nutrition and an array of other medical issues.  Visit Barbara’s new website which is an on-line health & wellness magazine, www.KentuckianaHealthWellness.com. Barbara writes nutrition and health columns for www.LiveStrong.com as well as a weekly nutrition column for the Southeast Outlook. She also designs and presents employee wellness programs to small and large businesses. Barbara is a runner, cyclist, hiker and a mother and grandmother to 13 grandchildren.    


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