Ground Turkey Chili with Green Olives

Ground Turkey Chili with Green Olives (Serves 6)

The reason many people become fatter eating no-fat and low-fat foods is that they feel hungry again very quickly after eating and so eat more. Meals must include adequate fat to keep us satisfied. Ground beef is available with fat content that varies from 8 to 30 percent. Ground turkey is often available in two varieties – turkey breast that is 1 percent fat and the whole bird variety that is 7 percent fat. Fat content is important to flavor and moisture, so leaner meat is not necessarily better meat. I used one pound of breast meat and one pound of the whole bird in this recipe for a ground turkey mixture that was 4 percent fat. I liked what I got so much that I may never experiment with anything else. I added green olives to boost the good fat delivered by this meal. I was initially skeptical of ground turkey chili, assuming it could not taste as good as a chili based upon beef. I was wrong. This ground turkey chili is outstanding. I ate it over stir-fried Persian cucumbers at first and then over raw Persian cucumbers. You can substitute any vegetable you like.

Prep and cook time: 45-50 minutes

Ingredient list:

1 pound of ground turkey breast
1 pound of ground turkey (white and dark meat)
2 sweet yellow onions
1 can of green olives
1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
Persian cucumbers or bok choy or squash and zucchini
Low sodium chicken or beef broth (Imagine Organic includes no sugar or soy)
Coconut oil
Chili powder
Ground cumin
Unsweetened cocoa
Dried oregano
Garlic powder
Black pepper


Chop onion into bite-sized pieces. Add one to two tablespoons of coconut oil to pressure cooker over medium heat. Add onions and let cook until soft, stirring occasionally. Add turkey to pressure cooker. Stir with a wood spoon or spatula until browned evenly.

Mix spices in a small bowl – 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, 2 tablespoons of chili powder, 2 tablespoons of ground cumin, 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa, 1 tablespoon of dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of allspice, 2 teaspoons of salt. Add spices to the pot and mix everything well. My spice strategy is based upon Melissa Joulwan’s chili recipe, but adjusted for my taste.

Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, olives, and 1/2 cup of chicken (or beef) broth. Stir everything together well. Lock top on pressure cooker. Increase heat to high. After achieving high pressure, reduce heat to the lowest level consistent with maintaining high pressure. Cook under high pressure for 30 minutes. Turn off heat, allow pressure to come down naturally, remove top.

While chili is cooking, chop vegetables of your choice into bite-sized pieces. Add one to two tablespoons of coconut oil to a wok over medium heat. Add vegetables, and salt, garlic powder, and black pepper to taste. Stir ingredients well, cover, and let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of water to the wok if vegetables become too dry. When everything is done, arrange a bed of vegetables on a plate, ladle chili over the vegetables, and eat!

Note: You can make this meal in a Dutch oven instead of a pressure cooker by bringing mixture to a boil after all ingredients are mixed together, then covering the pot and simmering over a low temperature for two hours. You would need to add at least one more cup of chicken or beef broth and maybe more to sustain cooking for two hours without drying things out too much. Rather than dragging things out so long, I advise getting a pressure cooker. The more experience I gain with a pressure cooker, the more I prefer cooking with it.

I own a Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Top Pressure Cooker 7.4-Quart that I ordered from After reading a bunch of pressure cooker reviews, I decided to spend a little extra to get the one the New York Times described as the Mercedes-Benz of pressure cookers. I’m glad I did. Kuhn Rikon is a Swiss company. Pressure cookers are so popular in Switzerland that the average household has three! I have not purchased a second one yet, but could use one to prepare vegetables separately while longer cooking meat dishes are in their final minutes.

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2 Responses to “Ground Turkey Chili with Green Olives”

  1. Great recipe Tom! Recently started my 2nd Whole 30, and as before, your recipes are keeping me alive. Just wanted to thank you again, and encourage you to keep up the great work!

  2. Tom Denham says:

    Thanks Luke. It’s great to see hear from you again!


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