Turkey Taco Soup

So much deliciousness in a bowl of this turkey taco soup. And so much nutrition too!

Some of the information in this post came from a conference in which both Bush Brothers and Company and The National Turkey Federation sponsored sessions. I was not asked to write this post. And as usual, these are my opinions based on scientific information and my many years of experience working with patients and cooking up a storm in my own kitchen.

Healthy freezer meal

Taco Soup: a Healthy Freezer Meal

There’s no denying the benefits of a plant-rich diet, but so many of my patients are hesitant to eat beans and lentils because of their carbohydrate content. I want even my patients with diabetes and prediabetes to eat plenty of beans. Beans have resistant starch, which has blood sugar benefits. See my previous post that includes a list of foods rich in resistant starch. Plus they have so much more – like vitamins, protein, minerals, viscous fibers and a host of health-boosting phytonutrients.

Something that I found very interesting at my recent conference was research presented by John L. Sievenpiper, MD, PhD, FRCPC of the University of Toronto. He showed that consuming beans and lentils (as part of a wholesome diet) improves blood sugar, cholesterol levels, blood pressure and even body weight. Most interesting to me was this statistic: As part of a healthful diet reduced in glycemic index, beans and lentils can lower blood sugar (as measured by A1C, an estimate of 3-month blood sugar control) as well as some diabetes medications. This is not a reason to stop your medications, but it’s a terrific reason to eat more beans, peas and lentils.

You don’t need to give up meat to benefit from a plant-rich diet. And this simple recipe is a great excuse to combine the two. In general, turkey is a wonderful meat to highlight strong flavors, and lean ground turkey works beautifully in this soup with strong taco flavors.

This recipe freezes well too. I’ve made it with my daughter Erin, so she could have it on busy school nights.

Feel free to take liberties. If you have black beans in your pantry, use them instead of pinto beans. Swap out vegetable broth for the chicken broth. And have fun with the toppings. We enjoyed fresh diced tomatoes and avocado with nonfat plain Greek yogurt and a sprinkling of cilantro. We even crunched up a few baked pita chips.

This delicious Curried Chicken and Chickpea Stew  is another favorite recipe combining beans and poultry that I created for Erin when she needed more freezer meals.

Check out this diabetes-friendly, healthy freezer meal: Turkey Taco Soup.Click To Tweet


Turkey Taco Soup

Quick to prepare. Freeze the leftovers for another day.
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Course: Main Dish Soup, Soup
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 38 minutes
Total Time: 53 minutes
Calories: 150kcal
Author: Jill Weisenberger MS, RDN, CDE, FAND


  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no salt added tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth


  • In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the meat and soften the bell pepper and onions, about 7 minutes..
  • Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper. Stir. Add the beans, tomatoes, and broth. Stir.
  • Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer about 30 minutes.
  • Garnish each serving as desired with 1 tablespoon nonfat Greek yogurt, chopped cilantro, etc.


Serving: 11/3 cups | Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 525mg | Fiber: 4g
Healthy freezer meal

The meat is browned and most of the ingredients are in the pot


Jill Weisenberger

Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND, is a Nutrition, Culinary & Diabetes Expert, Wellcoach®-certified health and wellness coach, Freelance Writer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's also the author of four books, including a best-seller. She's a nationally-recognized media expert in high demand for print and online interviews, as well as corporate and one-on-one nutritional counseling. Jill's philosophy is that nutrition science should be understandable, realistic and oh so delicious.

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  1. Deb Indorato on November 10, 2015 at 2:23 am

    What a great recipe with so many options to customize to your liking. I’m going to make a large batch and freeze. This might be a great dish when our guests come to watch the lighted holiday boat parade.

    • Jill Weisenberger on December 28, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      I do the same!

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Like most of my patients and clients, I lead a busy life. You probably do too. Fortunately, you don’t need weeks, days or even hours to start living better and healthier. This blog offers timesaving strategies and bite-sized nutrition and health information. Come by often for tips and inspiration to healthy living – no matter how busy you are. I am a registered dietitian nutritionist offering credible, practical nutrition advice to keep busy people healthy. Yes indeed, we can be both busy and healthy.

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