This Slow Cooker Turkey Chili is a family favorite that’s full of flavor with almost no effort! Simmer this lean ground turkey for hours in the Crockpot with beans, corn, tomatoes, and a simple chili seasoning blend for a delicious comforting dinner.
Growing up, my mom was always trying to stretch ingredients. Chili was a super easy way to make canned beans, corn, meat, and a few spices into an amazing dinner we could eat for days! I made her recipe even easier with this Slow Cooker Turkey Chili your family will love!
This chili takes a few hours to simmer. Luckily, your Crockpot will do all the work while you wait. I recommend munching on chips and salsa while the delicious smells of turkey chili fill your kitchen — it helps.
Make this recipe for turkey chili even easier with a handy dandy slow cooker liner! They’re perfectly heat-safe and save so much scrubbing when it’s time to clean up.
Looking for a vegetarian recipe? Try my Butternut Squash Chili!
Why You’ll Love this Turkey Chili
I’ve always loved a good chili, and this is one of the easiest recipes I’ve got. Here are a few more reasons why you’ll love this recipe too:
- It’s hearty and healthy, too! It’s packed with beans, corn, and lean turkey for less calories than beef chili but still just as flavorful. No need for side dishes with this super filling weeknight dinner!
- Simple ingredients. There’s no 20-spice blend or produce drawer worth of ingredients in this chili. Keep it simple and let your ingredients shine!
- Perfect for meal prep. This recipe makes 6 hearty servings of turkey chili. It’s perfect for a week of lunches. Or, freeze the leftovers for up to 3 months!
Key Ingredients for Turkey Chili
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Lean Ground Turkey: I’ve always loved turkey sandwiches, so why not swap lots of proteins for lean and healthy turkey? Covered in all the sauce and seasonings, you can barely taste the difference. Take it to your next game day gathering and see who notices!
- Chili Seasoning Blend: Everyone has a chili seasoning secret. But not me! I love mixing chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper for a smokey blend. I also prefer minced garlic and sautéed onions in my chili, but garlic powder and onion powder work in a pinch, too!
- Tomatoes: Double the tomatoes, double the savory flavor! I use tomato sauce to make my slow cooker turkey chili super creamy. I also add diced tomatoes for a little extra chunkiness.
- Beans: I use equal parts of black beans and red kidney beans for a protein-packed turkey chili! You can use dry or canned, but I always use canned because it’s just so fast.
How to Make Turkey Chili in the Crockpot
Follow these steps for the heartiest slow cooker turkey chili everyone will love:
- Brown the turkey: First, sauté the ground turkey in a little oil until it starts getting brown and crunchy (if your slow cooker has the saute function, then that’s perfect! If not, just use a skillet). Then, add the onion and cook for a couple minutes before adding the garlic, too.
- Transfer it to the slow cooker: Next, move the ground turkey mixture to the Crockpot (this is the Crockpot that I own and love!). Season it all with the chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Finish it off: Now, add the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, black beans, kidney beans, and corn. Stir it all up, and cook covered for a few hours.
Toppings are maybe the best part of chili! I like to add green onions, a little cheese, and some avocado slices to mine, but sour cream and Greek yogurt are also crowd favorites.
Tips and Tricks
Chili is my favorite soup no matter the weather. Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way:
- Taste as it cooks. The beauty of a slow simmered chili is all the flavors meld more and more over time. To make sure your chili with turkey is perfect every time, taste every few hours and add seasonings as needed.
- Make it on the stovetop. Out of time? Throw everything in a Dutch oven and make this a super easy one-pot meal! Let it simmer covered for at least an hour before serving.
- Meal prep your leftovers. I put all my leftovers in single serve containers so they’re easy to grab for lunch or thaw right out of the freezer. Change up your toppings for a different meal every day this week!
- Try meatballs. I have a great turkey meatball recipe that you can try, and add to this chili instead of just ground turkey!
Can You Substitute Turkey for Beef in Chili?
Absolutely you can!
When it comes to chili, almost anything goes. Texas only uses beef for their chili recipes, some people love a white chili with shredded chicken, or you can ditch the meat entirely and make a totally vegan chili!
When in doubt, use your favorite protein. It’s a great way to take budget-friendly ground meat and turn it into an amazingly flavorful and tender dish.
Do You Have To Cook Meat Before Putting It in the Crockpot?
When it comes to slow cooking, a Crockpot can do almost everything — everything but brown ground turkey, that is.
When you’re making this slow cooker chili with turkey, be sure to brown the meat before adding it to the Crockpot. While a slow cooker will cook ground meat, it gets a strange texture and none of that caramelized crunchiness like browned meat.
While I’ll put raw chicken or pork in a Crockpot, I always brown any ground meat first!
Can You Slow Cook Chili Too Long?
I love slow cooker recipes because they’re almost impossible to mess up. Throw everything in a pot before work and POOF instant dinner made when I get home!
I usually cook this Crockpot turkey chili for about 4 hours on high or about 8 hours on low. If you go an hour or so over, that’s ok! If you’re home, be sure to stir it every few hours to keep everything from sticking.
However, you technically can overcook chili in the slow cooker. Eventually, the beans will turn to mush and the tomatoes will liquify into sauce. If you don’t mind a creamy chili with no chunks, no problem!
I don’t recommend cooking this recipe for turkey chili for more than 10 hours on low or 5 hours on high. Honestly, it doesn’t need to be cooked for long either, it just depends on your schedule and how long do you want to cook it for.
Store the leftovers in the fridge covered for up to days. Or freeze for up to 3 months.
Other Slow Cooker Recipes I Love
- Crockpot Butter Chicken
- Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli
- Crispy Carnitas in a Slow Cooker
- Crockpot Shredded Chicken
- Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb (450g) ground turkey 98% lean
- 1 medium yellow onion finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 14.5-oz can tomato sauce
- 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken broth/stock
- 1 15-oz can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 15-oz can red kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 1 cup corn frozen or canned
- In a skillet over medium heat, heat oil and add ground turkey and cook stirring occasionally until the turkey starts to brown. Add the diced onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic, and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
- Add the ground turkey and onion to the slow cooker, and season with chilli powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chicken broth/stock, black beans, kidney beans, and corn. Give everything a good stir, cover with the lid and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
- Serve with toppings: green onions, avocado, shredded cheese, and sour cream or Greek yogurt.
- You can substitute fresh garlic and onion with garlic and onion powder.
- Make it on the stovetop. Throw everything in a Dutch oven and let it simmer covered for at least an hour before serving.
- I don’t recommend cooking this recipe for turkey chili for more than 10 hours on low or 5 hours on high.
- Store the leftovers in the fridge covered for up to days. Or freeze for up to 3 months.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen