Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Quick Summary

This healthy Slow Cooker Turkey Chili is loaded with beans, veggies, and lean turkey. It’s the perfect meal for game day, a cold day, or any day! And the best part? The crockpot does most of the work. It’s such an easy and delicious recipe!

Turkey chili in a bowl with cornbread

Crockpot Turkey Chili

One of Josh’s favorite post-ski meals is his Slow Cooker Turkey Chili. He throws all of the ingredients into the slow cooker before he heads up the mountain and when he comes home he has a hot bowl of chili waiting for him. 

It’s the perfect meal for a cold day or really any day. It’s so easy to combine all of the ingredients in the slow cooker and let it simmer away all day. 

We also like making it for game days or busy weeknights. It always hits the spot…and it’s even better with our easy cornbread on the side. 

Healthy Turkey Chili

This chili recipe uses lean ground turkey, which is a healthier alternative to the typical beef or sausage chili. It also has black beans and red kidney beans. This chili is a protein powerhouse! 

And I promise the chili isn’t lacking any flavor because it also has onion, tomatoes, peppers, corn, and lots of spices. You get a well-rounded meal in one bowl. 

crockpot turkey chili

How to Make Turkey Chili

This is a REALLY simple recipe–you just have to brown the turkey, chop the onion and peppers, and toss everything into the slow cooker. 

We use a 6-quart slow cooker and it works perfectly! The chili simmers away in the slow cooker all day, making our house smell so cozy. Our boys are always excited when they smell turkey chili. They know it’s going to be a good dinner!

This Slow Cooker Turkey Chili is also a great weeknight meal for cold nights. Prepare the chili in the morning and let the slow cooker do the work. After a busy day, it is nice to have a hot meal waiting for you!

easy turkey chili recipe

Chili Toppings

What’s chili without toppings?! It’s the best part! Josh tops his with green onions and shredded cheddar cheese…yumm. Here are the toppings we’d suggest putting out!

  • Shredded cheese
  • Chopped green onions
  • Avocado or Guacamole
  • Cilantro
  • Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Jalapeño slices
  • Radishes

More Chili Recipes

turkey chili in bowl with toppings

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

This slow cooker turkey chili recipe is easy to make and healthy too! It is great for an easy weeknight dinner or for entertaining on game day!
4.8 from 44 votes

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded, stemmed, and chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 30 ounces tomato sauce
  • 30 ounces petite diced tomatoes
  • 30 ounces canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 30 ounces canned red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 16 ounce jar deli-sliced tamed jalapeno peppers, drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Optional toppings: green onions, shredded cheese, avocado, sour cream/Greek yogurt

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place turkey in the skillet, and cook until brown. Pour turkey into slow cooker.
  • Add the onion, peppers, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beans, jalapeños, corn, chili powder, and cumin. Stir and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cover and cook on High for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. Serve with toppings, if desired.

Notes

We use a 6 quart slow cooker.
You can use ground chicken or ground beef for this recipe. 

Nutrition

Calories: 321kcal, Carbohydrates: 47g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 34mg, Sodium: 923mg, Potassium: 1355mg, Fiber: 16g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 2238IU, Vitamin C: 60mg, Calcium: 131mg, Iron: 7mg
Keywords turkey chili

Have you tried this recipe?

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Photos updated by Growing Up Cali

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Maria

I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. Chili is the best! And turkey chili is my absolute favorite. I’m with you on the cold though- no thank you!

  2. Although I am in Florida and don’t really require “winter-y” meals, I need this in my face yesterday. I love easy, slow-cooker meals…especially when they involve the words turkey and chili! This looks perfect with a little side of cornbread. Yum!

  3. Great minds think alike – I have turkey chili defrosting for lunches this week and I love putting corn in mine!!

  4. As I get older, I do not like the cold one bit. Love to look at a picture of a fresh snowfall from a warm room. Love turkey chili. Thank you and have a great day.

  5. This chili looks delicious–wonderful photos!
    I’ve never heard of tamed jalapeño peppers. I must investigate and see if they are on the shelves.
    Thanks!

  6. Absolutely adore turkey chili!! Love that you can do everything in the crockpot and just set it and forget it! 🙂 gorgeous photos!

  7. Loving all the yummy warm slow cooker recipes today — they make the house smell so good!! This looks bright and fabulous, Maria 🙂

  8. We are a big chili family too! So easy for a great and flavorful weeknight meal. Of course yours looks amazing.

  9. It’s flipping freezing in Denver today, so I am thinking this turkey chili is the perfect way to warm up!

  10. This would be so perfect for a day like today. And with some cornbread on the side? YES.

  11. I don’t mind the cold so much if I’m able to hibernate in the house in my slippers. I’m more of a fall gal. This chili would sure make me happy in this cold weather we’re having. Yum!

  12. Will be making this for girls night on Wednesday. Need a dairy / ‘cleanse’ friendly recipe — can’t wait to try! Also, I assume this would be freezer friendly for any extras?

  13. Even though I am not a meat eater, those green onions look like a great idea for on top of a chili or even another type of soup!

    1. I was actually thinking that the turkey was not required. The recipe would be just as good without it.

  14. I am not a fan of winter but I love chili. This one looks fabulous and you cannot beat a slow cooker.

  15. This looks like a perfect way to warm up from the inside out! With these cold temps right now, I think we could all use a bowl or two!

  16. You can never have too many slower cooker chili recipes! This one has all of my favorite things, I can’t wait to test it out!

  17. It is so cold outside today. A big bowl of this chili would definatly improve my day!

  18. haha! My favorite season is always the season we’re NOT in. When it’s summer, I’m wishing for winter. When it’s winter, I’m wishing for summer. 🙂 But, in winter, I’m always in the mood for chili….so bring this one on! 🙂

  19. I was wondering the same about the beans – do they need to be drained? I didn’t drain them and my chili looks watery.

  20. Made this last night with cornbread muffins — absolutely delicious! The jalapenos added the perfect kick, and it smelled so good cooking all day. Great winter meal!

  21. The Chili looks amazing!! I don’t think we have deli sliced tamed jalapeno here in Québec…do you know what else I could use? Thanks!

  22. Looks delicious. Quick question — I have 2 young girls so was going to skip the jalapenos (but will add them to my bowl since I love them). Will that effect the overall flavor too much if I leave the jalapenos out?

  23. I made this recipe for a chili cookoff at work and won first place!! Great recipe-not as spicey as I expected with a jar of jalapeños! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  24. Hi Maria,
    I would love to make this chili this weekend. I don’t have a lot of experience cooking with a slow cooker but was wondering if this recipe could be halved? My slow cooker is 3.5 quartz.

    Thanks!

  25. Gonna give this chili a try. I’m not a big fan of jalapeno’s. Was wondering if diced green chili’s could be substituted.

  26. This chili was great! Next time I’m going to freeze half to save for a future meal because it filled the CrockPot to the brim almost. I did skip the jalepenos because we don’t like spicy food.

    One question though: It is the chili powder or the cumin that gave it a kick still?

  27. This recipe is a hit! We made it for a football group & they loved it. Just made a new batch for today’s game. Go Seahawks! I found the jalapeños in the pickle section (needed a bit of help to find). The photos are great on the site – thank you! Melanee

  28. Just put this into the crockpot! It barely all fit and I’m a little worried that it will not have enough liquid but we will see! Ill check back in in 4 hours 🙂

  29. Hi there!

    I made this once and it was amazing! Thank you! I have a smaller crockpot about 4 qt. How would you adjust the recipe for this size?

    Thanks!!

  30. Thanks for the recipe. We made this today with fresh homemade bread. It was perfect for a ‘sick’ day at home! Sharing it on my blog.

  31. Made this a couple of weeks ago (because I’m a serious chili lover). My husband said this was the best I’ve made yet (after 8 years of making chili for him)! Making it again today…my new go-to recipe!

  32. This is a great chili! The tamed jalapeños really make it. Fills the the pot to the top, so make sure you have a big crock pot.
    Love it and it is very easy to make! Really pretty as well!,

  33. I love this recipe and have used it 3 times in the last 6 weeks now, making slight changes each time.

    For those looking for the extra protein, just double up on the ground turkey (2 pounds).
    Also, I have been using fresh Serrano and Jalapeno peppers (6 and 2 respectively), in order to cut down on the added sodium of the pickled peppers and to increase the spiciness.

    Thank you guys! Keep up the good work 🙂

    Nathan
    http://www.stlbodycoach.com

  34. Great flavor in the chili. Love being able to sneak in all these veggies. Only modification I would make is to add tomato paste to thicken the chili, it was a little too thin and soup like for my taste.

  35. This looks delicious! I want to make tomorrow but work for 8 hours….would that be too long to cook for on low?

  36. This looks wonderful. I don’t have a slow cooker, but have been tempted to purchase. There are conflicting reports about how they cook. You obviously have great success with yours. Would you share the make and model?

  37. I made this last night–my mom and husband and I all really loved it. I just put 1 can each of the beans–good thing I did because my crockpot was full. I didn’t have the jalapeno’s that you recommended, so I just put in a heaping tablespoon of the jarred diced jalapenos. It was delicious! This recipe is a keeper–especially now, since in our area Laura’s Lean is $9.99/lb. yikes!

  38. I made this yesterday and all I can say is WOW!! My family loved it! Had it for supper last night and just had another bowl for lunch. I think it’s better today. Thanks for the great recipe.

  39. Made your turkey chili yesterday and it’s delicious. I used roasted green chilies instead of the jalapeños. This is definitely the best turkey chili I’ve made. Will be trying other recipes you’ve shared. We may not have winter cold and snow in Florida but still there’s nothing like coming in and being greater by the smell of dinner cooking.

  40. I’ve made this before and it’s delicious. I was wondering if it could also be made with leftover shredded Thanksgiving turkey breast instead of ground turkey?

  41. Just made this for probably the fourth time. Great recipe, and I’m always pleasantly surprised at how much it makes.

  42. I adore all your recipes!!  Not only do they look inviting to make and enjoy.  They are delicious and nutritious too.  

    Thanks for sharing.  Love all the varieties.

    Eva

  43. Way to hot for me. I had to add another can of tomatoes, serve with sour cream, garlic toast…anything I could do to cool it down

  44. Hi! I make this chili several times a year,  love it! Do you think I should double it for a dinner serving 12 people? Wondering your advice on good sides to go with it. Yum! 

  45. I love your recipe!! I make it all the time, with either beef or turkey. I cook the onion (with a little garlic) with the meat before adding it to the crockpot…delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  46. Thank you. I just made this and it’s delicious. And much healthier than my usual version. I’m thrilled. My husband and son loved it too. Thank you!!

  47. For some reason, none of the directions or ingredients are showing here. Did something change on the website? It was working yesterday…

  48. 5 stars
    I make this ALL. THE. TIME. It’s so easy and so delicious. It’s a perfect meal to have leftovers for a couple of days (and ones you look forward to!) Definitely a go-to in our household 🙂

  49. 5 stars
    We make this recipe all the time! Just prepped another batch to turn on tomorrow morning. Planning on using it for lunches. So easy and tasty! Instead of 2 cans of diced tomatoes and jalepenos, I started using 3 cans (because they are slightly smaller) of Rotel. I call it my 9-can chili, but I always credit you haha.

  50. Super easy, super tasty. I only added about a cup of broth only because I knew it would be in the crockpot longer than stated time.

  51. 5 stars
    This was sooo good and really easy to make! I added half a teaspoon of cinnamon, which gave it an even heartier flavour. Will dream of eating this at work!

  52. 5 stars
    I made this chili last night. My crock pot was about to overflow so I left out one of the cans of beans. It still tasted wonderful and was a huge hit with the hubby!! Thanks for sharing.

  53. 5 stars
    Add extra tbsp cumin
    Add extra tbsp chilli 
    Add 3/4 cup of lime juice
    Double turkey
    Add 2x tbsp smoked paprika 
    Add 1 tsp cinnamon 
    Salt to taste

    Sooooooooooo good. Freezes so well

  54. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe several times and it is a hit! I’ve had friends and family tell me it’s the best chili they’ve ever had, and of course I feel the same! I only make a few adjustments. I don’t add jalepeño because I can’t handle spicy food. I also add garlic, garlic salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. I use all of the recommended toppings and I serve with French bread. Thank you so much for this recipe!!

  55. I need to make this! It looks good!
    Have you tried using pinto beans in place of the kidney beans? That’s all we ever put in our chili. 

  56. 5 stars
    So easy and so delicious   I love stronger  flavor so made your recipe with twice the amount of chili , a whole head of garlic and the very largest Spanish onion I could find.   Also used Vegeta seasoning  (replacing some of the salt ).   You may not want to use Vegeta as it has some MSG, but it makes everything (soups, sauces, salads, fish, meat etc-Anything one might put salt on) taste incredible.  

  57. 4 stars
    Great recipe BUT as I have a smaller crock pot I cut down the chilli and jalapenos by half & halved the beans and sauce too. Still used 500 grams of turkey though…delicious. New quick to prep family fave!

  58. 4 stars
    This was so delicious and flavorful. I used half the amount of jalapenos and it still had that hint of Chilli Heat. Recipe with so simple and quick to put together.

  59. 5 stars
    How would I convert this recipe to the Instant Pot?? I make this at least a half a dozen times every fall/winter and want to use my IP this fall since I don’t have a crockpot anymore. Thanks! 

    1. Not sure if you’ve found an answer to this or not but I sauté the meat in the instant pot with minced garlic and onion, then add everything else. Once you’ve added everything to the instant pot, I found a post online that you set the pot to the Bean/Chili setting and set time to 20 minutes. We did not do the quick release and it turned out great! Hope this helps.

  60. I am doubling this recipe and there’s no way I will be able to fit the total amount in my slow cooker. do you think I will get the same results by cooking this in a giant pot on the stove?

  61. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! Been making it for awhile now. I now have some health issues and need to count carbs. Do you happen to know the serving size and carb amount? 

    1. Tamara, you can see my comment below. I doubled the turkey and halved the beans. It ended up being 320 cal and 34 carbs, which is low-carb, according to my dietitian.

  62. 5 stars
    This recipe was great and super easy! I ended up using 1 can of black beans instead of two and replaced the corn with cauliflower rice to make it even more healthy and add some more substance. I also used a bit less jalepenos.. i barely put any salt and pepper in bc I wanted to wait and see if it really need it at the end and it didn’t. Def holding on to this recipe!!!

  63. 5 stars
    Very easy to make. I halved the can of beans since I have a smaller slow cooker. Even my boyfriend who was doubtful that he would like this recipe, ended up loving it. 

  64. 5 stars
    I made this today, with a couple adjustments to fit my dietitian’s guidelines for me. I doubled the turkey and used one can of dark red kidney beans and one can of pinto beans. I used “no salt added” tomato products and added one small can of tomato paste. IT WAS DELICIOUS. I have never eaten a bowl of chili so fast in my life! I am single and this certainly did fill the 6 quart slow cooker, so now I have 8 servings for later eating. Based on my ingredients, each serving is 320 cal, 34g carbs, 9g fat, 27g protein, 1000mg sodium, and 6.2g fiber. That does not include the shredded cheese and sour cream I added.

    1. Whoops. Neglected to mention that I omitted the corn, which would bump those carbs up. Didn’t use any salt or pepper and didn’t miss either of them! 🙂

  65. 1. What are “tamed jalapeno peppers”?
    2. Are the above jalapenos marinated or pickled?
    3. Are fresh sliced jalapenos acceptable replacements? If so, quantity?
    Thanks!

  66. 5 stars
    This recipe is fantastic!! And so easy! I accidentally grabbed medium jalapeños instead of mild so it had a bit of a kick lol. We will definitely be making this again!

  67. This was unbelievably good. The ultimate combination of sweet and spicy! This is on my favorites list for sure. The only thing is that I would consider making a pound and 1/2 of turkey. If you’re a beef lover, trust me, you won’t know you’re eating turkey with this recipe!

  68. 5 stars
    Very tasty chili – I doubled the recipe for a crowd of about 20, and added a couple tablespoons of cocoa (An idea from another recipe). The lean turkey chili was so popular that it was all gone before we knew it! Lots of praise was received.

  69. 5 stars
    I have been making this recipe for years. It’s my favorite thing to make on rainy or snowy days! I have a smaller crock pot so I halve the recipe and freeze the unused veggies/meat for another day. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  70. 5 stars
    Has always been my go to! But now in an instant pot world, any idea on how long in the instant pot? Think I can throw it all in there?! Thanks in advance!

  71. 5 stars
    Delicious chili recipe! The tamed jalapenos were sold out at the store so I subbed in mild diced green chilies. It turned out well and we will be well fed for at least a week! I’ve never had my crockpot that full :-).

  72. Do you have the nutritional values for this recipe? In particular – calories, fat, carbs, and protein. Thank you! 🙂

  73. 5 stars
    This has been my go to chili recipe for a while. Suggest chopping up the jalapeños. Makes a huge batch and love to have leftovers to freeze.

  74. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipee. I always have it frozen in portion for two. I serve it over white rice. Merci

  75. 2 stars
    Those with sensitive stomach beware on this recipe: the amount of jalapeños in this left me in excruciating pain. I’ve eaten spicey foods before, but apparently nothing to this degree. If you have a sensitive stomach, cut the jalapeños to 4oz or none at all.

  76. 5 stars
    Love…Love this recipe. Have made this chili numerous times and my family looks forward to chili night. Makes a huge pot for additional recipes during the week or small individual serving to freeze.

  77. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness! My 4 kids who are the pickiest eaters LOVED this so much!!
    I loved it as well and the jury is still out with my husbands response !! I’ll be bringing this to our friends this weekend. Thanks !

  78. I’ve made this chili the last 8 times and just love it! I have added 2.5 lbs of ground Turkey instead of 1 lb, and have also used ground chicken. When I add more meat, I only use one can of black beans. I love chopping a zucchini and adding it as well. If I cook it in my Instantpot, the tomatoes and tomato sauce are added last and sit on top of the other ingredients Do Not Stir! It will burn. I also add 1 cup of chicken broth to the Instantpot recipe. So easy and delicious!

    1. Cheryl, I’m interested in making this in my 6 quart instant pot. Do you use the same size? What modifications do you make to the recipe, and are you cooking on a slow cooker or pressure setting, and for how long? I’m a beginner instant pot user and would love to make this chili. My friend made this recipe in his slow cooker; it was fantastic!

    1. See the info at the bottom of our recipes. Most have the info, unless it is an older recipe. We are working on updating them all.

  79. 4 stars
    Chilli tastes amazing, omitted the jalapenos. It was quick and very easy. I only took off a star because I couldn’t find the nutritional content….I count my calories. Other than that it’s a great dish.

  80. 5 stars
    This was my first time making Turkey chili – it was a request from my wife for her Birthday. I modified the recipe just a bit (e.g. used Onion Powder vs. Onion, did not include Jalapeños, etc). The result was outstanding!! My wife enjoyed her special meal and I have now been delegated responsibility for future Turkey chili meals.

    Additionally, I accompanied the chili with Corn Muffins (Jiffy 8.5 oz box).

  81. 5 stars
    I like it. Ground turkey is so much less “grainy” than beef. I just add un poco coriander. And I cook dry beans in an instapot first so the beans are never tough and it’s as fast as using canned.

  82. Been making it for a few years now it’s great… I read some reviews where it’s too hot are you sure you are using the tamed jalapeños (not hot at all)… i use 4 to 5 shots of tabasco hot sauce to kick it up a little

    1. Hi,
      I find it interesting that there are numerous comments asking for the nutrition information but no replies. I made this today and added all the calories from the listed recipe and its a whopping 3,740 total calories. That’s before any cheese or avocado. I made it with lean ground beef but that isn’t much more than turkey in calories. In viewing before cooking, seems very thick and maybe one less can of beans would have been ideal. As is, if this is 8-10 servings, probably 370-470 per serving.

    2. I updated the recipe to include the nutritional info. This is an older recipe and we are trying to update all of our recipes to have the nutritional info, but we have thousands to get to:) I based it on 10 servings. Note-I am not a dietitian, so it is just a rough estimate, but seems close to your calculations. Thanks for sharing.

    3. I updated the recipe to include the nutrition info! Note, I am not a registered dietitian. I use an online calculator.

  83. 5 stars
    This has been a family favorite of ours for years! My kids request it all winter long. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe.

  84. 5 stars
    Fantastic chilli recipe!
    I used some pickled jalapenos the first time round and it was super great! This time I’ve decided to kick it up a notch and try scotch bonnet peppers instead for a REAL kick.
    Hopefully it turns out just as good!

  85. Recipe says 322kCal. Does this mean calories per serving? Also, what is 1 serving? Thanks

  86. 5 stars
    Has amazing flavor! I topped mine with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and saltine crackers 🙂

  87. I’ve made this recipe before and loved it. It made too much for me so Im going to half the recipe. Is there a way to make this on a stovetop? Do you have any directions for that?