This Slow Cooker Turkey Chili is the most healthy, flavourful chili you'll ever make! It's filled with beans, veggies and ground turkey, then loaded up with toppings. You won't miss the beef!
How to make turkey chili in the crockpot (step by step)
Making crockpot chili really only requires two steps. It’s simple enough to prep in the morning, then let it cook all day. When you come home in the evening, a filling and nutritious meal will be waiting!
- Brown the ground meat in a skillet. Ground turkey only takes three to four minutes. For safety reasons, you do want to brown the ground turkey before putting it in the slow cooker. Ground meat should not be under 140 degrees for long, especially poultry. On low setting, you can’t be sure that it will reach a safe temperature quickly.
- Dump all the ingredients in the crockpot. Cook the crockpot turkey chili for three hours on high or six hours on low.
- Add your toppings! You can read more on my fave toppings below.
Make this recipe on the stovetop
This chili is so easy to make on the stovetop! It's basically the same as the crockpot but you'll bring to a boil and simmer.
- Saute the turkey with olive oil for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned, then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil then low heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes with a lid on. The longer it simmers, the more the flavours develop.
Make it in the Instant Pot
If you'd like to make this turkey chili in the Instant Pot, it's just as easy! Here are the instructions:
- Turn Instant Pot to saute mode and heat olive oil. Brown the turkey for 3-4 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, then cook on high pressure for 3 minutes. Do a quick release of the pressure, then serve and enjoy!
Ingredients in slow cooker turkey chili
Slow cooker turkey chili is a delicious combination of ingredients you probably have on hand. Besides pantry staples, you’ll need to use the following fresh ingredients:
- Ground turkey
- Yellow onions
- Green pepper
Feel free to use this recipe as a base for getting creative. Not only can you change up the toppings, you can make substitutions to the recipe itself.
Any kind of ground meat will work well with this crockpot chili. I love ground turkey because it is a lean meat, but you can use ground chicken since it has extra protein. If you prefer ground pork choose a lean cut. Ground beef provides monounsaturated (healthy) fats, iron, B vitamins and zinc.
You also have several choices for beans to include in this crockpot turkey chili recipe.
Nearly all chili recipes use kidney beans because they hold up well while cooking and they taste great with the spices in chili. I also add navy beans to my chili. But other options include:
- great Northern beans
- black beans
- pinto beans
- mixed soup beans
This slow cooker turkey chili is pretty traditional when it comes to vegetables. But if you want to amp up the veggies, you can always add zucchini and carrots. Also, if you want a spicier chili, feel free to use poblano or jalapeno peppers.
How to add extra flavor to chili
You can also change up the spices in the chili for a unique flavor. You can make it more or less spicy or give it a totally different taste.
Try any of these suggestions for a flavor burst in your slow cooker turkey chili:
- Cocoa powder or unsweetened chocolate
- Brewed espresso or black coffee
- Smoky paprika
- Sweet potato
- Balsamic vinegar
Toppings for slow cooker turkey chili
Providing a selection of toppings for crockpot turkey chili is an easy way to please everyone. With all of these options, your guests are sure to end up with a unique and amazing bowl of turkey chili.
Another fun option is to create a chili bar. Double or even triple the recipe and it will make enough chili to serve a crowd. With a table full of toppings to choose from, everyone will be happy. Tasty toppings include:
- Shredded cheese
- Tortilla chips or corn chips
- Sour cream
- Jalapeno peppers
- Diced tomatoes
What to serve with chili
Crockpot turkey chili will provide you with plenty of protein and vegetables, but that doesn’t mean you have to use it as your complete meal. It’s filling, but if you want some side dishes to go with it, try a few of these combinations:
- Corn bread
- White or brown rice
- Sweet potato fries
- Cauliflower rice
- Onion rings
- Roasted Brussels sprout salad
Can you freeze slow cooker turkey chili?
Crockpot turkey chili is a great meal to make in advance. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days and in the freezer for up to three months.
If you stored your crockpot chili in the refrigerator, it will only take two to three minutes to reheat it in the microwave.
If it is frozen, you can thaw it in the refrigerator the day before you eat it, but you don’t have to. You can warm frozen chili in the microwave for about six minutes, stirring occasionally. You can also warm the chili in a pan on the stove top.
Other healthy slow cooker recipes
If you like this slow cooker chili recipe, then you'll love these other healthy crockpot recipes! They're a great way to get dinner on the table in a pinch – just make sure everything is cooking away while you're at work and come home to a hot meal after a long day!
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on refrigerating the leftovers.
- I get all my free-range ground chicken and turkey from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
- Use these Ziploc bag holders if you're freezing the leftover chili in Ziploc bags
- You can also freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months
Meal prep challenge
If you'd like some more help with meal planning, then you'll love my free 5-day meal prep challenge! Sign up for free below:
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground turkey or ground chicken
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 cup corn
- 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can navy beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 (796mL) can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup beef or chicken broth (add beef for more flavour)
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Scallions, sliced
- Chopped cilantro
- Tortilla chips
- Sour cream
- Sliced jalapeno peppers
- Sliced avocado
- Heat olive oil over med-high heat. Add ground turkey, seasoning generously with salt & pepper, and saute for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.
- Add turkey to Crockpot along with the rest of ingredients (minus the toppings). Cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6 hours.
- Serve chili in large bowls, then add toppings of choice. Serve and enjoy!
- STORAGE: Chili will last in fridge up to 5 days, and can be reheated in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. It can also be frozen up to 3 months in glass bowls. Reheat from frozen for 6-7 minutes, stirring halfway through.
*Nutrition info is for one serving of chili minus any toppings*