Turkey Chili

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This delicious Turkey Chili is made with plenty of vegetables, beans, and spices and it’s just waiting for all your favorite chili toppings!

My favorite chili recipe updated with ground turkey! This easy, healthy Turkey Chili recipe will keep you full without weighing you down.

Ingredient notes

  • Bell peppers: Or add or substitute carrots, celery, corn, or zucchini.
  • Chipotle chili powder: Substitute ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or omit if you don’t like spicy food.
  • Kidney beans: 3 cups cooked beans can be substituted for the 1 can (that’s about 1 cup dried beans before cooking). You can use any type of canned or cooked bean instead of kidney.
  • Canned tomatoes: I love the flavor of fire-roasted tomatoes with green chiles, but you can substitute regular canned tomatoes and add 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies. Ro*tel tomatoes are good, too.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in the bottom of a large pot over medium high heat. Add onions, belle pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, chipotle chili powder, thyme, coriander, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and sauté until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.
Venison chili ingredients cooking in a black pot with a wooden spoon.
  1. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add turkey and cook, breaking up the clumps with a spoon, until the turkey is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato puree, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
A pot of turkey chili.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 8 (1-cup) servings, about 2 quarts chili.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: Cool within 2 hours, cover, and refrigerate up to 3 days in advance. Reheat the full recipe on the stove over low heat to 165 degrees. Reheat small batches in the microwave.
  • Freezer: Cool cooked chili to below 40 degrees on an instant-read thermometer within 2 hours and place into airtight containers. Frozen chili will last 4 to 6 months in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Instant Pot: Sauté the onions, peppers, spices, garlic, and turkey in an Instant Pot until the turkey is browned, breaking up any large pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato puree, and bay leaf and mix well. Cook on manual or high pressure for 10 minutes. Fast release the pressure when done.
  • Slow cooker: At the end of step 2, transfer the cooked turkey mixture to a slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients as directed in step 3, cover and cook the chili on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours.
  • More toppings: Cheese, sour cream, and scallions are classics. You can also try diced avocado, fresh cilantro, minced onion, hot sauce, lime wedges, tortilla chips, corn chips, or oyster crackers.

More turkey favorites

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A bowl of turkey chili garnished with cheese, sour cream, scallions, and avocado.

Turkey Chili

This delicious Turkey Chili is made with plenty of vegetables, beans, and spices and it's just waiting for all your favorite chili toppings!
Author: Meggan Hill
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 8 servings (1 cup each)
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Calories 198

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • In a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add onions, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, chipotle chili powder, thyme, coriander, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook until vegetables have softened, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add turkey and cook, breaking up the clumps with a spoon, until the turkey is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato puree, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • Remove bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, and scallions.

Notes

  1. Bell peppers: Or add or substitute carrots, celery, corn, or zucchini.
  2. Chipotle chili powder: Substitute ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or omit if you don’t like spicy food.
  3. Kidney beans: 3 cups cooked beans can be substituted for the 1 can (that’s about 1 cup dried beans before cooking). You can use any type of canned or cooked bean instead of kidney.
  4. Canned tomatoes: I love the flavor of fire-roasted tomatoes with green chiles, but you can substitute regular canned tomatoes and add 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies. Ro*tel tomatoes are good, too.
  5. Yield: This recipe makes 8 (1-cup) servings, about 2 quarts chili.
  6. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  7. Make ahead: Cool within 2 hours, cover, and refrigerate up to 3 days in advance. Reheat the full recipe on the stove over low heat to 165 degrees. Reheat small batches in the microwave.
  8. Freezer: Cool cooked chili to below 40 degrees on an instant-read thermometer within 2 hours and place into airtight containers. Frozen chili will last 4 to 6 months in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  9. Instant Pot: Sauté the onions, peppers, spices, garlic, and turkey in an Instant Pot until the turkey is browned, breaking up any large pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato puree, and bay leaf and mix well. Cook on manual or high pressure for 10 minutes. Fast release the pressure when done.
  10. Slow cooker: At the end of step 2, transfer the cooked turkey mixture to a slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients as directed in step 3, cover and cook the chili on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours.
  11. More toppings: Cheese, sour cream, and scallions are classics. You can also try diced avocado, fresh cilantro, minced onion, hot sauce, lime wedges, tortilla chips, corn chips, or oyster crackers.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 198kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 28gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 194mgPotassium: 575mgFiber: 4gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 2360IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 3mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. I heard about your blog from a family member. It’s a rainy day and I thought Turkey Chili would ge a good first recipe to try. The recipe made a big, beautiful pot of thick chili and it was delicious! I look forward to trying more of your recipes, Meggan!

    1. Hi Cindee, I appreciate you stopping by and trying this recipe, I hope you find many more treasures here! Take care! – Meggan

  2. This is a killer recipe if you like Turkey Chili. I made it for a group of eight dinner guests over the holidays and three people requested the recipe. That’s a sure sign you’ve got a winner. Another great one from Meggan and Culinary Hill. Thanks Team

  3. I tried this and it’s amazing! If you were to try to half this, would you change anything besides just reducing everything by 50%?

    1. Hi Jessica, I’m so happy to hear you loved it! I would cut everything in half, including seasoning with salt and pepper that is listed in the directions. (You can always add more!) I also would probably choose a smaller bay leaf rather than cutting one in half, since they usually vary in size. Thanks for the question, enjoy! – Meggan

    1. Hi Mark, sorry for the slow reply! To make the turkey chili in a crock pot, I would at the minimum brown the ground turkey first. It’s up to you if you want to soften the vegetables first and do all of that stuff with stirring in the spices, or if you just want to dump everything in a crock pot. I don’t know how much the taste would change. I’ll put it on my list to test a slow cooker version. Thanks! -Meggan

  4. Hey just a heads up, your metric measurement for chili powder is wrong!
    Lovely recipe, can’t wait to try it!5 stars

  5. Oooo K! Since you’ve never posted a bad recipe, I’ll have to try this. I’m a beef eater but if you say this is great – then I’m in. I’ll even give it a go in your Cincinnati Chili. lol5 stars