Turkey Chili

8 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Turkey Chili is hearty and filling, made with ground turkey, crushed tomatoes, beans, and spicy seasoning in ONE POT, ready in under 60 minutes!

It’s still cold outside, but we’re warming up in the kitchen with our favorite comfort foods, like Chicken Tortilla Soup, Cabbage Soup, and Slow Cooker Beef Chili!


Turkey Chili is a hearty comfort food, while also being lower in fat than other chili recipes (like my super popular Classic Beef Chili). Plus it takes a total time of under 60 minutes, making this the perfect weeknight Tex-Mex dinner recipe! You can make this in a large dutch oven on the stovetop, or in the slow cooker. The slow cooker may take longer, but it cooks this chili low and slow, which is perfect for developing the flavors.

This turkey chili recipe can be made even healthier with veggies like bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms, or zucchini. You can add more or less chili powder depending on how much flavor you like, and more cayenne for heat.  Or if you’re in a rush, just use a pre-made packet of chili seasoning instead of chili powder!


  • Tortilla chips
  • Corn bread
  • Shredded cheese (cheddar, pepper jack)
  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro
  • Avocados
  • Diced tomatoes


  • In a large skillet, brown the turkey with vegetable oil. Add to slow cooker.
  • Add all other ingredients to the slow cooker and stir together. Cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 8 hours.
  • Stir the chili in the slow cooker, and serve topped with shredded cheese and chopped fresh cilantro.


Add oil and ground turkey to the pot with the sauté function turned on, stirring until browned. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, then seal and lock to lid and pressure valve. Set the pot on high manual setting for 20 minutes, and release naturally.

The instant pot is a lot faster than the slow cooker, but most instant pots have a slow cooker function, too.


Leftover turkey chili will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave, or a saucepan, stirring before serving.


Turkey chili is perfect for prepping ahead of time and freezing for another day. Store in an airtight container for about 4-5 months, and defrost in the refrigerator the night before you want to serve it.

Turkey Chili in a ladle



  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • cayenne pepper to taste (start with ¼ teaspoon)

Mix all of the spices together for a quick and easy chili powder recipe! Make this a low-sodium chili powder version by omitting the salt.


  • This is made with kidney beans and chili beans, but you can also use black beans if that’s what you have.
  • This recipe calls for ground turkey, but you can use this chili recipe for any other ground meat.
  • Make this turkey chili recipe vegetarian by omitting the ground turkey and adding crumbled tofu instead. Press as much water from the tofu as possible using paper towels, then crumble into the chili. Personally, I prefer black beans instead of kidney beans when I’m making vegetarian chili. The black beans are smaller and match the texture of tofu chili better.
  • This recipe is naturally dairy free and gluten-free if you don’t use cheese on top.
  • If you’re going for a healthy dinner with this easy turkey chili recipe, you can serve with fresh slices of bell peppers. You can also top with light sour cream and fat free cheese.
  • If you don’t have crushed tomatoes you can use diced tomatoes.
  • I like to set out some lime wedges on the table, for some fresh flavor.
  • Serve topped with cilantro, lime wedges, and sliced pickled jalapeños.
  • If you want even more flavor, use Chipotle seasoning or even a small amount of brown sugar.

Easy Turkey Chili in Pot

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Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili is hearty and filling, made with ground turkey, crushed tomatoes, beans, and spicy seasoning in ONE POT, ready in under 60 minutes!
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American/Mexican
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
  • 28 ounces kidney beans rinsed
  • 14 ounces chili beans rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


  • Add the vegetable oil, turkey, onion, garlic, salt and pepper to a large dutch oven on medium heat and cook, breaking it apart until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil then reduce to low heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.


Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 719mg | Potassium: 1164mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1145IU | Vitamin C: 12.5mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 6.2mg

Easy Turkey Chili

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. I made the turkey chili last week, and it was amazing. Best chilli I have ever made and the recepe was so easy! Thank you Sabrina

  2. Oops. I thought I could use leftover turkey. It doesn’t work. Not enough liquid. What can I do? I’m not a great cook.