Easy Turkey Chili

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5 from 12 votes

Turkey chili from-scratch doesn’t have to take hours to make. This easy turkey chili recipe is on the table in less than an hour, is made with lean ground turkey, veggies, beans and spices, and of course, doesn’t compromise on flavor!

Turkey often gets a “bad rap” for being flavorless and boring; but that’s why turkey is the perfect meat for chili. Ground turkey is the best blank canvas for spices, absorbing all that goodness to make the perfect pot of chili.

Why is this turkey chili recipe the best? For starters, it’s SO easy. A big pot of turkey chili will be ready to serve in less than an hour. Secondly, it’s a healthy all-in-one meal, loaded with lean turkey, beans, veggies, and tons of flavorful spices. Thirdly, it’s better the next day. Serve leftovers for lunch or dinner throughout the week! Lastly, think of all the occasions that it’s perfect for: parties and potlucks, game days, weeknight dinners, lunch at work, etc. There’s really never a bad time for turkey chili!

Craving chicken chili instead? My White Bean Chicken Chili is just as easy.

Ingredients in Turkey Chili

  • Ground turkey – you can use lean ground turkey or regular; whatever you’d like!
  • Chicken broth – I like low-sodium chicken broth. You can use vegetable broth if preferred, but I find it less flavorful than chicken broth.
  • Bell peppers – I like a red and green pepper for varied color and flavor. They add sweetness and texture!
  • Sweet onion – sweet onion adds texture and flavor.
  • Garlic – garlic…because garlic!
  • Black beans – black beans add pops of creaminess, protein and fiber. A regular can, drained and rinsed, works great.
  • Petite diced tomatoes – petite diced tomatoes come in a can, bringing brightness and classic tomato flavor.
  • Masa flour (masa harina) – masa flour can be found in most grocery stores, in the baking aisle or Mexican foods aisle. It tastes like ground corn tortillas, which adds complexity and a touch of creaminess.
  • Chili powder – chili powder is a blend of all the classic chili spices, including toasted chili peppers, cumin, oregano, garlic, and salt. Using chili powder takes the work out of blending your own spices. I love McCormick (this is not an ad). It has great flavor and only has a touch of heat.
  • Chipotle powder – chipotle powder is smoky and delicious. It is usually moderately spicy. If you prefer a no-heat alternative, use smoked paprika.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – olive oil helps sauté the veggies.
  • Cayenne pepper (optional) – like it hot? Add cayenne!
turkey chili recipe ingredients

How to Make Turkey Chili

Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!

  1. Cook.

    In a large pot, add the ground turkey. Toss and crumble over medium heat until cooked.Cook and crumble the turkey.

  2. Sauté.

    Add the peppers, onions, garlic, and olive oil. Sauté for 3-4 minutes.

  3. Add.

    Add and stir the chicken broth, black beans, petite diced tomatoes with juices, chili powder, chipotle powder, salt, and cayenne if desired.Add all the other ingredients except the masa flour slurry to the turkey.

  4. Combine.

    In a small bowl, mix water and masa flour. Add slurry to the pot and mix.

  5. Simmer.

    Cover, and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for at least 20 minutes.Simmer the turkey chili for 20 minutes and serve with toppings of choice.

Expert Tips

  • Make it vegetarian by removing the turkey and adding double the beans (all black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, or a blend!).
  • Make turkey chili in a slow cooker by adding all the ingredients to the slow cooker (including the turkey in bite-sized pieces) and cooking on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  • Make turkey chili in an instant pot by setting to “sauté” mode and cooking and crumbling turkey until it’s cooked. Add the veggies and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Seal the instant pot and set to “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode on high pressure. Set the timer for 5 minutes. Serve.
  • Chili powder’s spiciness can vary, and I find McCormick to have balanced flavor with a touch of heat! This is not an ad.
  • Chipotle powder can be moderately spicy. For a milder alternative, use smoked paprika.
  • While I like low-sodium chicken broth (it’s so flavorful!), you can use vegetable broth if preferred.
  • Ground chicken can be used instead of turkey! I use ground chicken often in this chili recipe.
  • Masa flour is optional, but it adds creaminess and complexity! I definitely recommend using it.
  • Leftover turkey chili is even more delicious! All the flavors have time to meld together.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I make this turkey chili in a slow cooker?

Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker (including uncooked turkey in bite-sized pieces) and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

How do I make this turkey chili in an instant pot?

Set instant pot to “sauté” mode and cook and crumble turkey. Add the veggies and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Seal and set to “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode on high pressure. Set the timer for 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Is this turkey chili healthy?

While I’m not a doctor, this turkey chili uses a lean meat, veggies, beans and spices which are all healthy ingredients for most people! Please consult a professional for medical advice.

Can I make this turkey chili vegetarian?

Yes, you can. Instead of turkey, add double the beans (black, pinto, kidney, chickpeas, or a blend).

Favorite Turkey Chili Toppings

The options for garnishing your turkey chili are endless. I love making a toppings bar and letting the family choose their favorites to add to their bowl of chili!

  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Jalapeño
  • Shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend
  • Scallions or chives
  • Homemade Tortilla Chips, or store-bought

What to Serve With Turkey Chili

Need sides? Here’s a list of my favorite turkey chili side dishes:

Storage and Freezing Tips

Store turkey chili in an airtight container, once cooled completely, for 4-5 days. It’s great made ahead!

Freeze turkey chili, once cooled completely, in freezer-safe containers. Thaw in the fridge before heating for best results.

Reheat in a covered pot over medium-low heat, stirring often, until hot. You can also reheat chili in the microwave, in increments of 30 seconds!

More Chili and Soup Recipes You’ll Love!

Easy Turkey Chili

Turkey chili from-scratch doesn’t have to take hours to make. This easy turkey chili recipe is on the table in less than an hour, is made with lean ground turkey, veggies, beans and spices, and of course, doesn’t compromise on flavor!
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: fall, winter
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 517kcal
Author: Tastefully Grace

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground turkey however lean you’d like
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 medium bell peppers I like red and green
  • 1 large sweet onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 can black beans (15.5 ounces) drained and rinsed
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
  • cup water
  • ¼ cup masa flour also called masa harina
  • cup chili powder I love McCormick’s (this is not an ad)
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Cayenne pepper optional for heat

Instructions

  • In a large pot, add the ground turkey (no oil needed). Toss and crumble the turkey over medium heat until completely cooked.
  • Add the peppers, onions, garlic, and olive oil to the turkey. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until warm.
  • Add chicken broth, black beans, petite diced tomatoes with juices, chili powder, chipotle powder, salt, and cayenne if desired. Stir well.
  • In a small bowl, mix together water and masa flour. Add masa flour slurry to the pot. Mix well.
  • Cover pot, and bring to a simmer (medium-low heat). Let simmer for at least 20 minutes before serving with toppings of choice (ideas in post above)!

Video

Notes

  • Chili powder varies in spiciness (it’s a blend of all the traditional spices found in chili). I like McCormick because it’s flavorful with mild heat. This is not an ad.
  • Chipotle powder is usually a bit spicy. For a no-heat alternative, use smoked paprika.
  • You can use vegetable broth if preferred. I use low-sodium chicken broth.
  • Can’t find ground turkey? Use ground chicken instead!
  • Can’t find masa flour (AKA masa harina)? You can skip this step. Masa flour adds a touch of creaminess and complexity which is highly recommended. Masa flour tastes like ground corn tortillas and can usually be found in the baking aisle or with other Mexican foods.
  • Turkey chili is just as good or better as leftovers!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 517kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 134mg | Sodium: 859mg | Potassium: 1481mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 6552IU | Vitamin C: 74mg | Calcium: 179mg | Iron: 9mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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