Chilly evenings call for a cozy bowl of this Slow Cooker Turkey Chili! It’s hearty, flavorful and it’s so easy to make! Simply brown a few ingredients on the stove top, then set it and forget it for an easy family-friendly dinner. It’s great for meal prep and it’s freezer friendly!

Slow cooker turkey chili in a bowl with toppings

It doesn’t get much better for me than curling up with a cozy bowl of chili. It’s hearty, comforting and there are so many fun ways to top it!

Ground turkey is definitely my favorite meat to use in chili. It’s a bit lighter than beef yet it’s still got plenty of flavor.

My white bean turkey chili has been a family favorite for years. It’s not tomato-based, which appealed more to my boys when they were growing up.

This Slow Cooker Turkey Chili is closer to a classic recipe because it’s thick, rich and tomato-y. It’s packed with warm spice flavor, and I absolutely adore it.

It’s the perfect meal for a chilly night!

Bowl of slow cooker turkey chili loaded with cheese, sour cream and jalapenos

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Slow cooker turkey chili is hearty, healthy, family-friendly dinner.
  • It takes just 10 minutes or so on the stove top, then you can pop everything in the slow cooker and set it and forget it.
  • It’s great for meal prep and is also freezer-friendly.
  • It’s easily customized with your favorite ground meat, chilis, spices and toppings.

Recipe ingredients

Turkey chili recipe crock pot ingredients

Ingredient notes

  • Ground turkey. Use lean ground turkey preferably as it contains a bit of fat to keep it from being dry. You can also sub it with ground beef, chicken or pork.
  • Veggies. Onions and garlic are a must for flavor! I also added chopped poblano peppers for texture and flavor, but they may be substituted with your favorite fresh chilis or diced chilis for added heat.
  • Tomatoes. Diced tomatoes add texture and tomato sauce helps thicken the chili.
  • Spices. This recipe includes a combination of chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin and oregano. You can also use your favorite store bought spice blend but be careful of added sodium.
  • Beans. There are two cans of beans in this recipe — kidney and black beans. You can use your favorite!
  • Lime. A bit of fresh lime juice makes all the flavors come alive!
  • Toppings. There are so many great ways to top this chili including sour cream, Greek yogurt, grated cheese, avocado, sliced chili peppers, hot sauce, fresh cilantro and more.

How to make crock pot turkey chili

Making this turkey chili recipe in the crock pot couldn’t be easier.

The ground turkey, onions and spices are browned in a pan on the stove top first, which imparts a ton of flavor to the chili. For that reason, I don’t recommend skipping this step.

Once that’s done, just dump everything into the slow cooker, set it and forget it for a few hours.

Pro tip:  Prep the ground turkey mixture on the stove top in advance so all you have to do in the morning is dump everything into the slow cooker. You may also make the entire meal in advance.

See the recipe card below for full instructions.

How to make turkey chili recipe crock pot
  1. Cook the onions over medium heat until slightly softened.
  2. Add the ground turkey and cook until no longer pink, then add the garlic, spices and poblano pepper and cook 2 minutes longer.
  3. Pour the ground turkey mixture into the slow cooker and stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and beans. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
  4. Turn off the heat and add the lime juice and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
turkey chili in crock pot

FAQs

How do you thicken chili in a crock pot?

If your chili isn’t thick after cooking for several hours in your crock pot, chances are you’ve added too much liquid.
Many recipes include stock or broth, but this crock pot turkey chili recipe does not. It only includes tomato sauce and the liquid from diced tomatoes, so it comes out perfectly thick and rich.
If you prefer your chili on the soupy side, you can always thin it out with chicken stock or water after cooking.

Can I freeze this slow cooker chili?

This recipe is freezer-friendly. Simply cool completely after cooking, then store it in the freezer for up to 3 months in an air tight container.
When you’re ready to use it, thaw it overnight in the freezer then heat in the microwave or in a pan on the stove top.

Serving suggestions

This crock pot turkey chili is completely satisfying on its own, but it’s even better when served with a side of one the following breads for dunking:

Recipe notes

  • Pro tip:  Prep the ground turkey mixture on the stove top in advance so all you have to do in the morning is dump everything into the slow cooker. You may also make the entire meal in advance.
  • Browning the ground turkey, veggies and spices on the stove top is essential to break up the meat well and promote flavor, therefore I don’t recommend skipping this step.
  • Customize this recipe with your favorite ground meat and spices.  Sub the poblano peppers with jalapeño or canned diced chilis to pump up the heat.
  • Store slow cooker turkey chili in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Crock pot turkey chili in a bowl with toppings

More chili recipes you’ll love:

Did you try this recipe?  If so, be sure to leave a review below and tag me @flavorthemoments on Facebook and Instagram!

Slow cooker turkey chili in a bowl with toppings

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili is hearty, comforting and packed with warm spicy flavor.  It takes about 15 minutes of prep and your slow cooker does the rest!
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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 large poblano pepper seeded and chopped
  • 28 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 15 ounces black beans rinsed and drained
  • 15 ounces kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 lime juiced
  • For serving optional: Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, fresh scallions, and lime wedges.

Instructions 

  • Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook 2-3 minutes or until softened. Add the ground turkey and break up into pieces with a wooden spoon, then sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until no longer pink, then add the garlic, spices and poblano pepper. Stir until incorporated and cook 2 minutes longer.
  • Pour the ground turkey mixture into the slow cooker. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and beans, then stir well to combine. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Turn off the heat, stir in the lime juice and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve with optional garnishes if desired and enjoy!

Notes

  • Pro tip:  Prep the ground turkey mixture on the stove top in advance so all you have to do in the morning is dump everything into the slow cooker. You may also make the entire meal in advance.
  • Browning the meat, veggies and spices on the stove top is essential to break up the meat well and promote flavor, therefore I don’t recommend skipping this step. 
  • Customize this recipe with your favorite ground meat and spices.  Sub the poblano peppers with jalapeño or canned diced chilis to pump up the heat.
  • Store slow cooker turkey chili in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 300kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 556mg, Potassium: 863mg, Fiber: 13g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 1516IU, Vitamin C: 25mg, Calcium: 103mg, Iron: 5mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Did you try this recipe?Be sure to tag @flavorthemoments with the hashtag #flavorthemoments on Instagram so I can see what you made!

**This recipe was originally published in August 2016. The recipe and photos have been updated, and the text has been modified to include more recipe information.

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