Best Crock-Pot Turkey Chili Recipe

A Delicious and Healthy Chili to Satisfy the Whole Family

A steaming pot of chili makes a delicious lunch or dinner, or you can use it as a topping for hot dogs and burgers. Rather than using beef, you can make chili with ground turkey as a healthier option. The rich flavor of this dish is enhanced by slow cooking it all day in a Crock-Pot, which also makes it super-easy to prepare. Just brown the meat, combine your ingredients, and come home to a steaming pot of deliciousness in the evening.

This recipe has a just a little kick from the chili powder and thinly sliced jalapenos, but not too much, so it won't overwhelm the kiddos. It's the best because it uses canned tomatoes and canned beans, so you don't have to soak and cook fresh beans for hours, which can be a pain. Plus, it's filled with flavor and healthy protein, making it a smart choice for family meals.

Total Time: 6 to 8 hours | Prep Time: 25 minutes | Serves: 8 to 10

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained  
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes  
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper 
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Chop the onions, red and green bell peppers and jalapenos. Mince the garlic.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook the onion, peppers, jalapenos and garlic in the olive oil until the onions turn translucent, about 10 minutes. Add in the ground turkey to brown it, stirring it with a wooden spoon. Break the turkey into smaller pieces as you cook it for about 7 minutes. The turkey should be browned but not fully cooked throughout. 
  3. Rinse and drain the red kidney beans and black beans. Be sure not to drain the diced and crushed tomatoes, because the juice will add to the chili's richness.
  4. In a 6-quart Crock-Pot, add the red kidney beans, black beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, frozen corn, oregano, chili powder, cumin, kosher salt and pepper. Stir everything well. Slowly mix in the cooked turkey, peppers, onions, garlic and jalapenos until everything is combined.
  5. Set the Crock-Pot to low and cook for 6 to 8 hours, or cook on high for 3 to 4 hours.
  6. During the last 15 to 30 minutes of cooking, uncover the Crock-Pot and add the shredded cheddar to the top of the chili without mixing it in. Re-cover the pot to continue cooking the chili. Serve the chili once the cheese has melted.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

  • Spray a bit of nonstick cooking spray on the inside of the Crock-Pot before adding your ingredients to prevent the cheese from sticking. Or use a slow cooker liner to make cleanup a breeze.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro, avocado and sour cream. Serve it alone or over rice or noodles.
  • If you make this recipe with beef instead of turkey, be sure to drain the meat of excess fat before adding it to the Crock-Pot.
  • To make the chili a bit less spicy, omit the jalapenos or simply cut out the seeds, pith and ribs when adding them to the chili. The seeds and pith contain most of the capsaicin, which is what makes the pepper hot, so without them you'll have a milder chili.
  • To increase the spiciness of the chili, add additional jalapenos to taste or a teaspoon of hot sauce.

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