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Turkey Chili

close up overhead shot of a bowl of Turkey Chili topped with sour cream and cheddar cheese then garnished with green onions
This turkey chili recipe is a one-pot meal game changer - and it's delicious!
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Table of Contents
  1. TURKEY CHILI INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS TURKEY CHILI RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

There’s something nostalgic and cozy about a big hearty bowl of turkey chili. Delicious turkey simmering away with fresh ingredients such as tender beans and crisp veggies in a tomato sauce has to be the ultimate comfort food on a cold day.

If you prefer different chili versions, check out our beef chili and vegetarian chili, both great recipes to enjoy.

TURKEY CHILI INGREDIENTS

You’ll need:

  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1 large diced onion
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 pounds ground turkey, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoons onion powder
  • ½ tablespoons salt
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Green onions, sour cream, shredded cheese (optional for garnish)

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

GARNISH: Kick up the flavor and garnish your chili with sour cream, green onion and shredded cheese — I personally love to add jalapeños for an extra spicy kick – or if you have any other favorite chili toppings, go ahead and add them too!

SPICE: Add red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or a dash of hot sauce for extra spicy chili.

MEAT: If you would prefer to make this recipe with something other than lean turkey meat, you could also use ground beef or ground pork.

VEGGIES: A hot bowl of chili is always better with plenty of veggies. Load up your chili with all your favorites including red bell pepper, mushrooms, or any other favorites.

BEANS: You could also try another kind of beans in place of or in addition to beans in this recipe such as black beans. You can also increase the beans and reduce the amount of meat — or eliminate the meat altogether to make it a vegetarian option.

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HOW TO MAKE THIS TURKEY CHILI RECIPE

STEP ONE: Heat oil in a large dutch oven. Saute green pepper, onion, and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes. Add ground turkey and cook until just done.

PRO TIP:

Ground meat can be cooked ahead of time in large batches and frozen until you need it. You could use pre-cooked turkey in this recipe if you’d like.

STEP TWO: Add in cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and salt and cook for about 1 minute, stirring continuously.

STEP THREE: Pour in tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Stir in the brown sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for about 15 minutes.

STEP FOUR: Add in the pinto and kidney beans.

STEP FIVE: Add the baking soda and stir with a wooden spoon until the bubbles disappear.

PRO TIP:

Adding baking soda helps cut the acidity in the tomatoes.

STEP SIX: Simmer 10 minutes more.

PRO TIP:

If you find your chili is too thick and want to thin it out, add some broth to your ingredients. You can add according to your preference! 

STEP SEVEN: Serve warm. Garnish with sour cream, green onion and shredded cheddar cheese or any other favorite toppings.

HOW TO SERVE

The best thing to serve with this hearty meal is anything that absorbs the yummy goodness. Cook up a side of rice and serve the turkey chili on top or make homemade cornbread to dunk and dip into the chili — delish. I love dinner rolls or yummy beer bread as great options too!

If you are wanting to add more veggies, you can’t go wrong with a side caesar salad! The creaminess of the dressing goes perfectly with the variety of spices in the chili. They make a great pair!

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: Store this leftover flavorful turkey chili in an airtight container in the fridge

IN THE FREEZER: Let the chili cool all the way down and ladle the chili into freezer plastic bags. Once you fill the bags with the chili, lay them flat and place them in the freezer. Freezing the chili flat will make for an easy freeze and even easier defrosting later! Voilà, turkey chili for the next time you have a craving!

The combination of spices makes for a deep chili flavor that seasons the meat and veggies perfectly and creates a hearty chili that will certainly be a family favorite.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I make this chili in the slow cooker instead of the stove top?

This simple turkey chili recipe could be made in the slow cooker. Just add the sauteed veggies and cooked meat to the slow cooker and simmer on low until the chili is thick enough and the veggies are tender.

Can I freeze chili?

This easy turkey chili recipe freezes exceptionally well. Store in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months.

Can I turn this into a vegetarian recipe?

If you’d like to make this chili into a vegetarian dish, omit the ground turkey and increase the beans in this easy recipe.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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close up overhead shot of a bowl of Turkey Chili topped with sour cream and cheddar cheese then garnished with green onions

Turkey Chili

5 from 7 votes
This turkey chili recipe is a one-pot meal game changer – and it's delicious!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 pounds ground turkey chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 30 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 can pinto beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 can kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • green onions sour cream, shredded cheese (optional for garnish)

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in a large dutch oven. Saute green pepper, onion, and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes. Add ground turkey and cook until just done.
  • Add in cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and salt and cook about 1 minute, stirring continuously
  • Pour in tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Stir in the brown sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for about 15 minutes.
  • Add in the pinto and kidney beans.
  • Add the baking soda and stir until the bubbles disappear
  • Simmer 10 minutes more
  • Serve warm. Garnish with sour cream, green onion and shredded cheese

Video

Notes

TIP: Ground meat can be cooked ahead of time in large batches and frozen until you need it. You could use pre-cooked turkey in this recipe if you’d like.
TIP: Adding baking soda helps cut the acidity in the tomatoes.
TIP: If you find your chili is too thick and want to thin it out, add some broth to your ingredients. You can add according to your preference.

Nutrition

Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 676mg | Potassium: 649mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1036IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 3mg
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  1. Sharon J says

    This recipe is great but I would eliminate the brown sugar all together. I only used 1/2 tablespoon and the sweetness was too much. Otherwise, excellent.

  2. Stephenie says

    I love this recipe however, just curious on why you add baking soda? Is for a certain taste, do it enhance the other ingredients?

  3. Emily says

    5 stars
    Delicious recipe! Used 93% lean turkey and it was super flavorful and juicy. Served with cornbread for a hearty fall dinner.

  4. Stephanie says

    This is our favorite go to chili recipe! Question though, for a little more kick (so asks my Texan husband) would I add more chili powder or add cayenne or is a jalepeno preferred?

  5. Monica says

    5 stars
    This was sooooo good! Will be my go to chili from now on! Since my husband doesn’t like turkey (at least he doesn’t when he “knows” it’s in there), so I used 1 lb of 97/3 ground turkey and 1 lb of 97/3 ground beef. I used Kitchen Bouquet (browning sauce) when I cooked the turkey (turns it brown) hoping he wouldn’t notice! LOL. Being from south Louisiana, I added an extra tablespoon of chili powder and Cumin. I added about an extra tsp of salt. I cooked the meat and sat aside. Then I sautéed the veggies. Once they were done, I added the meat back in and the seasonings. I dumped it all in my crockpot and added the rest of the the ingredients. I cooked it on high for 4 hours. It got rave reviews!

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