Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

When it comes to weeknight dinners, convenience is king (or queen, depending on your household!). We all crave delicious, satisfying meals, but after a long day, the thought of slaving over a hot stove can be enough to send shivers down your spine. Enter the slow cooker, that magical appliance that transforms simple ingredients into hearty, flavorful dishes with minimal effort.

This recipe for Slow Cooker Turkey Chili is a perfect example of how the slow cooker can be your weeknight dinner hero. It’s incredibly easy to throw together, requiring just 15 minutes of prep time. Simply brown some ground turkey, toss it in the slow cooker with a variety of pantry staples, and let it simmer away for a few hours. The result? A pot of comforting chili that’s bursting with flavor.

Why You’ll Love This Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

  • Easy and Convenient: This chili comes together in a flash, with minimal prep required. Let the slow cooker do all the hard work while you go about your day.
  • Family-Friendly: This recipe is sure to please even the pickiest eaters. The ground turkey is a lean protein source, and the combination of beans, tomatoes, and spices creates a flavor profile that’s both satisfying and delicious.
  • Budget-Friendly: Slow cooker meals are a great way to stretch your grocery budget. This recipe uses pantry staples and affordable ingredients, making it a cost-effective option for busy weeknights.
  • Customizable: This chili is a blank canvas for your creativity! Feel free to add in your favorite chili fixings, such as corn, bell peppers, or chopped vegetables. You can also adjust the level of spice to suit your taste preferences.
  • Healthy and Hearty: This chili is packed with protein and fiber, making it a filling and nutritious meal. It’s also a good source of vitamins and minerals, thanks to the beans and tomatoes.
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • cooking spray
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans low sodium tomato soup
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch ground allspice
  • Salt to taste


  1. Gather all ingredients.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place turkey in the skillet, and cook until evenly brown; drain.
  3. Coat the inside of a slow cooker with cooking spray, and mix in turkey, tomato soup, kidney beans, black beans, and onion.
  4. Season with chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, red pepper flakes (if using), black pepper, allspice, and salt to taste.
  5. Cover, and cook on Low for 8 hours, or on High for 4 hours.
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Tips and Tricks for Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

This recipe is a fantastic starting point, but there are endless possibilities when it comes to slow cooker chili. Here are a few tips and tricks to take your chili to the next level:

  • Brown the Meat: While this recipe doesn’t call for pre-browning the ground turkey, it can add a deeper layer of flavor to your chili. Simply brown the turkey in a skillet over medium heat before adding it to the slow cooker.
  • Spice it Up: If you like your chili with a kick, add a diced jalapeno pepper or a pinch of cayenne pepper when you add the spices.
  • Bean Power: This recipe uses kidney and black beans, but feel free to experiment with other varieties like pinto beans, chickpeas, or even lentils.
  • Veggie Boost: Add chopped vegetables like bell peppers, onions, corn, or zucchini for extra flavor and nutrients. You can saute them with the ground turkey before adding them to the slow cooker, or simply toss them in raw.
  • Liquid Love: The combination of tomato soup and water creates a flavorful base for the chili. However, you can substitute with chicken broth or vegetable broth for added depth.
  • Toppings Galore: No chili is complete without its toppings! Get creative and offer a variety of options like shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped onions, sliced avocado, sliced jalapenos, crushed tortilla chips, and chopped fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley.
  • Slow Cooker Magic: Most slow cookers offer a Low and High heat setting. This recipe recommends cooking on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours. Keep in mind that cooking times can vary depending on your specific slow cooker model. Always consult your slow cooker’s manual for guidance.

A Brief History of Chili

Chili, a hearty stew traditionally made with meat, beans, and spices, has a rich history dating back centuries. Its origins can be traced back to the indigenous peoples of North and Central America, who simmered wild game with beans and peppers in earthenware pots. Spanish colonists introduced new ingredients like tomatoes and cumin, which eventually became staples in chili recipes.

Over time, chili evolved into a regional dish with variations popping up across the United States. Texas-style chili, known for its absence of beans and focus on bold spices, is a popular contender. There’s also Cincinnati chili, known for its inclusion of chocolate and a unique spice blend. No matter the variation, chili remains a beloved comfort food, enjoyed by families and friends alike.

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Beyond Dinner: Leftover Inspiration

This Slow Cooker Turkey Chili is even better the next day! The flavors have time to meld and mature, making it even more delicious. Here are some ideas for using leftover chili:

  • Lunchtime Leftovers: Enjoy leftover chili for a hearty and satisfying lunch. Serve it with a side salad, whole-wheat bread, or brown rice.
  • Soup’s On!: Thin out leftover chili with additional broth or water to create a comforting and flavorful soup. Top it with a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream for an extra touch.
  • Taco Tuesday Transformation: Use leftover chili as a filling for tacos. Top with your favorite taco fixings like shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa.
  • Frittata Fiesta: Repurpose leftover chili into a savory frittata. Simply combine cooked chili with eggs, cheese, and your favorite vegetables like chopped onions, bell peppers, or spinach, then bake until set.
  • Enchilada Extravaganza: Leftover chili can be transformed into delicious enchiladas. Spread chili over tortillas, roll them up, top with enchilada sauce and shredded cheese, then bake until bubbly and golden brown.

Fun Facts About Chili

  • Chili Cook-Off Craze: Chili cook-offs are a popular social event in the United States, with competitions held across the country. These events celebrate the rich history and variations of chili, offering a platform for friendly competition and culinary creativity.
  • World’s Hottest Chili?: The Guinness World Record for the hottest commercially available chili goes to “Blair’s 2 AM Chili,” a concoction so spicy it requires signing a waiver before purchase!
  • Chili Peppers and Health: Chili peppers, a key ingredient in chili, are a good source of vitamins A and C, and also contain capsaicin, a compound known to have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. While it might make your taste buds tingle, chili peppers can pack a surprising health punch!
  • International Inspiration: While chili is often associated with American cuisine, variations of this hearty stew can be found around the world. In South America, a dish called “aji de gallina” features a creamy yellow pepper sauce and chicken, while Hungary boasts a hearty goulash with paprika and vegetables.

The Final Simmer

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili is a delicious, convenient, and customizable meal that’s perfect for busy weeknights. With its rich history, endless variations, and potential for creative leftovers, chili is a dish that continues to bring people together around the table. So fire up your slow cooker, simmer up a pot of chili, and enjoy this flavorful comfort food classic.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 276
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g10%
Saturated Fat 2g8%
Cholesterol 42mg14%
Sodium 547mg24%
Total Carbohydrate 33g12%
Dietary Fiber 11g40%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 21g42%
Vitamin C 24mg27%
Calcium 78mg6%
Iron 4mg24%
Potassium 428mg9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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