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Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili

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Having a big bowl of chili ready at the end of the day is what a perfect winter dinner is all about. This slow-cooker recipe makes serving up dinner as easy as possible, so you can serve yourself up a warm and cozy bowl with very minimal effort (and dishes). This turkey chili is both comforting and healthy, so grab your slow cooker and cozy on up — don't forget the cornbread!

Do I have to to cook it on the stove first?

Technically you don't have to, but we highly recommend it. It will give your chili more flavor, and who doesn't want more flavor? Stopping just before the turkey is cooked all the way through will keep it from being too dry after stewing for 4 hours. 

Can I make a thicker chili in a slow cooker?

You can! If the chili isn't as thick as you would like, take the lid off and leave it on high for the last 30 minutes to an hour to let it thicken up a bit more. Mashing some of the beans with a potato masher will also give you a thicker chili!

Can I sub for different meats?

Always! We love using turkey in this recipe because its a nice and lean protein option, but beef chili also works wonders in the slow cooker. Or sub the turkey for sausage, chicken, or even a combination! Not feeling meat? Try out our three bean vegetarian chili or vegan chili for a vegetarian dinner option. Don't stop with your main protein — this recipe works with a variety of subs and additions. Throw in some jalapeño for an added heat, or switch up the beans with a can of your personal fav.  

Tried making this recipe? Let us know how it came out in the comments below!

Editor's Note: This intro was updated to add more information about the dish on August 24, 2022.

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Cal/Serv: 263
Yields: 8
Prep Time: 0 hours 20 mins
Total Time: 4 hours 20 mins
1 tbsp.

extra-virgin olive oil


red onion, finely chopped


green Bell Pepper, chopped

1 1/2 lb.

ground turkey

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp.

tomato paste


(28-oz.) can chopped tomatoes 


(15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained


(15-oz.) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 1/2 c.

low-sodium chicken broth

2 tsp.

chili powder

1 tsp.

ground cumin

1 tsp.

dried oregano

Shredded cheddar, for garnish

Thinly sliced green onions, for garnish

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onion and pepper and cook until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add ground turkey and cook, stirring occasionally, until turkey is golden (it doesn't have to be completely cooked through at this point). Season with salt and pepper, then stir in garlic and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to a slow cooker.
  2. To the slow cooker, add tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, chicken broth, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Cook on high for 4 hours, until chili has thickened. Check for seasoning and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Garnish with cheese and green onion, if desired.

Nutrition (per serving): 263 calories, 23 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 533 mg sodium

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Ethan Calabrese

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