This slow cooker turkey chili is a blend of ground turkey, beans and spices, all simmered together in a crockpot to make a hearty meal. The perfect easy dinner option that’s great for feeding a crowd!

When it’s cold outside, I turn to soup for dinner. Some of my favorite recipes include alphabet soup, chicken and wild rice soup, and this thick, rich turkey chili with the perfect amount of spice.

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A bowl of slow cooker turkey chili topped with sour cream and cheese.

I’m just gonna cut to the chase: this slow cooker turkey chili is the best chili I’ve ever made. The meat is tender, it’s thick and hearty, the heat level is perfect, and there’s a huge depth of flavor from all the different spices. It’s the perfect meal for a cold day with minimal prep work.

Ground turkey and onions in a slow cooker.

How to Make Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

First, start by cooking ground turkey, onions and garlic in a pan. Place the turkey in a crockpot along with tomatoes, chicken broth and spices. Let the chili simmer over low heat for 6 hours. Add the beans, and cook the chili for an additional 20 minutes or until the beans are warmed through. Serve the chili with your favorite toppings and watch the rave reviews come in!

Tips for the perfect crockpot turkey chili

  • I recommend using 93% lean ground turkey which is a blend of both breast and thigh meat. I find that the 99% lean ground turkey breast dries out quickly and is not as flavorful.
  • This is a mild chili without much heat. If you prefer a spicy chili, you can use hot chili powder, or add in spice in another form such as a tablespoon of hot sauce or 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Chili stays fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days, which makes this dish great for meal prep.
  • I like to offer a variety of toppings with chili including shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions, diced tomatoes, tortilla strips and avocado.
  • Not a fan of beans in your chili? Omit the beans and add another 1/2 pound of ground turkey instead.

Turkey, tomatoes and spices in a crockpot.

Make Ahead Instructions

This recipe makes a lot of chili! I typically make the full batch and freeze half for another night by simply placing it in a resealable gallon sized freezer bag. This slow cooker turkey chili will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. You can also make the chili up to 2 days before you plan to serve it; it actually gets more flavorful on the second day because the spices have had even more time to meld. The leftovers also make for a great lunch!

Kidney beans and chili in a slow cooker.

SLOW COOKER TURKEY CHILI VARIATIONS

This recipe is delicious as written, but you can absolutely add other ingredients to customize it to your tastes.

  • Protein: This recipe can be made with lean ground beef, ground chicken or Italian sausage. You can also use diced or shredded chicken breast, or even cubes of beef stew meat.
  • Vegetables: You can add some veggies to the mix such as bell peppers, corn, diced roasted green chilies or diced zucchini.
  • Beans: While kidney beans are a common ingredient in chili, you can use other types of beans such as pinto beans or Great Northern beans for a different flavor.

A ladle serving up a portion of slow cooker turkey chili.

If you’re a chili fan, you’ll also want to check out my comprehensive list of the best 75 Slow Cooker Chili Recipes on the internet, with tons of different ideas for you to choose from!

More amazing slow cooker recipes

Slow cooker turkey chili video

5 from 30 votes

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

AuthorSara Welch
A bowl of slow cooker turkey chili topped with sour cream and cheese.
This slow cooker turkey chili is a blend of ground turkey, beans and spices, all simmered together in a crockpot to make a hearty meal. The perfect easy dinner option that's great for feeding a crowd!
Time
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time6 hours
Total Time6 hours 15 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Serves 6

Ingredients 

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 lbs ground turkey 93% lean
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3 8 ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt divided use
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 15 ounce cans kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • assorted toppings such as sour cream and cheese

Instructions 

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the turkey and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until turkey is browned and cooked through.
  • Add the onion to the pan, and cook for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Place the turkey in the slow cooker along with the tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cocoa powder, sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Stir to combine, then cook on LOW for 6 hours. Add the beans and cook for an additional 20 minutes until beans are warmed through. Add toppings if desired, then serve immediately. Recipe can be made up to two days in advance.

Notes

Adapted from Cooking Classy.

Nutrition

Calories: 206kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 614mg | Potassium: 575mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1165IU | Vitamin C: 3.4mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 2.4mg

This post was originally published on October 29, 2017 and was updated on June 17, 2020 with new content.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’m all about the slow cooker come fall and winter! When you get home from work and it’s dark it’s such a treat to have dinner ready! This recipe looks large enough to freeze part for another night!

  2. I am not so much into spices. But this Turkey chili looks yummy. I will share this to my friends and family.

  3. In 100 years, my great grandchildren will find my love letters. Except they’ll be addressed to my slow cooker. I love that I can make such amazing recipes, like your turkey chili, without having to spend all day cooking. Can’t wait to try it!

  4. This looks SO good!! I actually prefer turkey chili over regular chili, it’s more tasty and not as fattening! You can enjoy more haha 😉 This looks so tasty!

  5. I would love to make this for my husband and our boys! I’m sure they’re going to love it. Having a slow cooker really is awesome, I like using mine and I can’t wait to make this!

  6. Chili is a staple this season and the next and it’s one of the things that I really enjoy having with my husband. This recipe of yours sounds delightful and looks oh so good!

  7. Having a slow cooker really makes the cooking process easier for us all. I think this chili is a must try! It looks so good and it’s perfect for Fall.

  8. 5 stars
    Perfect for cold nights. Chili is a family favorite and although we frequently use ground beef, I am sure they will still love this twist on a classic. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    The only thing I love more than chili season is the ability to make a delicious batch in my slow cooker. This recipe looks tasty and I appreciate the convenience factor.

  10. I love a good chili in cold weather. This one sounds like it has a lot of flavor and I like that it uses turkey instead of beef.

  11. It has a nice traditional, rich look to it. Chili is a favorite in our house, especially this time of year when there is a nip in the air.

  12. Oh this sounds really nice. It should be a good alternative to our usual beef recipe. I always like having meals I can freeze too.

  13. 5 stars
    Everything about this is great! I love the ease of making it in the crock pot, and turkey is so much healthier than beef. I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  14. 5 stars
    That is one delicious looking chili! I love to make turkey chili. It has all the flavor with a lot less calories and fat.