Simple Turkey Chili Recipe

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bowl of turkey chili

Easy Recipes for Turkey Chili

Whether starting out the year to eat healthy or to expand your pallet, this turkey chili is packed full of flavor and delicious beans.  We found ground turkey on sale and set out to see if we maintain the level of flavor we have with ground beef chili recipes. Make this your favorite recipe for turkey chili.

Need a meal to set and let it cook?  This recipe can easily be made in the slow cooker for dinner in the evening.  The best turkey recipe has flavor and is easy to make. Serve with a side of cornbread.

sauteed onions

Does Ground Turkey Have A Lot of Flavor?

Turkey is not as flavorful as ground beef, so when adding spices, you need to add more.  Adding onions and green peppers or chili peppers can help add additional levels of heat and flavor too.

cooking turkey

What Is the Secret to Good Chili?

Once all the ingredients are cooked through, the chili can be served and ate.  The secret to good chili is letting it sit and simmer to allow the seasonings to develop and grow.  We find chili is full of flavor the next day, the spice really kicks in.

In the Midwest, we add beans to our chili.  Kidney beans, black beans, navy beans.  We like to use a can of chili beans to add flavor as well.  Don’t like beans in your chili?  Don’t add them.

cooked ground turkey

What Can You Serve with Turkey Chili?

During the week I eat chili with saltine crackers.  Enjoying chili with a warm slice of corn bread is a favorite or a buttered piece of bread.

tomato juicde

Can You Add Vegetables into Chili?

Adding vegetables to chili would make it a vegetable soup (with chili seasoning).  Corn is often added to chili to cool down the heat.  Corn also offers a sweetness to the chili that is surprising delicious.

What are Chili Beans?

Chili beans are kidney beans with a mix of spices. We use them to help spice up and thicken our chili. If you don’t have chili beans, a can of light or dark kidney beans will work as well.

You can also use pinto beans, navy beans or black beans.  Add all 3 for a 3 bean chili.

chili powder

Why is My Chili Bland?

Chili can be bland if it doesn’t have enough spice in it.  Have you followed the recipe?  How old are your spices?  Chili powder will take time for the flavors to fully develop, so simmering the chili on the stove for an hour will increase the heat.  The spice will also warm up after being the fridge over night.

Make sure you add a few items like onions, jalapeno peppers (with or without seeds) to get the heat level you are looking for. Bell peppers also add a sweetness and delicious flavor as well (chopped fine).

How Can I Thicken my Chili?

You can add crushed tomatoes to your chili to thicken.  You can also use diced or chopped tomatoes.  Cook the chili on low and it will reduce as well.  A couple tablespoons of tomato paste will also thicken the chili.

Can You Cook Chili in the Slow Cooker?

Definitely.  You can cook the turkey and then add all the ingredients into the slow cooker and cook it on low for 4-6 hours.

scoop of chili

My Chili is Too Spicy, Now What?

You can add brown sugar or white sugar (a teaspoon at a time) until it is at a heat level you like.

Add a small can of sweet corn and that can offset the heat as well.

Add a teaspoon of honey (or more of needed) to reduce the heat.

Caramelized onions would also reduce the heat.

How Do You Top Your Chili?

You can add sour cream with a little cheddar cheese.  Just add shredded cheddar cheese, a little chopped green onion or eat it plain.

turkey chili
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5 from 1 vote

Homemade Turkey Chili

Making turkey chili has never been so easy. Inexpensive and we've got a few ways you can turn up the heat or dial it down.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 people
Author: Regina Sober


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 can chili beans (we use brooks)
  • 4 cups tomato juice
  • 3-4 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 diced jalapeno (optional for heat)
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • In your Dutch oven, add the olive oil on medium heat.
  • Add chopped onions and cook until translucent.
  • Put the turkey in the pot and chop it into small bite size pieces.
  • Add a little chili powder (about teaspoon) and cook the powder into the turkey.
  • When the turkey is completely cooked (it will turn from pink to white), add your chili beans and stir.
  • Add the remaining chili powder and the chopped jalapeno as well cook for about a minute stirring to get everything mixed well.
  • Pour the tomato juice into the chili and stir yet again, to get everything incorporated well.
  • Reduce the heat to low and stir occasionally to keep from burning on the bottom of the pot and sides.
  • Add salt and pepper to your taste.
  • If you are going to cook the chili for a while and not eat it immediately, you can cover the pot to keep it from bubbling on and splattering the stove.


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Making turkey chili has never been so easy. Inexpensive and we've got a few ways you can turn up the heat or dial it down.

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