Oh turkey chili, how I love you.
Turkey chili has easily become one of my go-to meals for days when I want to create a delicious meal but don’t want to put a ton of time and effort into it. Plus: I like a meal that includes leftovers, and this recipe for slow cooker turkey chili makes for about 6 servings…meaning that the husband and I get at least two nights worth of meals out of it (let’s be honest: sometimes second helpings happen).
I almost always have the ingredients on hand to make turkey chili…which for me usually involves 2 cans of tomato sauce and 1 can of petite diced tomatoes. However, I realized I was fresh out of tomato sauce last time. Oops! Well, never fear…I had plenty of diced tomatoes and a food processor. Problem solved.
By using all diced tomatoes instead of tomato sauce this time, your chili will be a little thinner in consistency. If you prefer, you can substitute one or two of the diced tomato cans for tomato sauce cans of equal size. With cooking, it all comes down to personal preference and convenience I think!
I’ve been trying to find more and more recipes to utilize my slow cooker, and this chili was a winner in my kitchen. I liked being able to combine the ingredients in the morning, turn on the slow cooker, and let it sit for a few hours without thinking or worrying about it. I personally like to serve up my turkey chili with a sprinkle of cheese and a dollop of guacamole. And, if I happen to have them around, I love dipping tortilla chips into the bowl for a yummy chili/guacamole scoop! Yum!
Do you have any favorite slow cooker recipes you use? What are they?
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
- 1½ lbs lean ground turkey breast
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 3 cans (15oz) petite diced tomatoes (I use unsalted)
- 1 can (15oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 3+ tbsp chili powder (to heat preference)
- 1 tbsp cumin
- salt and pepper
- shredded cheese, for garnish
- Warm a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a deep skillet to medium-high heat. Add diced onion and garlic and saute until tender. Add ground turkey breast: season with salt/pepper and cook through, about 6 minutes.
- Transfer cooked turkey to slow cooker, set to "low."
- Meanwhile, in a food processor add 2 cans of diced tomatoes and blend until smooth/sauce-like consistency. Add sauce to the turkey in the slow cooker, as well as the third can of diced tomatoes and the black beans. Add chili powder and cumin to taste. This recipe will produce a mild chili - taste it over the course of cooking and add more chili powder to increase the heat if desired!
- Allow chili to cook on low in the slow cooker for about 4 hours or more.
- For the last hour of cooking, add the diced green bell pepper and allow it to soften before serving. If you add the bell pepper at the beginning of cooking, it will soften significantly and lose its texture. I prefer my bell pepper to have a slightly firm texture. Alternately, if you are worried about over or undercooking the bell pepper, you can saute the diced pepper in a skillet until desired texture is reached, then stir into the finished chili about 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve with shredded cheese (and I also suggest serving with a dollop of guacamole and cilantro!).
***You could definitely use regular ground turkey, ground chicken, or another meat to create this dish. However, I prefer to use ground turkey breast since it is a lean choice.
***The spices in this recipe are for a relatively mild chili. If you like your chili with a kick, I would definitely recommend adding more spice to your taste! I typically end up adding a bit more chili powder to mine, but wanted to start this recipe with a base that would be ok for all tastes – build off of that!