A Favorite Turkey Chili Recipe

For weeks I’ve been craving chili. Because I can only eat Turkey or Vegetarian chili, my options in the grocery store are limited and unfortunately not as healthy as I would like.  So I gave in this week and made up a big batch of chili in my Crock-Pot (slow cooker).

I have several recipes, depends on what I have on hand. But this Turkey Chili recipe is one that nearly everyone in my family of picky eaters likes. Adapted from a Tex-Mex Chili recipe found in the Hands of a Child‘s Texas lapbook project pack, it’s a little spicier than my mild crew usually eats, but with sour cream and shredded cheese they really like it.

I make chili in as big of a batch as I can (doubling or tripling the recipe) and then package it up in snack and lunch sizes and keep it in the freezer for quick meals later on. (See below for some serving ideas.)  If I make a big enough batch, I’ll also freeze another meal size portion and have it on hand for those nights that I’m too busy or tired to cook.

Turkey Chili

1 pound lean ground turkey* (I use 93% fat free)
2 14 oz cans red kidney beans**

1 cup chopped celery (optional)
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped green pepper (optional)
½ cup or more of shredded or minced carrots (optional)

1 pound can of diced or pureed tomatoes
10 ounce can of tomatoes with green chilis (Mexican style or Rotel work)***
1 can of V8 vegetable juice (or another brand that is available to you) (optional)
6 ounce can of tomato paste

3 cloves minced garlic
4 teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil


1. In a sauce pan, sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent. Then brown meat with the onions.
2.  Pour mixture into slow cooker.
3. Add all other ingredients and mix together.
4. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

Serving ideas:
- Serve in a bowl with shredded cheese and sour cream available for toppings.
- Serve with corn bread
- Serve on top of baked potatoes with cheese and sour cream.
- Serve on top of steamed rice
- Use to make chili nachos with tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, and olives.

*Instead of ground turkey, you can use 90% or better lean ground beef. Try to stay with the lean ground beef to keep the fat content down.

** I’ve also used ½ kidney beans and ½ pinto beans with success.

***If you can also use a 10 ounce can of canned tomatoes with 1 small can of chopped green chilis.

A note on optional items:
If I have these itmes on hand, I put them in, especially since they boost the nutritional value. But I have children who don’t like to recognize hunks of vegetables in their food, so I cut these as small as I can or shred them. By the time they cook down, they aren’t recognizable and my crew will eat them with no problem.  (They don’t care that the vegetables are in there, they just don’t want to see them when they are eating them – go figure)

Cost savings tips:

  • Buy dried beans and make them up ahead of time and keep them in the freezer for later use in Chili and other dishes.

  • Buy lean turkey (or beef) on sale and/or in bulk, package it in the sizes you need, and keep in freezer for later use in chili and other recipes. I’ve found by shopping around that Sam’s Club in my area has the best price on lean ground beef and lean ground turkey.  In another area we lived, we had another store that offered 10lb bulk packs of lean ground turkey for a lot less than buying it in smaller amounts.

  • If you have fresh tomatoes in your garden, use these instead of canned tomatoes. They add wonderful flavor, especially if you mix the types of tomatoes.

  • Buy canned products when they are on sale and, if you have them, with coupons. Then keep them on hand for when you are ready to make up a batch of chili. (If you don’t have a pantry, try storing canned goods in unused spaces, like under beds.)

  • If you don’t have the spices on hand and don’t usually use these particular seasonings, look for them in bulk spice bins and buy only the amount you need.

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3 Responses to A Favorite Turkey Chili Recipe

  1. Great post! I love your recipe and i love that you put serving ideas for us to choose on. I would like to cook Turkey Chili also. I’m swure it’s gonna be my favorite too! I’m really craving for this right now. Thanks for the recipe! :)

  2. Pingback: An Alternative to Once A Month Cooking (OMAC) | Living Life at Home

  3. Everyone loves it doesn’t stop here whenever population get together exact same time share views. earning site! ? ! stick with it!

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