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Easy Crock-Pot Turkey Chili Recipe With Pictures

Kristin loves sharing easy recipes that your family might like.

Turkey Chili Cooked in a Slow Cooker with Cornbread Muffins

Turkey Chili Cooked in a Slow Cooker with Cornbread Muffins

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

When you make this chili in a Crock-Pot (the brand name for a slow cooker), you can put it together in less than 15 minutes, and the smell of a home-cooked meal will fill your home throughout the day. If you're out, it is a comforting aroma to welcome you at the end of a long day from work or running around with the kids.

Turkey chili is a wonderful alternative for people who are trying to reduce red meat in their diets and cut cholesterol. But, let's be honest. I doubt turkey chili will ever win a blue ribbon, or any ribbon for that matter, at a chili cook-off. Yet it is a flavorful way to cook this white meat.


  • 1 lb. extra lean ground turkey
  • 2 or 3 (15 oz.) cans pinto or cannellini beans
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced (or can of chopped chili peppers)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper


  1. Crumble uncooked ground turkey into crock pot.
  2. Pour in drained beans and crushed tomatoes. Stir.
  3. Next, add tomato paste, onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper, salt, oregano, cumin, and black pepper. Stir everything together.
  4. Cook on "high" for about 4 hours, making sure to stir periodically if possible. Or cook on "low" 6-8 hours.

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili served with cheese and warm cornbread muffins makes a tasty meal.

Turkey Chili served with cheese and warm cornbread muffins makes a tasty meal.

Turkey Chili is good with corn chips.

Turkey Chili is good with corn chips.

Serving Suggestions

Garnish your turkey chili with:

  • Cheddar cheese or any Mexican blend of cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole

On the side, serve the turkey chili with:

  • Corn bread
  • Tortilla chips (blue corn tortilla chips add a nice dash of color)
  • Assorted crackers

Nutritional Comparison of Ground Beef and Ground Turkey

Comparisons for ground beef and ground turkey are based on 4 oz. serving sizes of raw meat.

 Ground Beef 85/15Ground Beef 90/10Ground Beef 95/5Ground Turkey 93/7 Ground Turkey 99/1

Saturated Fat (grams)






Protein (grams)






Cholesterol (milligrams)












A Note About Turkey and Slow Cooker Temperatures

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that turkey be cooked to 165°F (74°C).
  • Typical slow cookers on the low setting heat to a temperature of 170 °F (77 °C ).
  • Typical slow cookers on the high setting heat to a temperature of 190-200 °F (88-93 °C).

History of the Slow Cooker

The slow cooker is alternatively called a Crock-Pot in the U.S. and a Slo-Cooker in the U.K. Over the years, both of these brand names have become generic terms for a slow cooker, similar to the way people refer to tape as Scotch tape, tissues as Kleenex, or bandages as Band-Aids.

Slow cookers, which use a moist method of heating foods over long time durations, were first introduced in 1970 by Naxon. In 1971, Rival reintroduced the slow cooker under the Crock-Pot brand name. Sunbeam now owns the Crock-Pot brand.


Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on November 03, 2012:

Thanks Happyboomernurse. I think the two things I love the most about this recipe are that no cooking is involved whatsoever and the aroma of homecooking all day.

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on November 03, 2012:

Wow! So much to love about this recipe, like the fact that no pre-cooking is required, the calorie, fat and cholesterol count is so low, the aroma given off by the slow cooker will bring nearly as much pleasure as the hearty taste of the soup.

Voted up across the board except for funny and given 5 stars. Now that it's fall, this is a perfect recipe to try.

Michael on October 22, 2012:

Looks delicious, I may give this a try tomm. night. Well illustrated and easy to follow directions as well. :)

2patricias from Sussex by the Sea on October 17, 2012:

Looks nice and easy, as well as low cholestorol. I am adding this to my Recipe Index for HubPages under "chili" and "crock pot".

Also voted Useful.

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on May 03, 2012:

Thanks Donna. It's good to know you will be able to put the meat comparison chart to use.

Donna Cosmato from USA on May 03, 2012:

Excellent hub and I especially appreciate the comparison chart that gives an "at-a-glance" way to decide which type/grind of meat I'll need for each specific recipe I make. Voted up - easy to see why this is a Hub of the Day winner!

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on November 26, 2011:

Thanks Duffsmom.

duffsmom on November 26, 2011:

Great hub. I'm glad I found it!

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on November 26, 2011:

I am glad I could help, Peter.

Peter Allison from Alameda, CA on November 25, 2011:

This is great! I just cleaned the bird I smoked yesterday and was looking for just this kind of recipe!

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on November 25, 2011:

Thanks randomcreative.

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on November 25, 2011:

Thank you Mary615. I bet you have some great crock pot recipes, seeing that you can't live without it!

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 25, 2011:

This sounds like a great recipe! Thanks for all of the photos. Congrats on getting Hub of the Day!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on November 25, 2011:

First of all: congrats on Hub of the Day! I love this recipe, and will certainly try it. I couldn't live without my Crock Pot! I voted it Up, Etc.Etc.

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on November 25, 2011:

Thanks applecsmith. I hope you like it.

Carrie Smith from Dallas, Texas on November 25, 2011:

This looks delicious. I'm a huge fan of chili! I can't wait to try this out, thanks for sharing this recipe.

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on November 25, 2011:

Thank you Victoria Lynn. I certainly prefer beef to turkey in many dishes, but personally I have never cared for chili made with ground beef. I loved this recipe when a friend of mine first made it. Thanks for taking the time to comment and vote.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on November 25, 2011:

ktrapp--Congrats on Hub of the Day! Although I definitely prefer beef to turkey, there are some dishes I will try with turkey when I feel like being a little healthier. I've found that recipes with red sauces do work sometimes, and I bet this chili recipe is one of them. So easy, too, without having to pre-cook the turkey. Well-put together hub, too! Voted up, useful, interesting, and awesome. A definite bookmark for me! I love chili and will have to try this one this winter. Thanks! (Also, I never realized that Crock-Pot is a brand name. hahaha. I usually notice word things like that. Thanks for that tidbit of information!)

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on November 25, 2011:

Stayingalivemoma - Thanks for your enthusiastic comment and votes! Enjoy!

Valerie Washington from Tempe, Arizona on November 25, 2011:

Yayy!! This looks totally yummy with great pictures and step-by-step instructions. I can't wait to make this! I'm always trying to find new ways to use turkey! Voted up and awesome and useful.

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on November 25, 2011:

Chasing Riley - I have had coincidences like that myself on HubPages. I will be thinking, wondering, or trying to find information about something and then I just happen to see what I was looking for in a hub. Thanks for the kind words.

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on November 25, 2011:

Plussize-lingerie - I'm glad I could provide you with a few more answers. Noting the calories is an excellent suggestion and I will calculate the calories and add it to the hub the next time I make this recipe. Thanks again.

The Evolista from Los Angeles on November 25, 2011:

So excited to try your chili recipe. I've been looking for one to do it the crock put and there yours was as the hub of the day. Congrats!!! You are so great with formatting your hubs. Is there a hub that explains the thumbnails? I'm also curious about how you made those thin lines between capsules on your passport hub. Thanks for the chili recipe and congrats again!!

David Taylor from UK on November 25, 2011:

Thanks for the answers, I shall pick up some ground turkey tomorrow.

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on November 25, 2011:

Thank you everybody for your comments. Slow cookers truly can make delicious meals, especially with tried-and-true recipes. This turkey chili made in a crock pot is even better this time of the year when people get busy with holiday plans and shopping, but still want a home-cooked meal.

I think the ground turkey works best for this recipe. It even can be put into the crock pot uncooked, making this recipe really simple to make. If cooked turkey strips (as opposed to ground meat) are used it may become too dry and not have as much flavor.

Again, thanks for the comments. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this hub was chosen as hub of the day.

arusho on November 25, 2011:

This looks delicious, I love slow cookers. Good hub!

Sinea Pies from Northeastern United States on November 25, 2011:

I like this recipe...wish I could use cooked turkey in it though (since it is the day after Thanksgiving) but I will bookmark it for future reference. The history of the slow cooker is a nice touch. Thanks!

softhard from Kathmandu on November 25, 2011:

Very information hub. Definitely i will try at home. Thanks

David Taylor from UK on November 25, 2011:

I'd wondered about cooking chilli with turkey, so interested to see someone had done it. 3 questions if I can:

1) Would it be possible to include the calories in your excellent comparison table?

2) Would it be better to use lean turkey breast in strips rather than ground/minced turkey? I think it might be leaner?

3) Does the turkey hold the taste of the chilli in the same way beef does? I find it can be quite dry (which might be why to use ground turkey with a bit more fat?)

Leeba Ann Varghese from India on November 25, 2011:

Thanks for that recipe..and nice presentation..

Kalpana Iyer from India on November 25, 2011:

Looks really yum! I like how you explained it step-by-step using pictures.

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on November 15, 2011:

This is definitely the time of year to get the crock pot out, although it's much warmer where you are than where I live. I love the smell of home cooking and when I make a crock pot meal somehow I always feel better throughout the day knowing that dinner has already been taken care of. Thanks for your comments and votes, Peggy.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 15, 2011:

This reminds me to haul out our crock pot and start using it again. Your turkey chili recipe would certainly make the house smell good as it simmered away during the day! Thanks for all of the information in this hub. Voted up and useful.

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on October 30, 2011:

Imatellmuva, I think you should most definitely add a slow cooker to your gift list. I confess, I don't use mine enough, but when I do it is such a good feeling knowing that dinner is already taken care of, not to mention the smell of home-cooking throughout the day.

Thank you for your compliments on my hub layouts, as well.

imatellmuva from Somewhere in Baltimore on October 29, 2011:

I love chili, and especially chili with ground turkey. I never tried cumin in chili, and have never cooked with a slow cooker. I think I want one, and will at it to my GIFT list!

By the way, your hubs have a nice layout, and are quite thorough. I have some things to learn from you!

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on October 28, 2011:

Four crock pots? Do you have an army to feed?

David Stillwell from Sacramento, California on October 28, 2011:

I love "our" red crock pot too. It is my favorite... I have four... not all red... hahah

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on October 28, 2011:

Thanks Daven for all the compliments and sharing. I love "our" red crock pot.

David Stillwell from Sacramento, California on October 28, 2011:

Ktrapp: We have the same crock pot! This is a great recipe and I enjoyed the simplicity of how it was displayed. All of the photo's make this a good hub for first time crockpotters. Well done... voted up and sharing!

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on October 27, 2011:

Thank you Howard. I find that the photo thumbnails are a nice way to pack a lot of punch without taking up a lot of real estate. As far as recipe hubs go, the thumbnails are even better because someone could just click along and follow the recipe with the photos - which might also make for longer pageviews and ad impressions, I guess.

Howard S. from Dallas, Texas, and Asia on October 26, 2011:

Beautiful layout! Your comment on my hub about advanced photo capsule techniques called attention to your use of thumbnails in cooking hubs. Now I am going to have to revise my cooking hubs!

If you've looked at one of mine, you see that I had trouble getting enough text in comparison to the photos required. The result is no room for any ads or creative aesthetics. The thumbnail feature solves that very well and permits ads, a table, etc.

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on October 23, 2011:

Prairieprincess - It's definitely a low-fat recipe with a lot of flavor. Of course, you can add various spices and other vegetables to taste, but the recipe is delicious as it is. Enjoy.

Sharilee Swaity from Canada on October 23, 2011:

KTrapp, wonderful hub and I am definitely bookmarking this. I am always looking for some low fat recipes that are also delicious. This really fits my criteria. Thanks for sharing!

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on October 17, 2011:

Tina - I was reading that a slow cooker is really like an electric version of a cast iron dutch oven. Although I guess the cook time is less in the dutch oven. I have never really cooked in cast iron before. Either way I'm sure you will enjoy the chili.

Christina Lornemark from Sweden on October 17, 2011:

Yes, I live in Sweden! I should have included that information:) Here the cast iron pot has been used for ages and is the common choice when it comes to cook something that needs a bit of time. But I will consider to get a slow cooker, if I can find one! Otherwise I will try the recipe anyway:)


Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on October 16, 2011:

Hi Gaila. It does smell wonderful, as do many slow cooker meals. Thanks for the votes and kind words.

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on October 16, 2011:

Thanks you thoughtforce. I am sure this is a good recipe no matter how you cook it. Are you in Sweden? A slow cooker would definitely be a nice small appliance to have. Thanks for stopping by, commenting and voting.

gailalovesbijou from Wyomissing, PA on October 16, 2011:

Now I'm hungry! I can almost smell the turkey chili. Voted up, useful, interesting, and bookmarked. I'm going to make this one. Nice photos too. Thanks!

Christina Lornemark from Sweden on October 16, 2011:

This step-by step recipe is awesome and so well put together! The recipes sound very tasty and well worth testing. I don't have a slow cocker though, so I will have to use a pan or a cast iron pot instead. I must say that I have never seen a slow cocker but it seems like a great way to cock since it keep the moist. For some reason slow cocker is not common in my country! Thanks for sharing, voted up and bookmarked,


Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on October 15, 2011:

Arlene - As you probably know since you have already been substituting turkey for hamburger, turkey has a lot less cholesterol and saturated fat than the ground beef, yet the protein in turkey is not that much less than the beef. It seems like a win-win-win situation to me. I think when the turkey is seasoned well it is good. I actually prefer the turkey sausage to pork sausage myself.

I've seen a lot of good slow cooker recipes lately. I think I may have to institute a Crock-Pot day once a week around here, which is sort of nice now that the weather is turning cooler. Thanks for all the more-than-generous votes.

Arlene V. Poma on October 15, 2011:

Very helpful and useful as usual, k. I've been substituting turkey for hamburger for about a year, now. And also the purchase of turkey sausage instead of the greasy pork sausages. What a difference! Much lighter and healthy. Voted up, useful, interesting and AWESOME. Bookmarked for a Crock Pot day.

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on October 15, 2011:

Thank you southern-foodie. I hope you enjoy it.

southern-foodie from Saint Louis, Missouri on October 15, 2011:

Nicely illustrated hub, I'll definitely be trying this!

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on October 15, 2011:

Thanks Karry. The steam that you noticed in the photo is the reason that slow cooker meals are moist. The lid should not be opened too much, otherwise the moisture is lost and the food becomes drier.

Karry Campbell from Houston, Texas on October 14, 2011:

Your recipe sounds great! I'm going to have to give it a try. Loved the photos too, especially the one with all the steam. Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing.

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on October 14, 2011:

Thank you carcro - for the compliment and votes. I enjoy taking the pictures so I am glad you noticed them.

Paul Cronin from Winnipeg on October 14, 2011:

Great recipe hub and nicely illustrated, thanks for sharing, voted Up and Awesome.

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on October 14, 2011:

Thanks blog8withJ. I appreciate the compliment.

blog8withJ on October 14, 2011:

That's great. It seemed like I was reading a recipe book. Worth reading hub!

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