As the weather gets cooler, warm up with a big bowl of Turkey Chili! This Crockpot recipe cooks everything together low and slow to create the most incredibly rich, satisfying flavors. Ground turkey, bell peppers, jalapeños, black beans and so much more make every bite deliciously filling!
I get so excited when the temperature starts to drop in the fall! Yes, it’s the season of all things pumpkin and I get to whip out my favorite sweaters… But it also means it’s soup, stew, and chili season! One of my favorite chili recipes I look forward to whipping up every year is this easy turkey chili. It’s incredibly filling, flavorful, and is so good I promise you won’t miss the beef.
One of the elements that makes this turkey chili recipe so amazing is how it’s prepared. After the ground turkey gets cooked on your stove-top, it gets tossed into the Crockpot with the other ingredients and you get to let it do all the work for you! The low and slow cooking process really infuses the entire chili with so much flavor from the garlic, jalapeños, chili powder, red pepper flakes and more.
This chili recipe is anything but bland, trust me. There’s a whole lot to love about it! Spicy jalapeños and red pepper flakes kick things up a notch while brown sugar tames the heat in a slightly sweet way. As flavorful as it is, it’s also a healthier meal – but you definitely won’t feel like you’re technically eating on the lighter side! Ground turkey and veggies have never been this good.
How to Make Turkey Chili
This Crockpot turkey chili recipe couldn’t be any easier! Set it and forget it is pretty much the method here.
- Cook the ground turkey. Brown the ground turkey in a large pan over medium heat. Transfer it to the slow cooker with a slotted spoon.
- Cook the veggies. Add the onions to the pan where the turkey just was and cook them until they begin to soften. Stir in the peppers until softened before adding the garlic and jalapeños, then cook for just one more minute. Transfer all of the veggies to the slow cooker with the cooked turkey.
- Make it flavorful. Add all of the seasonings and the sweet peppers (with the juice) to the mixture in the Crockpot. Stir to combine.
- Add the remaining ingredients and cook. Stir in the brown sugar, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes and black beans until everything is nicely mixed. Season with just a little salt and pepper. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours.
- Garnish your bowls. Serve with your favorite chili toppings! We love greek yogurt, sour cream, shredded cheddar, green onions, and pickled jalapeños.
Ingredient Notes for Turkey Chili
Let’s take a look at that shopping list:
- Ground Turkey – Ground turkey has less saturated fat and calories than ground beef, making it a healthier option for some.
- Bell Peppers – You’ll need both red and green bell peppers.
- Garlic – Smash the garlic cloves before chopping them so they release even more flavor.
- Jalapeño Peppers – Remove the seeds and veins for less heat or leave them for more heat.
- Chili Powder – I love using homemade chili seasoning for the very best flavor.
- Cumin – This adds a nice earthiness to the chili.
- Cayenne Pepper – Fee free to add more or less to adjust the heat levels.
- Crushed Red Pepper – Same goes here! Sprinkle in more or omit it entirely based on your spice preferences.
- Chopped Sweet Peppers – You’ll also need the juice, so do NOT strain these peppers.
- Light Brown Sugar – You can always make your own by combining 1 cup of white granulated sugar with 1 TBSP of molasses.
- Black Beans – Use a can of black beans and don’t forget to drain and rinse them prior to using.
- Tomato Sauce and Crushed Fire Roasted Tomatoes – These are both used to thicken the chili and enhance the savory flavor even more.
- Salt and Pepper – To taste.
Stay warm with more of the best chili recipes!
- Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chili
- Creamy White Chicken Chili
- Vegetarian Black Bean Chili
- Instant Pot Chili
Get the Recipe: Turkey Chili Recipe
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large jalapeno peppers, minced (remove the seeds and veins for less heat…leave them for more heat)
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 3 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoons ground cayenne pepper, Or more if you like a lot of heat!
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
- 6 ounce jar of chopped sweet peppers and juice
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 28 ounce can tomato sauce
- 28 ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 slow cooker
- In a large frying pan, brown the ground beef until no longer pink and transfer to the slow cooker using a slotted spoon. Drain off all but two tablespoons of fat and add the onions to the pan.
- Cook the onions over med-high heat until they begin to soften. Add the peppers to the onions and sauté until softened. Add the garlic and jalapeno peppers, cooking for one minute longer. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker with the beef.
- Add the chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, sweet peppers and juice to the beef mixture and stir to combine.
- Add the brown sugar, tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes and black beans stirring thoroughly to be sure all the ingredients are incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook in the slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours.
- Serve with your favorite chili toppings, we love greek yogurt, sour cream, shredded cheddar, green onions, and pickled jalapenos…just to name a few.