Taking just about 40 minutes to cook from start to finish, this Turkey Chili can truly be made on a weeknight when you need a comforting and hearty dinner to feed your family. Despite it's quick-cooking time, this chili is deeply flavorful yet not overly spicy; even the little ones in your family will be asking for more.
Quick Turkey Chili
Chili is one of those meals that leaves you deeply satisfied, especially on a cold and gloomy winter evening. Although some chili recipes can be an all-day cooking affair, this recipe uses ground turkey and canned beans to quicken the path to dinner time. But don't worry, just because it's a quick turkey chili recipe, doesn't mean it isn't deeply delicious.
This recipe is spiced just enough so you know full well it is chili, but not so much that the younger members of your family will find it too spicy. It's also well balanced, using sweet, sour, and savory ingredients to make for one awesome weeknight chili recipe.
So let's get to making it! The text below offers some tips for making it, or you can scroll down to the bottom for the complete recipe.
What Makes This Recipe Stand Out
- The standard chili recipe uses ground beef and is often meant to be cooked slowly over a long period of time. Instead, this recipe uses ground turkey, which doesn't require a long cooking time to get that tender delicious taste we're going, since turkey is a leaner meat than beef.
- Since we're skipping the long cook time, the recipe uses a few ingredients and techniques to still pack a flavorful punch, including adding ingredients like brown sugar and lime juice to really balance the flavors.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here is a brief overview of the ingredients needed for this recipe. The full recipe with quantities is listed below this text in the recipe card. If substitutions are available for this recipe, they'll be listed here. If you don't see a substitution you are looking for, please leave a comment below.
- ground turkey (if possible use dark meat, or a mixture of light and dark meat)
- onion (yellow or red is fine)
- bell pepper (use any color you'd like, and you can optionally add in a spicy pepper like poblano, serrano or jalepeno here to intoduce a bit more heat to the dish)
- spices :chili powder, paprika, salt, cumin, oregano, garlic powder (this isn't a hot spicy dish, but it is well seasoned so you know you are in fact eating chili)
- tomato paste
- brown sugar (this isn't a very common ingredient but really helps balance out the dish, and I just want to ask you to trust me on this one!)
- canned diced tomatoes
- canned kidney beans (add in whatever beans you have, it doesn't need to be kidney beans)
- chicken stock
- corn (you don't need to use corn, and can really swap in any other veggie you like here)
- lime juice
Can this be Made in the Slow Cooker or Instant Pot?
You can make this in the slow cooker, but I suggest cooking the turkey, onion, and pepper first. Then add all ingredients to a slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.
It likely will work in the Instant Pot, but it won't need nearly as much broth added to it, and I haven't tested it yet. So feel free to experiment with it.
Making It Ahead and Freezing It
Chili is one of those recipes that is great to make ahead of time. This will last in your refrigerator for about 5 days, assuming you are using really fresh turkey.
It also freezes very well.
To freeze it: cool down the chili fully, and then transfer it to a freezer-friendly container. When you are ready to use it, it’s best to let it defrost overnight.
If that’s not possible, place your container in a bowl of warm water, until the outside of the chili defrosts and you can remove it from the container. Place the chili in a pot with ¼ cup water, and cook over low heat until it reaches a simmer. Let simmer for 5 minutes, and then serve.
More Weeknight Dinner Recipes
Making the recipe? Be sure to leave a comment with a star review on your experience! Have a question? Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can!Print
Taking just about 40 minutes to cook from start to finish, this Turkey Chili can truly be made on a weeknight when you need a comforting and hearty dinner to feed your family. Despite it's quick-cooking time, this chili is deeply flavorful yet not so over-spiced that the littlest ones in your family can't enjoy it.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 1 medium yellow or red onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1-½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1-15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1-15 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed
- 2-½ to 3 cups of chicken stock
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, more to taste
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add turkey and cook until no pink remains, about 5 minutes.
- Add in onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add in chili powder, paprika, salt, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, tomato paste, and brown sugar and cook until the spices become fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add in the tomatoes, kidney beans, stock, and corn and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat slightly and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the chili has slightly thickened.
- Add lime juice to the chili, taste and adjust seasoning, adding in more salt, sugar or lime juice as needed to balance out the dish.
- Serve garnished with your favorite chili toppings, if desired.
Keywords: Turkey Chili