This is a Turkey Chili recipe that is thick and hearty, not to mention FULL of flavor! Lean ground turkey is mixed with chili spices and simmered in a seasoned tomato sauce full of kidney beans, northern beans, onions, and garlic.
Serve this up with some Sweet Cornbread Muffins or Buttermilk Cornbread for an amazing dinner! If you are in the Midwest you might prefer cinnamon rolls with your chili.
This is a great recipe for chili with turkey, but if you want something different check out the Classic Beef Chili or White Chicken Chili. If you cook with an Instant Pot then you will love this Instant Pot Chili Recipe, Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili, or Buffalo Chicken Chili.
Ingredients & Supplies
Here are the ingredients that you need to make this Turkey Chili recipe:
- Large pot or Dutch oven
- 93% lean ground turkey
- olive oil
- canned green chilies
- canned crushed tomatoes
- chili beans in chili sauce
- northern beans
- bay leaf
- chili powder, oregano, cumin, all spice, onion powder, red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
There are a few options when buying ground turkey, just like ground beef. Some of the options are – 99% lean, 93% lean, or 85% lean. Stick with the 93% lean ground turkey!!! It has enough fat to be flavorful and juicy but not too much fat to be greasy.
Yep, this recipe is a Turkey Chili with Beans. You can absolutely make it without beans but I have not tested that. I am team bean. You could also follow along with this Turkey Chili without Beans recipe from The Whole Cook.
How to Make Turkey Chili
Start by sautéing your onions, celery and garlic for about 5 minutes to start softening. (if you like a lot of spice add a sliced jalapeno here!)
Add the ground turkey and crumble it while it cooks through. You shouldn’t need to drain the grease.
Add all the spices and seasonings and stir to coat the turkey/onion mixture.
Now pour in the green chilies, crushed tomatoes, both beans (drain the northern beans, do not drain the chili beans), and the water/broth. Give it a good stir and then turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30-40 minutes.
(tip make sure your celery gets cooked through)
Serve hot with your favorite toppings.
Load your Turkey Chili up with all your favorite chili toppings:
- green onions
- sour cream/ plain Greek yogurt
Troubleshooting your Chili
If there is one thing I know it is that people get very particular about their chili! IMO this recipe is perfect. However, I want to make sure this recipe turns out exactly how YOU like it:
- Too thin? Simmer for another 10 minutes, uncovered.
- Too thick? Add ½ cup of chicken broth or water at a time, until it is your desired consistency.
- Too sweet? Add 1 tbsp. white vinegar.
- Too spicy? Add 2 tsp. sugar, ½ cup broth or water, and a can of diced tomatoes. Then taste for additional seasonings.
- Too tangy? Add 2 tsp. sugar.
- More spice/heat? Add additional red pepper flakes and ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper. You can also add a chopped jalapeno with the onions/celery/garlic.
- For a smokier chili add ¼-1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika. To add a smoky spice add 1 chopped chili pepper in adobo sauce (2-3 for more spice).
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Thick & Hearty Turkey Chili
- 1 lb ground turkey 93/7
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 cup celery stalks chopped thin (about 2-3 celery ribs)
- 4 oz can chopped green chilies
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup water or chicken broth
- 15 oz can chili beans in sauce (do not drain)
- 15 oz can northern beans drained
- 1½ tablespoon sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- pinch of ground allspice
- pinch red pepper flakes
- In a large pot over medium heat sauté the garlic, celery, and onions in the olive oil for 5 minutes, stirring often.(if you like a lot of spice add a chopped jalapeno too)
- Add the ground turkey and cook, crumbling, for about 6 minutes until cooked thru. You shouldn't need to drain any grease.
- Turn the heat to medium low and add all the spices and seasonings (sugar, bay leaf, chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, onion powder, all spice, red pepper flakes). Stir to coat the turkey mixture.
- Add the green chilies, crushed tomatoes, water/broth, and both beans. Stir to combine.
- Simmer over low heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the bay leaf before serving.
- This recipe is just like Classic Chili, it gets even better with time! It can be made 1-3 days ahead and reheated on the stove top. You may need to add a little water or broth to loosen it up.
- Serve this turkey chili with any of your favorite toppings: Fritos, sour cream, green onions, jalapenos, shredded cheese, tabasco, fresh avocado, saltine crackers, buttermilk cornbread or cornbread muffins.
If nutrition facts are provided they are calculated as an estimate to the best of our knowledge.
Really great chili. A bit of spice and excellent flavor! Will make this again!