This is the best turkey chili recipe because it’s packed with great flavor and is ready in 30 minutes!
When I set out to make this recipe, I wasn’t expecting it to become my new favorite. But this turkey chili recipe is truly one of the best versions of chili I’ve ever created! It tastes great with lean ground turkey, kidney beans, and some nice smoky heat. Grab some cornbread and dig in.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
Video: How To Make Easy Turkey Chili
Instead of the typical ground beef often found in chili, we’re using ground turkey for this recipe. I prefer using the ground turkey that is a mix of white and dark meat (labelled simply as ground turkey), instead of the even leaner ground turkey breast meat. The turkey breast can be quite dry.
If you’re thinking of using the ground turkey breast though, I’d definitely recommend that you use the mushrooms. I did a bunch of testing on how to cook ground turkey and ground turkey breast and found that using mushrooms really helps add juiciness and a meaty flavor. You won’t taste them, but they will improve things a lot.
I’ve chosen kidney beans for my chili, but you are welcome to switch it up for yours. In the picture above you can see that I used dark red kidney beans and also white kidney beans (cannellini beans). We’re also using bell peppers, onion, and garlic to get the flavor going. The base of the chili is made with diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.
For seasoning, grab your chili powder, cumin, and one of my favorite ingredients for a flavor boost, chipotle in adobo sauce. That’s the can of chipotle peppers in that smoky and spicy adobo sauce. So good!
Customize Your Chili
Swap out the beans. If you like you can switch out one or both of the cans of beans. Try it with black beans or pinto beans instead.
Add mushrooms for meatiness. I love to add mushrooms to my ground turkey (see above) but it’s optional. There’s a note in the recipe card, but you’ll want 8 ounces of mushrooms and to brown them first, before adding the turkey to the pot.
Adjust the spice level. Different chili powders have different levels of spice, so keep that in mind. But also, if you prefer a milder chili, you can use only one chipotle in adobo or skip it entirely. I love the smoky heat it brings, but you may find it too much if you don’t like much heat.
Make a thicker chili. If you like your chili on the thicker side, simply let it simmer for longer on the stovetop.
Serving Turkey Chili
I love to serve this chili topped with sour cream, shredded Cheddar cheese, and some sliced green onion. But you can absolutely use your favorite chili toppings. Sliced avocado and tortilla chips are also popular choices in my house.
Serving a flavorful jalapeno cornbread on the side is always a hit too and makes it easy to soak up every last drop.
More Ground Turkey Recipes
I love cooking with ground turkey, so much so that there’s a whole section of Ground Turkey Recipes on this site. And here are some of my favorites that I can’t wait for you to try:
Enjoy! -Christine xo
Podcast Episode About Making Turkey Chili
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make this recipe, with some great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:Print
1 Tbsp. butter
2 lbs. ground turkey
4 tsp. of chili powder, divided
1 and 1/2 tsp. of salt, divided
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (15oz.) cans kidney beans, drained
2 (14.5oz.) cans diced tomatoes
24 oz. tomato sauce
2 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, minced
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
- In large pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter.* Add ground turkey, 1 teaspoon of the chili powder, and ½ teaspoon of the salt.
- Use a wooden spoon to break turkey up and stir things around a bit. Then cook undisturbed for 5 minutes.
- Break up, flip, and stir the turkey. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Stir to combine.
- Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chipotle in adobo, cumin, along with remaining 3 teaspoons of chili powder and 1 teaspoon of salt. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer until flavors have blended, about 7-8 minutes.
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*Mushrooms can add great meatiness to turkey chili. If you’d like to, add 8 oz. mushrooms, minced, to your chili. Sauté them in the 1 tablespoon of butter at the beginning of cooking, before adding the turkey. Cook, stirring occasionally until they start to brown, about 8 minutes.