This classic slow cooker turkey chili is seriously the BEST and is so simple to make in either the slow cooker or stovetop! Packed with flavor and healthy ingredients like lean ground turkey, bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic and onion. This recipe is going to be a family favorite and it’s even gluten free, dairy free, and soy free!
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
I didn’t know how much I loved chili until I made this recipe. A couple years ago I wrote off chili, believing it was no longer something I could eat since traditionally chili is made with beans and topped with cheese or sour cream. Beans and dairy have been two problem foods for me and they usually don’t leave my stomach feeling great after eating them. So one day I thought, why not make a version of chili that doesn’t include either of those ingredients?
This dairy free classic slow cooker turkey chili is now my favorite chili recipe! I’m not lying when I say it’s the best. I really do believe it. It’s not a spicy chili but it is flavorful and made with healthier ingredients.
I love to set it and forget it in the slow cooker but it could also be made on the stovetop. This turkey chili is an easy meal that the whole family will love! Also perfect for a game day or your next tailgate party!
Ingredients for the best slow cooker turkey chili
- Ground turkey: I like using lean ground turkey in this chili recipe.
- Garlic: I think garlic is needed in any chili recipe. It adds a delicious flavor that is hard to substitute.
- Veggies: The veggies are very important in this chili recipe. We’ve used bell peppers, tomatoes, and onion for this flavorful turkey chili.
- Chicken Broth: You could use vegetable broth instead if you prefer. I also use a lower sodium broth so depending on what you use, adjust the added salt as needed.
- Spices: Each chili has a unique blend of spices. For this turkey chili we’ve added chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, dried oregano, red pepper flakes (optional), salt and pepper.
- Coconut Aminos: A soy sauce alternative that adds great flavor to chili.
- Bay Leaf: Adds another layer of flavor to this turkey chili.
- Garnish: I choose to garnish this turkey chili with fresh jalapeños and green onion.
How to make slow cooker turkey chili
Step 1: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium. Add the ground turkey, onion, garlic and bell peppers. Sauté for about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the turkey is browned and the peppers and onions are softened.
Step 2: Add the turkey, onion, garlic and bell peppers to the slow cooker. Then add the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker and stir. Cook on low heat for 4 hours.
Step 3: Serve and enjoy!
How to make turkey chili on the stovetop
I prefer to make this turkey chili in the slow cooker just because I can prepare it and let it cook without checking on it for a few hours. But it is easy to cook on the stovetop instead, if you prefer.
Here’s how to make it on the stovetop:
Step 1: First, sauté the ground turkey, onion, garlic and bell peppers in a large stockpot. Sauté for about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the turkey is browned and the peppers and onions are softened.
Step 2: Add the remaining ingredients to the stockpot and bring to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer for 30-40 minutes.
How do you serve this turkey chili?
Traditionally chili is usually served with cheese or sour cream but if you follow a dairy free diet, there are a lot of great alternative options.
Here’s some dairy free ideas:
- Fresh jalapeño peppers
- Green onion
- Dairy free or vegan cheese
- Dairy free or vegan sour cream
- Gluten free bread
- Grain free chips
Can you freeze turkey chili?
Yes you can! Chili is excellent for storing in the freezer. I just put the cooled chili in freezer safe bags for later (up to 2 months) and unthaw in the fridge the night before. You can also store this turkey chili in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Optional add-ins for turkey chili
- Beans: You could add a bit of plant protein to this dish by adding either kidney beans or black beans to this chili.
- Vegetables: Feel free to experiment adding other vegetables to this chili also. Some ideas could be corn, sweet potato, carrots, or zucchini.
More Soup Recipes:
- Slow Cooker Creamy Turkey Chowder (Dairy Free)
- Instant Pot Chicken Vegetable Soup
- Roasted Tomato Basil Soup (Dairy Free)
- Healing Slow Cooker Carrot Soup (Dairy Free)
- Easy Hamburger Vegetable Soup
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The Best Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lbs ground turkey
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bell peppers, seeded and diced (you can use whatever color bell peppers you’d like)
- (2) 28 oz can diced tomatoes (don't drain)
- (1) 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1-2 tsp dried red pepper flakes (optional for spicy)
- 1 tsp sea salt, to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper, to taste
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium. Add the ground turkey, onion, garlic and bell peppers. Sauté for about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the turkey is browned and the peppers and onions are softened.
- Add the turkey, onion, garlic and bell peppers to the slow cooker. Then add the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker and stir. Cook on low heat for 4 hours.