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Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Updated on May 1, 2014

Nothing Like a warm bowl of chili

Little side note

Some side notes to keep in mind:

  • This recipes does require that you soak two different types of beans overnight; both types can soak together
  • Toppings vary from person to person. I sometimes alter my cheese and use sour cream, or if I am feeling really "bad," I will put both on top and have an extra special meal
  • I love crackers with my chili and have found with this, as well as any other chili, you can get a really complimentary cracker with the Roasted Veggie Ritz Crackers
  • You can substitute ground beef for the ground turkey, but it is not as healthy
  • This recipe was created by utilizing some tips from one recipe and then adding my own additions
  • My favorite additive for all my chili dishes is something recognized as "Five Alarm Chili Mix" which contains several extra spices
  • The following recipe is made with a little heat (believe me, I have had to tone it down for my family)

Just A Few Tiny Changes

In my home growing up, I always looked forward to a fresh bowl of chili and this was a trait I carried with me when I became an adult. Unfortunately, I had always prepared my chili with ground beef and a few months back it was mandatory to begin looking for ways to prepare this favorite with a something a little different. I searched the internet looking for new ideas and ways to fix the meal, and normally, I always found something that involved either white beans in some form or ground beef. I was aware that there were ways to make it with ground turkey, but finding the correct spices to compliment the turkey and maintain the integrity of the chili was one task I was going to have to overcome, not just for myself, but also for my step-son (who also loves chili, but is an extremely picky eater).

I had already created the correct mixture for ground turkey tacos, so I knew there had to be a secret to preparing the chili. It was a matter of trial and error, until I came across a recipe on Taste of Home. Armed with this new recipe, and some ideas on how to tweek it to suit our tastes and flavors, I begin yet another attempt. This one, gratefully would end with success. I had discovered a recipe with the heat we love and still a ton of flavor that did not result in a loss of some preference or another.

This recipe is the one which I was able to tweek and upon completion, prepare an amazing bowl of chili every time. Again, I did change it around a little to create the closest replication to the recipe I have always prepared, and I elect to use dried beans instead of canned. This will not be reflected in the preparation time, but instead, you will find a note about using dried beans instead of canned. If you are wanting to do the same method, keep in mind it is best to place the beans in a pot or large bowl, cover with water and allow it to soak overnight before draining and rinsing and beginning the recipe. If this step is skipped, then you beans will take longer to prepare and also require the slow cooker to be kept on high and not low.

This may seem like common sense to many, however, after speaking with a lot of people, I have come to wonder if perhaps it is not as common as I think. Numerous individuals have asked why they need to soak the beans and I have decided to make note of it in here. This does help them swell, which is why they need to be completely covered in with (with some to spare) and it is important to drain and use fresh water when preparing the recipe.

Just a touch...

Let Me and Others Know What You Think.... Rate this Recipe!

5 stars from 1 rating of Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

The Secret to Chili

One of the greatest secrets I have uncovered when making chili is to use different types of beans for different flavors, and never be afraid of spices and herbs to uncover that wonderful flavor you are looking for. Many times, a recipe is passed from person to person and as this happens, little changes are made to the recipe so that one can find the perfect solution for his/her own tastes. Some want it full of heat, others love the flavor and combination of spices but not so much heat. There are a ton of ways to alter this recipe, as well as any recipe, so don't be afraid.

Have fun and try to figure out what the best combination is for you and your family! If you are not one who likes heat of any kind in chili, then remove the jalapenos, Five Alarm Spice, and alter the amount of chili powder. Also, you may want more heat, so feel free to add it. I would prefer more heat, but in my family, I am the only one who loves really hot chili, so this has been altered to match the taste of the majority of my family.

Another secret I have found when preparing chili is that you must always, always include spices, they are key in creating the flavor in chili, so do not be too conservative with these.

Some like it plain...

How Much Time Do I Need to Prepare This Meal?

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 8 hours
Ready in: 8 hours 15 min
Yields: Twelve 1 1/3 cup servings

What Do I Need?

  • 2 lbs. Ground Turkey
  • 2 c. White Onions, Diced
  • 2 c. Green Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Minced Garlic
  • 2 medium tomatoes, Diced
  • 24 oz. V8 Juice
  • 12 oz. Tomato Paste
  • (2) 4 oz.Cans Chopped Green Chillies
  • 4 tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Fresh parsley, finely chopped, (Can use dried parsley flakes, but will need to double the amount)
  • 2 tbsp. Ground Cumin
  • 2 tbsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Oregano leaves, dried
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 pkg. Five Alarm Chili Mix
  • 4 small Jalapenoes
  • 2 tsp. Dried Ti Hot peppers, (We grow, dehydrate and ground these peppers, but should be in grocery store)
  • 1/2 lb. Dried kidney beans, soaked in water overnight
  • 1/2 lb. Dried pinto beans, soaked in water overnight

How is this prepared?

  1. This step is not included in the prep time, but before going to bed, place both types of dried beans into a pot and cover in water. Let this soak overnight. NOTE: If you forget this step, following the "quick" directions on the back of the bag for your beans and can make up for the missed soak!
  2. The next morning, combine ground turkey, onions, and bell pepper and cook until no longer pink. Add in the minced garlic and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  3. Drain and rinse before placing in the slow cooker.
  4. Add all the other ingredients, mix well, and cover.
  5. Cook on low 6-8 hours and serve with your favorite toppings and additions! NOTE: Every slow cooker is different, so you may require more or less time. Also, if you did not soak the beans, or use the tip on the back of the bag about "quick" prep, it will take longer for the beans to get soft.

Just a wonderful meal in itself

Please note, this is for the chili and not toppings or sides

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1.33 cups
Calories 315
Calories from Fat72
% Daily Value *
Fat 8 g12%
Saturated fat 2 g10%
Carbohydrates 43 g14%
Fiber 11 g44%
Protein 23 g46%
Cholesterol 60 mg20%
Sodium 706 mg29%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Toppings, Sides, & Other Options

In many ways, chili is a meal in itself, but it can be complimented by a simple side salad if you want some fresh, raw veggies. That out of the way, it is time to consider the various toppings and additions that work well with this amazing chili:

  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded Cheese (I prefer Pepper Jack, my step kids want just plain sharp cheddar)
  • A combination of Sour Cream and Cheese
  • Add some fresh chopped cilantro or chives
  • Another great compliment, tortilla chips!

Alongside all of this, another wonderful thing about this meal, leftovers can be frozen up to 3 months so it can really make two meals instead of one!

Soaking Beans

What Do I Need to Know About Soaking Beans?

All throughout, I have mentioned the need to soak the beans, and even suggested looking up the "quick soak" method listed on any bag of dried beans. I just happened to stumble across a great video explaining not only the advantage of using dried beans, but also information about the "slow soak" and the "quick soak" on youtube. Hope this helps to understand not only the benefits of using dried beans over canned, but also how to do the proper soaking method.

Not only can this method be utilized for all bean dishes, but it even explains the benefits if you are concerned about "split' beans in, say a bean salad!

Please Share Your Own Experiences and Suggestions!

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