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Turkey Chili with Veggies and Black Beans

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Published April 1, 2024. Last updated April 1, 2024 By Elizabeth Lindemann &nbsp&nbsp/&nbsp&nbspThis post may contain affiliate links.Jump to Recipe – Print

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This Turkey Chili is such a easy, healthy, and delicious recipe, cooked in the slow cooker, on the stovetop, or in your Instant Pot! It’s super flavorful and nutritious (chock full of veggies – zucchini, corn, tomatoes, and peppers, black beans, and lean ground turkey). It’s a cheap recipe to make, especially because the whole batch uses only one pound of ground turkey.

This turkey chili is a lighter version of chili – with no beef and stuffed with veggies. It’s packed full of flavor with onions, garlic, and spices – smoked paprika, chili powder. The cocoa powder is my secret chili ingredient that gives it a velvety smooth texture and mole-like flavor!

It couldn’t be easier to make. And like most chili recipes, the longer it cooks, the more flavor it develops. If you’re making it on the stovetop, you can get away with a 30 minute simmering time, but when I made this I let it simmer away for four hours on the back burner and the flavor was just *chef’s kiss*.

This low and slow cooking method makes this turkey chili a great candidate for a slow cooker or pressure cooker as well – and I’ll provide instructions below for all three cooking methods.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Ground Turkey – while this is specifically a “turkey chili” recipe, you can certainly use another ground meat with the same ingredients if you want, such as chicken or beef!

Bell pepper – I used red; any color will do.

Onion

Garlic

Zucchini – or summer squash

Frozen corn – or fresh, cut right off the cob.

Canned black beans – feel free to use another bean such as pinto or kidney if you prefer.

Canned crushed tomatoes

Chicken broth – or vegetable broth, beef broth, or water – I used better than bouillon.

Spices: chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. You can leave the cayenne out for a mild version of this turkey chili.

Cocoa powder – you can omit this if you don’t have any on hand, but it adds such a surprisingly lovely flavor and texture!

Olive oil, salt, and pepper

How to make Turkey Chili with Veggies and Black Beans

First, we’ll sauté the onions and peppers in oil. Use a large heavy pot for this, such as a Dutch oven. If using a slow cooker, you can do this step in a large skillet if you prefer. If using a pressure cooker, do it directly in the insert using the “sauté” setting.

Then, add the spices and garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add the ground turkey and zucchini. Continue to sauté until turkey is broken apart and fully cooked.

At this point, if you are using a slow cooker, transfer everything to the crockpot.

Finally, add the broth, crushed tomatoes, black beans, corn, salt, and pepper. Stir everything together and simmer covered on low for 30 minutes – 4ish hours on the stovetop, stirring ocassionally. Or, set your slow cooker to low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. For the pressure cooker, set it to manual, high, for 20 minutes. Allow pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes when it’s done. Then, manually release the pressure valve.

Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions!

Sauté peppers and onions.

Add garlic and spices.

Add turkey and zucchini.

Add corn, beans, broth, and tomatoes.

What to serve with turkey chili

Once the chili is done, serve topped with your favorite chili fixings! I love some cilantro, red onion, and avocado on mine. Sour cream, cheese, hot sauce, and anything else you’d normally top chili with works well here.

This turkey chili is also delicious served with cornbread. I love making jalapeño cornbread to go with chili, or a sweet honey skillet cornbread.

It’s also great with just some homemade baked tortilla chips or crusty no knead bread. With all the veggies and flavor packed into this turkey chili, it’s also delicious on its own.

Can you freeze turkey chili?

Yes! This turkey veggie chili freezes really well in an airtight container for about 6 months to a year. So go ahead and double the batch. As long as you use a pot large enough to accommodate it!

Other ground turkey recipes

Other chili recipes

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Veggie-Packed Turkey Chili with Black Beans

This turkey chili couldn’t be easier to make, whether you use your stovetop, slow cooker, or pressure cooker! It’s absolutely delicious and super flavorful, with plenty of garlic and spices, but also healthy and filling- packed with veggies, lean protein, and fiber. You’ll love this easy and cheap crockpot-friendly turkey chili recipe!

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Course: ChiliCuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes minutesCook Time: 30 minutes minutesOptional extra cooking time: 4 hours hoursTotal Time: 45 minutes minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 279kcal
Author: Elizabeth Lindemann

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Ingredients2 tablespoons olive oil or other preferred cooking oil1 onion diced1 red bell pepper diced (or any color bell pepper)3-4 cloves garlic finely chopped or minced1 tablespoon chili powder½ tablespoon cumin½ tablespoon smoked paprika½ tablespoon garlic powder¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional; more or less depending on spicy level preference1 lb. ground turkey1 large zucchini diced1 cup chicken or beef broth vegetable broth or water can also be used1 tablespoon cocoa powder1 cup frozen corn or fresh15 oz. canned black beans drained and rinsed15 oz. canned crushed tomatoes1 teaspoon kosher salt more to taste if needed½ teaspoon black pepper more to taste if neededfixings for serving, such as chopped fresh cilantro, red onion, sour cream, shredded cheese, and avocado optional
InstructionsStovetop Instructions:In a large heavy pot such as a Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, sauté the diced 1 onion and diced 1 red bell pepper in 2 tablespoons olive oil until softened and starting to brown (3-5 minutes).Add the minced 3-4 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon chili powder, ½ tablespoon cumin, ½ tablespoon smoked paprika, ½ tablespoon garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper and stir to coat, continuing to cook for about one minute until fragrant. Add diced 1 large zucchini and the 1 lb. ground turkey and break apart, cooking until the turkey is fully cooked and browned and the zucchini has softened a bit.Add the 1 cup chicken or beef broth, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1 cup frozen corn, drained and rinsed 15 oz. canned black beans, 15 oz. canned crushed tomatoes, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.Cover the pot and simmer on low heat (I like using the back burner for this) for at least 30 minutes (but if you have the time, you can let it simmer for hours on low heat, stirring occasionally. I cooked mine for about 4 hours. The longer you simmer, the more flavor will develop).Serve with fixings as desired.Slow Cooker Instructions:In a large pot or skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the diced 1 onion and diced 1 red bell pepper in 2 tablespoons olive oil until softened and starting to brown (3-5 minutes). Add the minced 3-4 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon chili powder, ½ tablespoon cumin, ½ tablespoon smoked paprika, ½ tablespoon garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper and stir to coat, continuing to cook for about one minute until fragrant. Add the 1 lb. ground turkey and break apart, cooking until it’s fully cooked and browned.Transfer everything from the skillet into a large slow cooker. Add the diced 1 large zucchini, 1 cup chicken or beef broth, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1 cup frozen corn, drained and rinsed 15 oz. canned black beans, 15 oz. canned crushed tomatoes, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Stir to combine.Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Serve with fixings.Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Instructions:Set your instant pot to the “sauté” setting. Add the 2 tablespoons olive oil, diced 1 onion, and 1 red bell pepper, and sauté until softened and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the minced 3-4 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon chili powder, ½ tablespoon cumin, ½ tablespoon smoked paprika, ½ tablespoon garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper. Stir to coat and continue to cook for about one minute, until fragrant. Add the 1 lb. ground turkey and cook, breaking it apart, until fully cooked. Add the diced 1 large zucchini, 1 cup chicken or beef broth, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1 cup frozen corn, 15 oz. canned black beans, 15 oz. canned crushed tomatoes, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Stir together and turn off the “sauté” function on the pressure cooker.Cover and seal the Instant Pot and set to “manual, high” for 20 minutes. Once the time has completed, allow the pressure cooker to come down from pressure for 10 minutes, then carefully flip the quick release valve to release the remaining pressure. Open once the float valve indicates it’s safe to do so.Serve with fixings as desired.

Notes
If there’s a lot of stuck-on browned bits in the pot when you’re cooking the spices and garlic or turkey, feel free to add a little water or broth as needed to help scrape up any of those stuck-on bits.
This turkey freezes great! Freeze in an airtight container or plastic bag for up to 6 months.
Doubling the recipe is a great idea if you plan on feeding a crowd or want leftovers to freeze. But do make sure that the pot, crockpot, or pressure cooker you are using is able to accommodate a very large batch if you do this.

NutritionCalories: 279kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 833mg | Potassium: 996mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1587IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 4mg
Nutrition Information DisclaimerThe provided nutrition information is my best estimate and does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. I use an automatic API to calculate this information. Feel free to calculate it yourself using one of these tools:
Very Well Fit Nutrition Information Calculator

This post originally appeared on Bowl of Delicious on September 13, 2015. It has been republished with new photos, improved recipe instructions, and more pertinent information.

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