No ImageTurkey Chili (with Leftover Turkey)

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Alison

    This was so good! What a great recipe! I made a few modifications. I used smoked turkey and a homemade stock from the smoked turkey bones. I sautéed everything in the drippings from the smoked turkey, and added ground coriander and cayenne to the spices. I also was short on diced tomatoes, so I used one can and a can and half of pureed tomatoes, which made it a bit sweet and thick, but I didn’t have to add any sugar and it was very hearty. Great recipe!


  2. Dana Hamilton

    This recipe was fabulous! I always try to stick to the original recipe the first time, but did make a few minor alterations….

    – I used ground turkey instead; which I cooked before the onions
    – I omitted the green peppers
    – I used the fire roasted tomatoes- this is key!
    – I added about 1-2 Tb of brown sugar at the end.

    Enjoy! and thank you!


  3. Pia

    Excellent recipe! Would it work in an Instant Pot? If yes, how long do you think it should cook? I have a 3 quart pot so I would make half of this recipe. Thanks for all the great recipes!


    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Pia! Emma here, managing editor for Simply Recipes! Yes, I think this recipe would do well in the pressure cooker. I’d recommend following the instructions for our Pressure Cooker Beef Chili and cooking for 20 minutes at high pressure. Let us know how it works out!

      • Pia

        Thanks for the quick reply and info Emma! I will definitely give both a try in the Instant Pot!

  4. Pia

    Another great recipe!


  5. chris

    great base recipe. i thought i had chicken stock in the fridge but when i realized i didnt i subbed using my Blue Moon Pacific Apricot Wheat Ale, zested an orange, and squeezed in a bit of orange juice towards the end. also sauteed in half a jalepeno w/o seeds with the onions and pepper. was a big hit with the fam.

  6. Nicole Fiorello

    Hi! Is there a way I can make this in the slow cooker? If so how?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Nicole, this recipe uses already cooked turkey meat, and a lot of the flavor comes from sautéing the onions, peppers, and garlic first. I guess after the first step you could put everything in a slow cooker. But since the simmer time is only an hour, you wouldn’t need to slow cook it that long, probably just a couple hours (and hour to warm up to simmer, and an hour to simmer).

  7. Liz bedwell

    This is really tasty, have made again and frozen.

  8. Peg

    I made this with fresh ground turkey today.
    I sautéed all the vegetables, added red and yellow peppers along with jalapeño
    peppers, diced carrots, celery, onion and garlic in olive oil first . I added the turkey and cooked with the vegetables. A small can of tomatoes paste, Italian plum tomatoes and chili beans. Simmer for about an hour . I omitted the sugar as the carrots are sweet. Served with fresh chopped cilantro and sliced avocado. It was terrific.

  9. Jessica

    Making this right now and it already tastes so good! Great way to use leftover turkey!

  10. Helen

    I’ve made this a couple of times in the last few weeks. It is delicious – better on the second day.


  11. Leslie

    FabuLes! very easy and delicious. I added abit more of the spices to give a bit more flavor.

  12. Liz

    Two of us really enjoyed this chili recipe. Aside from omitting the tomato paste, I followed the recipe and can say it’s a winner.

  13. Larry

    This hit the spot. My friends and family were quite impressed. I’m gay so they expect me to be a great cook. thanks

  14. Liam

    Can i suggest cayenne pepper instead of chilli powder? This might just be a personal preference of mine but i do think it holds everything together better

    • Elise Bauer

      Of course, use cayenne pepper if that is what you prefer!

      • James Tudor

        Made the chili turned out great JD ty

  15. S. B.

    This is delicious! I made it over the weekend for a week’s worth of lunches. In place of stock, I used chicken broth and added a can of diced green chilies. I will definitely make this again.

  16. LadyA

    I made this chili tonight and it was every bit of amazing…we had nachos topped with the chili, shredded cheese,and sour cream…this is definately gona b great for family game nights…and this recipe serves up a huge pot full! Thanx!

  17. Tregenna

    OH MY GOSH this chili was so good. I substituted shredded chicken. I served it over rice because it was so spicy (but perfect spicy) and shredded cheddar cheese on top. If my avocados were ripe I would have sliced them and put them on top too. I am going to freeze portions in individual bags for eating later. My husband liked it so much he posted it on facebook! I HIGHLY recommend this chili.

  18. anna

    Leftover chili is good with eggs too – alongside scrambled or fried, or in a breakfast burrito… I’ve even used chili in frittatas. Just boil off some of the liquid first.

  19. Teal

    Thank you for that recipe. My boyfriend and I love it! It has become a staple of ours in the kitchen and I have gotten the recipe down. It is so nice and spicy! When we moved in together I knew we needed good recipes that we would both enjoy and get recipes that lasted a few days.

    Well done :)
    Thank you… Can’t wait to try the Chicken Paprikash

  20. Jennifer Cisowski

    This was simply delicous. Definitely the right combination of spices. I substituted ground turkey for shredded and 1 tsp of vinegar. SO good!

  21. vanessa

    This is the first and only chili I’ve ever made; I finally figured out two things to make this chili really killer – I pulsed the stewed tomatoes in my food processor a little bit at a time so that they were still chunky but a little more saucy; I also cooked it a lot longer, closer to 3 hours, so that it would thicken. With all of that, it’s soooo good.

  22. Sherihan

    OMG it was my first time making and trying chili and it was sooooo delicious and heartwarming, thx for sharing :))

  23. Courtney

    This has become my go-to chili recipe. It is the very best, and the flavors come out perfectly. I’ve been making it with chicken, since I had a freezer full of it. I just poached the chicken and shredded it. Otherwise, I follow this recipe exactly. Your food blog is absolutely my favorite, and I cook so much more since I found you. Thank you so much!!

  24. Anya

    Wonderful turkey chili recipe! I augmented it slightly by adding kidney and black beans, as well as chipotle in adobo chiles and a jalapeno, with a red pepper instead of a green one. Really delicious and filled my kitchen with a wonderful smell while cooking! Perfect winter meal.

  25. Jackie Jones

    I LOVE this website………The Turkey Chili is GREAT……

  26. AJ Kumm

    Fantabulous recipe. My husband made it, but substituted the shredded turkey with ground turkey and used white kidney beans and served it over corn bread. This is going in the recipe box for sure!

  27. njmom0303

    I just made this with my leftovers and it came out very yummy. Will definitely use this again next year.

  28. Joe

    The chili recipe was great. I tweaked it a little bit and entered it in a chilli contest and won. The Chili was great. First I doubled the recipe. I added more salt, more sugar, a habanero pepper, a red pepper, only added about 60% of the beans and a little more tomatoe paste. It was the best chili I have ever had and people raved about it. Thanks for the recipe!

  29. Matt

    This was pretty good, a great way to have to eat a pound of turkey over the course of the week :)

  30. KimDeC

    It was a great cure for turkey leftover boredom. Delish!

  31. Alison @ Wholesome Goodness

    We loved this! The only chili I ever make is white turkey chili, but this was a great change of pace. It was so easy and absolutely delicious. Thank you!

  32. Shannon

    This chili was great. I added some sliced olives, a dollop of light sour cream, and freshly sliced avocado. Excellent!

  33. Danielle

    I must tell you, I absolutely love this chili. I had just gotten a new slow cooker and I wanted to make a delicious turkey chili and yours was just what i was looking for.

    I did make a few changes, I used ground turkey chili instead of shredded, and in the place of the oregano, chili owder and cumin, i used what I had on hand, one of the little chili packets you can buy in the store, I let it cook for about 6 hours after browning the turkey with the onions and bell peppers. it was amazing. My husband now always asks for the turkey chilli. thanks

  34. Andrea

    This chili was great. A little spicy and a little spicy. I used ground turkey instead. The chili reminds me of Wendy’s chili. Since it’s just 2 of us, it’s a lot of chili. I love it.

  35. Jemma

    Turkey Chili was delicious! Instead of stock I used a dark beer. I also added corn, peas and 1/2 cup of crushed pinapple. I let the chili sit in a crock pot for 8 hours on low heat. I highly recommend these alterations to an already delicious recipe!

  36. Flora

    This chili was a perfect low cholestrol tasty turkey chili I was looking for. I used ground turkey and low sodium chicken broth and tomatoes. I made it for my family and friends they loved it. It feels really good to make a healthy, tasty meal that everyone loves. No left overs here.

  37. Jeff

    Wow! This chili was excellent! I didn’t have any leftover turkey, so I used some ground turkey instead. Great recipe — thanks!

  38. MRhé

    Elise, the chili was fantastic! Thanks for the recipe! Very filling :)

  39. Krystal

    This was great. quite a bit different than a usually make it and I must have had some super spicy crushed red pepper, so quite a bit spicier than usual but it was still excellent. I used ground turkey which I cooked with a slice of chopped pancetta and substituted a can of Romano beans for the 2nd can of kidney beans.

    Thanks Again Elise!!

  40. Andy

    I made this on Monday with the leftover turkey, now it is my go-to recipe!!

    oh, and I’m eating it as we speak :)

    I did add some ground ancho and chipotle powder in addition to the chili powder in your recipe.

  41. Ken

    Sounds great, but I really prefer chicken over turkey. Having lived in New Mexico for 7 years, I am addicted to green chilis (like Anaheim or Hatch) and suggest you try this with the green pepper replaced with about 4oz. of green chili (be careful, you have to develop your hot pallet!).

  42. Scott Smith

    This turned out great! I used 1.2lb of ground turkey meat, and started with the turkey, peppers, garlic, onions, olive oil, and seasoning on the stove. Then transferred everything to the crock pot with the tomatoes and beans and let it cook for a couple hours. Packed it up into the fridge (too late to eat any last night) and had it for lunch today… it was great. Very tasty with a good kick. Kinda sweet, and with excellent aroma. I think my house may smell like sauteed onions and turkey meat for a few weeks.

  43. Nicole

    This chili turned out fantastic. Even my husband, who thinks he doesn’t like tomatoes, loved it. Absolutely delicious!

    I added paprika, used red bell peppers instead of green, and added a small bit of chopped, unsweetened chocolate at the end. (Native Texan here.)

    Although, I wouldn’t really say this made A LOT of chili, but maybe our portion sizes are different. We will get about 5 servings out of this batch.

    I forsee turkey chili being a staple for post-Thanksgiving dinner in our family from now on. Thanks!

  44. SandyK

    Thanks again for this wonderful recipe!

  45. JoAnn Brereton

    I could make this in a crockpot, right? I’m thinking that once step #1 is done, just add the rest to the crockpot, cover, and let slow cook on low for 6-8 hours.

    What do you think?


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi JoAnn, well, since everything is already cooked (the turkey, the beans, the tomatoes, etc.) all you are really doing is cooking it so the flavors are well blended. So an hour on low on the stovetop is fine. I’m thinking that if you put it in a slow cooker for that long you may end up overcooking it.

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