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Turkey Chili

Thank you to my wonderful husband for creating this recipe, which has become a family favorite. There’s something so comforting about chili. We love it because it’s perfectly suited for all ages in that it’s already in bite sized pieces and our kids really enjoy it. In fact, our kids have been requesting it since the age of 18 months! We rotate the ingredients depending on the season or our mood, and usually serve it over rice or quinoa.

The reasons I love it are different than my kids. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy the flavors as well. But, I’m a busy mom, and this is one of those meals that I can prep ahead of time and make extra for future meals which is a huge win. It does take longer to prepare than my typical simple weeknight meals, but the future time savings outweigh the initial prep time. The other reason that I appreciate this turkey chili recipe so much is because it’s full of vegetables, so it’s quite healthy and a great way to sneak in vegetables for those of you with kids that don’t love their veggies.

Turkey Chili

This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, nut free, egg free, and soy free. When we do the prep work, we chop twice as many veggies and put half in a freezer container for future use. This recipe also makes enough for 8 servings, and since there are four of us we either use the extra for leftovers for lunch or freeze it for a future meal when schedules get crazy.


  1. 1 pound of ground turkey
  2. 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  3. 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  4. 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  5. 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  6. 2-3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  7. 2-3 large carrots, finely chopped
  8. 1 8 oz. can of pinto beans
  9. 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
  10. 8-16 oz of water
  11. 1 teaspoon of cumin
  12. 1 teaspoon of salt
  13. 1 teaspoon of pepper
  14. 2 tablespoons of chili powder


  1. Get your slow cooker set up. (If you don’t have a slow cooker, this can be made in a large, oven safe pot.)
  2. Brown the turkey in a large saute pan on medium heat. Remove from heat when finished and add it to your slow cooker.
  3. Add the celery and carrot to the pan and “sweat” it until the celery starts to become translucent. This takes about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add it to the slow cooker when finished.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes and the drained pinto beans to the slow cooker.
  5. Add the rest of the chopped vegetables and spices to the slow cooker, and stir until evenly spread out.
  6. Add the water until you reach the consistency that you like best. Some people like a lot of liquid in their chili so that it has more of a soup feel. In those instances use the 16 oz. Otherwise, start with 8 oz and then add a little bit at a time until you’re happy with it.
  7. Cook on high for 4 hours in a slow cooker. If you’re cooking it in a large oven safe pan, then preheat the oven to 275 and cook for 5 hours.
  8. Optional – we like to serve it over rice or quinoa and top it with sliced avocado. We also like
  9. Enjoy!

Toddler Twist: My toddlers prefer to eat things separately, so I recommend serving the chili itself in one bowl and then the rice or quinoa, avocado and any other toppings in a plate with multiple sections. Once in a while they like to combine everything together, but only when they get to make it themselves.