Easy Turkey Chili

Flavorful and crowd-pleasing, Easy Turkey Chili is a perfect fall comfort food.  Serve for lunch, supper or game day.

Easy Turkey Chili

If there’s ever a time you need to have chili, it’s fall.  But with all the harvesting, preserving and color watching that come with the season, extra time can be scarce!

So an easy chili is just what the doctor ordered! 

Even better, this Easy Turkey Chili is even made with basic ingredients you might already have in your freezer and pantry.

Plus did I mention it’s a family pleaser?  My husband was in heaven when I made it for dinner.  And I didn’t even thaw the meat first. 

easy turkey chili

Where is This Recipe From?

This recipe is based on a turkey chili from Larry’s Market in Milwaukee, WI, a popular local specialty food store.  Growing up, we cut our teeth on their glorious selection of cheeses and made regular use of their beautiful gift baskets to thank favorite teachers and carpool drivers.  

When I later discovered they also made great soups, it was a lifesaver.  Yes, in my corporate madness days, these graced everything from formal dinners to emergency family meals. 

So, I was delighted to find one of their recipes online, though I did make a couple of tweaks (noted) including my usual “add a veggie”.

Bite of Easy Turkey Chili

Why You’ll Love This!

Easy and Practical.  This pulls together quickly, with ingredients you may already have at home.

Versatile and Crowd Pleasing. This versatile dish works for lunch, a light supper or game day food!

Warm and Comforting.  Easy Turkey Chili is perfect when there’s a chill in the air.  And personally I’d take it before mac and cheese for comfort food!  

Easy Turkey Chili

What You’ll Need

Ingredient Notes

  • Ground turkey.  This provides the meaty goodness.  Turkey makes it lean but you can use another ground meat if that’s more convenient.
  • Chili powder. This provides the chili flavor.
  • Onion.  Celery.  Bell Pepper.   These add nutrition and flavor.
  • Tomato Paste.  This intensifies the tomato flavor.
  • Garbanzo beans.  These are a fun variation on the usual kidney beans.
  • Tomato juice.  This is the “broth” and adds nutrition.
  • Tomatoes.  Adds more tomato flavor
  • Salt, pepper.  Enhances the flavor.
  • Optional hot sauce.  This means that mild chili and spicy chili lovers can all be happy!

Special Tools

  • No special tools are required.

Step by Step Directions

Chop onions, celery and red peppers. I used the food processor. 

chop veggies

In a large Dutch oven, cook meat over until cooked through. Drain excess fat.

brown meat

Stir in chili powder, onion, celery, tomato paste and bell peppers. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just tender.

stir in vegetables to meat

Stir in garbanzo beans, tomato juice, and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.  Taste and add salt, pepper as needed.

Add tomatoes, juice and beans

For serving offer a choice of add-ons such as hot sauce, onions, cheese, or any of your favorite chili accompaniments.

How to Serve

Chili has everything you need for a main course soup, so it’s a very practical dish.  Serve it for lunch or a light supper and you’ll make everyone happy!

When I have the time, a nice cornbread is a favorite accompaniment.  But more often, for ease of preparation, a crusty bakery bread is my choice.  Tortilla chips are another winner. 

Consider snacking on some veggies and dip or adding a salad to really put this over the top, nutritionally. 

And don’t forget that a good chili is even better with lots of fun toppings! Some great ideas include:

  • Sour cream
  • Chopped onion
  • Grated cheese
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Cubed Avocado
  • Jalapeno slices

You can even continue the southwestern theme in beverages.  Consider a nice Mexican beer or a favorite local beer, flavorful Frozen Strawberry Margarita or Refreshing Mango Agua Fresca.

top easy turkey chili with cheese

Variations

There are so many ways to make a delicious chili.  Here are a few of my favorites:

And if that’s not enough, take a look at more tasty chili recipes below from some of my blogging friends.

easy turkey chili

Preparation and Leftovers

Chili is a great dish to prepare ahead since it doesn’t lose anything in reheating.  It will last a few days refrigerated.

This Easy Turkey Chili also freezes beautifully.  In fact I like to make a big batch then freeze leftovers for days when I’m super busy.  And it’s perfect for the family to thaw and reheat for a healthy meal when I’m away.

Tips & FAQs

I like to make my beans from dried if I have enough lead time.  It’s economical and you don’t need to worry about added salt or what’s in the can lining or, well anything!  

And while I’m making them, I’ll often make extra for my Spicy Hummus Dip.

chickpeas

Welcome to our 2022 Chili Cook-Off! 

October is Chili Cook-Off Month! We have delicious recipes from across the country to get your chili making to the next level of deliciousness!

#ChiliCookOff is an annual blogging event that is hosted by Ashley from Cheese Curd In Paradise

easy turkey chili

Easy Turkey Chili

Flavorful and crowd-pleasing, Easy Turkey Chili is a perfect fall comfort food.  Serve for lunch, supper or game day.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Dish, Soup
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup chili powder originally 3 Tablespoons
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 cup chopped colored bell peppers my add
  • ½ bunch of celery diced, about 1 cup
  • ¼ cup tomato paste my add
  • 4 cups garbanzo beans (2 15-ounce canc, originally 1 can)
  • 46 ounces tomato juice (canned)
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes (2 14 ounce cans)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot pepper sauce to taste

Instructions
 

  • Chop onions, celery and red peppers. I used the food processor.
  • In a large Dutch oven, cook meat over until cooked through. Drain excess fat.
  • Stir in chili powder, onion, celery, tomato paste and bell peppers. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just tender.
  • Stir in garbanzo beans, tomato juice, and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Taste and add salt, pepper as needed.
  • For serving offer a choice of add-ons such as hot sauce, onions, cheese, or any of your favorite chili accompaniments.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Originally published Feb 23, 2012.

16 thoughts on “Easy Turkey Chili

  1. grace

    my family would have a conniption if i made chili with anything but beef, but i would enjoy a turkey version! this looks great–i love the chickpeas, two cans for me! 🙂

  2. Inger Wilkerson

    Nancy & YummyChunklet–esp now that the upper Midwest has winter again!

    Agatha–yes you are right, garbanzo beans and chickpeas are the same. I would expect you could do other beans too although I think these are a nice change from kidney beans. Don’t you love recipes where you have all the ingredients!?

  3. Agatha

    Nice post!!! Plus food looks so lovely! Ideal recipe, as I have all ingredients at home. I just possibly replace garbanzo beans with chick peas – if it’s not the same anyway.

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