Even with cheese and fritos, this turkey chili is still around 400 calories.

The Beefiest Turkey Chili

There’s something about the beginnings of fall that always make me crave chili. When football season starts, this turkey chili is in my slow cooker on a regular basis – it’s the ultimate game day food. I love me some leftovers, and this chili gives me that too. With minimal effort. [Thanks slow cooker] And not many calories.

Is that a win-win-win-win?

Let’s Talk Flavor.

I used to add ground beef as the meat in this recipe. I switched to turkey because it’s cheaper and lower in cholesterol. For awhile I liked turkey chili, but wasn’t fully satisfied. One day I added a beef bullion cube on a whim. Anyone else’s awesome ideas just pop up like that? Anyway, that was the trick. This is beefiest chili that doesn’t have any beef.

PRO TIP: Aldi has a 1.20 lbs package of ground turkey for the price of a pound. Check out this post for other Aldi finds.

The amount of enchilada sauce in this chili isn’t a standard amount (like an 8 oz can or something). That makes me crazy. So I buy giant cans of it and freeze it in ice cube trays so I always have some on hand. My trays hold about 1.25 tablespoons in each well. I use 4 cubes of enchilada sauce. You could substitute tomato sauce, but I like the extra flavor kick enchilada sauce brings to the party.

The Last Step.

The cornstarch slurry might seem unnecessary. But you need to keep that step in to thicken your chili. Make sure to smooth out any cornstarch lumps so that you don’t end up with a strange starchy chunk. The starch needs a good half hour or so to work its magic science. Heating the starch allows it to trap more water between molecules and thus increases the viscosity of the chili.

OTHER RECIPES YOU MIGHT ENJOY: Southwest Turkey Burgers | Slow Cooker Potato Soup

Chili is pretty healthy.

Chili is one of those dishes that seems like it’d be terrible for you. But this is really a guilt free game food. The beans are filling, but low in calories. Ground turkey is the same. Almost everything that adds flavor doesn’t have any calories thanks to that giant pile of spices. An entire slow cooker full of chili is only 1300 calories before cheese. Add cheese [and Fritos] and you’re only around 400 calories for a serving. That leaves more calories for beer!

What’s your favorite beer to pair with chili?

The Beefiest Turkey Chili

Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword Chili, Comfort Food
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 260 kcal


  • 1 lbs ground turkey Aldi pack is 1.2 lbs
  • hot sauce

Into the Slow Cooker

  • 1/2 cup small red beans dry
  • 1/2 cup kidney beans dry
  • 5 tbsp enchilada sauce
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 beef bullion cube
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper optional
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded & chopped optional
  • 6 cups water

At the End

  • 3 tbsp corn starch


  1. Brown ground turkey in a skillet. Towards the end of cooking, add some hot sauce. I like Tabasco’s Smoked Chipotle.

  2. While turkey is browning, add beans, enchilada sauce, spices, & jalapeno to a slow cooker.

  3. Add browned turkey to slow cooker. Top with water and stir. Cook on high for ~4 hours. 

  4. Once beans are tender, dish some chili liquid only into a small glass/bowl. Mix in 3 tablespoons of corn starch to make a slurry. Add slurry to slow cooker and cook for another 30 min or until chili has thickened some. 


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I absolutely LOVE this skillet! My grandma got it for my for Christmas, and [as always] she picked a winner. I use it all the time. It cooks evenly. Nothing ever sticks. Since it’s made of ceramic there’s no harmful coating to worry about getting in your food. I seriously cannot recommend it enough!

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