turkey chili ready to eat

The Beefiest Turkey Chili

I love a good game of football, especially with some game day food. I also love leftovers. This turkey chili allows me to have both. With minimal effort. And it’s low in calories. Is that a win-win-win-win?

As with many things I make, I don’t always measure ingredients. Or even have the same ingredients each time. Over time this turkey chili has evolved into the current recipe here. I used to use beef. But beef is expensive. I switched to turkey because it’s cheaper and lower in cholesterol. This is the same reason we eat a lot of turkey burgers.

In chili, I want a beefy, hearty flavor. 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. I’ve stopped messing with the recipe since adding the beef bullion cube.

Once the weather starts to cool off, chili is in my slow cooker about every other Sunday. Grocery store in the morning, throw everything in before the game starts, and by the end of the game dinner is ready. Aldi has a ground turkey package that has 1.20 lbs instead of 1 lb, and they sell a large can of enchilada sauce for super cheap (check out this post for my favorite Aldi buys). Whatever sauce is left over goes into ice cube trays and gets frozen. My trays hold about 1.25 tablespoons in each, so I use 4 cubes of enchilada sauce. You could sub tomato sauce in, but I like the extra flavor kick the enchilada sauce brings to the party.

The cornstarch slurry at the end looks gross; I’m not going to lie to you. But if you want your chili to thicken up, you want this. Make sure to smooth out any cornstarch lumps so that you don’t end up with a strange starchy chunk in your chili. It also needs a good half hour or so to cook and work its magic. Well science. Heating the starch allows it to trap more water between the starch molecules and thus increases the viscosity.

Chili is one of those meals that feels indulgent but isn’t. The beans are filling, but low in calories. 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 you’ll still probably be under 400 calories for a serving. That leaves more calories for beer! Cheers!

What’s your favorite beer to pair with chili? I’m always looking for some new options 🙂

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, and spices to a slow cooker. If adding jalapeno and/or cayenne, add those now too. 

  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. 

To Pin for later ⇓

a pin for the beefiest turkey chili a pin for the beefiest turkey chili










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’s what’s peeking through the ground turkey picture above), it cooks evenly, and 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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