Full Flavor Crock Pot Turkey Chili

"If you like a chili full of robust flavor... You have got to try this recipe! Everyone who has tried it says it is the best chili they have ever had and it's made with turkey! You can adjust the spice from Mild to HOT-HOT! If you don't want to use dried beans, please feel free to used canned."
photo by Heather3271 photo by Heather3271
photo by Heather3271
Ready In:




  • Mix and soak beans overnight per package directions.
  • Process the fresh tomatoes, garlic, cumin, oregano, paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper and jalapeno (hot) peppers in the food processor; place in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Note: The 2 tablespoons each of hot spices makes a very mild chili- while the 4 tablespoons w/added hot peppers turns up the heat-- for those who like it HOT!
  • Take out four or five cups of the soaked beans and place in crock pot (cut it to 3 cups if you did the fast soak- they will still expand while cooking).
  • Freeze the rest for later use.
  • If you are using canned beans you'll lose some of the flavor-- but it's still good.
  • Fry the bacon until crispy and place in crock pot.
  • Brown the ground turkey in some of the bacon drippings and place in crock pot.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, bell peppers, broth, beer and tomato spice puree.
  • Stir to mix and let cook for 10-12 hours on low.
  • (You can also cook for 5-6 hours on high, but the beans will not soak up as much of the flavor).
  • Serve topped w/the shredded cheddar cheese.
  • This recipe is for a large crock pot. You can cut down on the ground turkey, beans and bell peppers a little if you have a smaller crock pot.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Generally I like chili that is thick and hearty. So based on my likes - this was really too soupy for my taste - and I didn't add the broth to the recipe. Also the turkey tasted really dry - though I bought a higher fat content grind - I wonder if it wouldn't be more tender to not brown it first and let it cook during the 10 hours on low. The flavor was nice and I love the spice paste that is made ahead of time. Still looking for the perfect recipe.
  2. YUM YUM! I can honestly say this is the first time I've not used canned beans, and I can't imagine going back now. I soaked a mix of black and pinto beans overnight. It didn't fit in my crock pot....I used my big soup pot and cooked for about 5 hours on a low simmer. I didn't use the bacon, and I didn't miss it either. I used all 4 Tbsp of the chili powder (and I used a mix of New Mexico and regular chili powder) with 1/2 Tbsp of cayenne and a fresh BIG whole jalapeno. My husband and I both loved the spice, but we like some kick in our food. We like our chili a little more 'soupy', so I added a whole dark beer and an extra 15 ounce can of crushed tomatoes with about a can of water. And I didn't feel like getting out the food processor, so I just popped the spice mix in the blender with a small bit of water to make a paste. Thanks for sharing a great base chili recipe....it's so easy to tweak and I love that!!!!!!!
  3. This was amazing. I didn't add the bacon as we don't eat pork or beef, I didn't add the jalepenos, hubby said it had enough KICK. We forgot the cheese which soaks up some of the spicieness on the first go around, but I remembered when I served it as left overs the next night and it was an even bigger hit! Everyone was sad to see the bottom of the serving bowl. I didn't have time to let anything sit and chill overnight so I just allowed for about an hour for the seasonings and the peppers and tomatoes to chill and it still worked out just fine. It was super easy for me to just crockpot it and go! I love meals like this. This is GREAT for a crisp fall evening. This is definately something I will do again and again. Thanks for the recipe!!
  4. I made this for my family with Auntie Mags' Recipe #169078, and they absolutely devoured it. I had to roll them away from the table! :) I sort of doubled the recipe for my 6-qt CP and probably shouldn't have because I ended up having to spoon out about 2.5 cups of liquid after an hour of cooking to avoid overflow. (I added it right back after serving the first bowl of chili, though.) I used 2.5 lbs gr turkey, 1/2 lb turkey bacon, 4 oz salami, 4-15 oz cans beans (black, pinto, dark red kidney, northern), 3-14.5 oz cans diced tom. + 28 oz crushed tom., 12 oz tomato paste, 4 cups veg. broth, 2 fresh tom., 3 garlic cloves, 2.5T cumin, 2T oregano & paprika, 4T chili powder, 1T cayenne, & 1/4 cup jarred jalapeno peppers. I also added an 8 oz pkg of sliced fresh mushrooms, and everyone loved that. I'm thrilled to say there were two awesome SURPRISES. First, I cooked the tomato paste down in a skillet before adding it to the CP; and it kept my husband from getting heartburn (and he ALWAYS gets heartburn)! Second, instead of regular beer, I used a 12-oz bottle of Leinenkugel's Berry Weiss. The sweetness balanced the heat so well and kept the fam coming back for more and more and more... :D Thanks for posting such an awesome recipe, Pugs-N-Apps!
  5. This was really good and thick. We used dried great northern beans and left out the bacon. Such an easy and simple recipe. Also left out the beer in it.


Born in New England, but raised in the Southeast US I have had a wide variety of influences in my food tastes. Being gluten free for almost 20 years due to Celiac disease, I have learned that I can make almost anything free of gluten if I try. A recipe to me is just a guideline, I tend to modify everything either to be gluten free or to my tastes. I love to bake, cook and grill. I joined this website when it was still RecipeZaar and will be updating some of my older recipes that I have since modified.
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