Creamy and spicy, this slow cooker turkey chili is packed with white beans, shredded turkey, corn, avocado, and peppers. A hearty and satisfying dinner idea, it’s a delightfully comforting meal, and it’s sure to please everyone at the dinner table.
Turkey day is awesome, but afterward, no one has the energy to whip up another meal. Here’s where this fantastic homemade chili comes in. Because it’s made in the crockpot, you can set it in the morning, and using those turkey leftovers, this meal will make itself within hours. Made as mild or as spicy as you want, this recipe is loaded with enough poblano peppers, corn, and sour cream to get you through the day. Topped with lots of jalapeños, cheese, and avocado, this easy dinner leaves everyone feeling full and satisfied.
Why We Love Turkey Chili
- Meal Prep: This chili simplifies our dinner routine. Set it up in the slow cooker in the morning; by evening, you have a fully prepared meal waiting for you.
- Perfect for Turkey Leftovers: This recipe is a genius way to repurpose holiday leftovers into a completely new dish.
- Versatile: Whether you prefer mild warmth or a fiery kick, this chili caters to all taste buds, and you can customize the heat to suit everyone’s preferences.
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili Ingredients
It’s time to blend savory, spicy, and creamy elements into a chili creation. With ingredients ranging from turkey and beans to the zest of fresh peppers and the creaminess of avocado and sour cream, just throw everything into the pot, and you’re done.
- Turkey broth – You can also add the leftover cooking juices from your turkey. Chicken broth is a good alternative.
- Dried great northern beans
- Poblano pepper – Feel free to use green bell pepper.
- Fresh garlic – You can use 3 teaspoons of garlic powder instead.
- Ground cumin
- Chili powder
- Shredded cooked turkey meat – Use this year’s leftovers for the recipe.
- Green chiles
- Salt and pepper
- Sweet corn – Use canned, frozen, or fresh corn kernels.
- Sour cream – Cream cheese or heavy cream are also okay to use.
- White cheddar cheese – Mild cheddar, Muenster, and even Pepper Jack cheese are great as well.
- Jalapeño – Feel free to use serrano instead.
- Fresh cilantro
How to Make Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
Creating this hearty turkey chili is as easy as it is rewarding. Follow these easy steps, letting your slow cooker do the heavy lifting, and before you know it, you’ll be slurping a bowl of warm, flavorful comfort.
- Add the broth. Pour the turkey broth into a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Add the beans. Stir in the beans, poblano pepper, garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Season with a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook it. Place the lid and cook the homemade chili on LOW for 6 hours or until the beans are tender.
- Mash the beans. Remove the lid and scoop out 1 cup of cooked beans. Don’t scoop out any broth. Transfer them to a bowl. Use a fork to mash them and then return the mixture to the crockpot.
- Add the turkey. Place the turkey and green chiles in the crockpot. Give it a good stir. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the corn. Cover the crockpot again and cook the chili on LOW for 10 minutes. Stir the corn kernels in. Add 1/2 cup of sour cream.
- Serve. Ladle it into bowls and add your favorite toppings.
Recipe Tips And Variations
- Use a cheese blend. It’s convenient and will add lots of flavor to the soup.
- Keep it mild. It sounds counter-intuitive but homemade chili doesn’t have to make you cry from all the heat. Reduce the amount of jalapeño or chili powder in the recipe to make it milder.
- Use rotisserie chicken. If you don’t have turkey leftovers, use rotisserie chicken to make this chili.
- Add cream cheese. Chopping 2 to 4 ounces of your favorite cream cheese and stirring it into the soup will make it richer and creamier.
- Soak the beans. Soaking the beans for at least 8 hours, or overnight, can help you cut the cooking time down to 4 hours.
For it to be a lazy day meal, I like to serve this turkey chili with whatever side dishes were leftover from the night before—for example, my Roasted Acorn Squash and Crispy Air Fryer Roasted Broccoli. To make it a little more filling, a bit of bread like my Focaccia, Garlic Parmesan Breadsticks, No Knead Skillet Olive Bread, or Naan is perfect.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- To reheat it, place it in the microwave for up to 2 minutes or until warm. You can also heat it in a pot over medium-low heat for 5 to 7 minutes.
Delicious Leftover Turkey Recipes
- Leftover Turkey Pot Pie
- Leftover Turkey and Wild Rice Casserole
- Baked Turkey Tetrazzini
- Leftover Turkey Soup
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
- 8 cups turkey broth, or chicken broth
- 2 cups dried great northern beans
- 1 poblano pepper, diced, you can also use green bell pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 2 to 3 cups shredded cooked turkey meat
- 2 cans (4 ounces-each) chopped green chiles
- ¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 1 cup sour cream, divided
- 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese, for topping
- 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced, for garnish
- Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
- Thinly sliced avocado, for garnish
- Pour chicken or turkey broth into a 6-quart slow cooker. Stir in the beans, poblano pepper, garlic, cumin, and chili powder.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or until the beans are tender.
- Uncover and remove 1 cup of the cooked beans and transfer them to a bowl. Mash the beans with the back of a fork. Return the mashed beans to the slow cooker.
- Add in the shredded (cooked) turkey meat, and stir in the chopped green chiles, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the corn kernels and ½ cup of sour cream; continue to stir until the cream is well combined. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust accordingly.
- Ladle the chili into bowls and top with jalapeno slices, cilantro, cheese, remaining sour cream, and avocado slices.
- Turkey: I used cooked shredded turkey because I had lots of leftovers. However, you can swap the turkey for shredded (cooked) chicken if that is what you prefer or have on hand. You can also use cooked ground turkey.
- Sour Cream: I used sour cream for a creamy texture, but you can also use softened cream cheese or heavy cream. Do not use yogurt because it will curdle. To make it dairy-free, leave out the cream(s).
- Poblano Pepper: Poblanos aren’t generally eaten raw as the outer skin is a bit tough; thus, cooking these peppers in soups and chilis is a great way to enjoy them. The poblano is a mild to medium-heat pepper, so if you do not like spicy foods, reduce the amount of pepper or chili powder in the recipe to make it milder. You can use a green bell pepper if you can’t find or don’t want to use poblanos.
- Cheese: White shredded cheddar is my go-to for this chili recipe, but you can use any blend of cheese that you like; shredded mild or sharp cheddar cheese, shredded Mexican blend cheese, and shredded cheddar jack are all good options.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.