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Tex Mex Turkey Chili

Tex Mex Turkey Chili

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Looking for leftover turkey ideas? Look no further, this sweet and spicy Tex Mex Turkey Chili is absolutely delicious and has only 5 minutes of prep time.MORE+LESS-


shredded cheese, optional, for garnish


medium onion, chopped


sour cream, optional, for garnish


can (44 oz) pork and beans

1 1/2

lbs cooked turkey breast, chopped or shredded

1 1/2

cups chopped bell peppers, any variety


tablespoons chili powder


can (14 oz) diced tomatoes

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  • 1

    Place all ingredients except hot sauce and garnishes into slow cooker.

  • 2

    Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Add hot sauce to taste. Serve with optional garnishes.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • Still have leftover Thanksgiving turkey lurking in the freezer? Use it up in this sweet & spicy Tex Mex Turkey Chili. It's absolutely delicious and has only 5 minutes of prep time -- so you can throw a pot together, do some serious Christmas shopping, and come home to a delicious meal ready to serve! (And if you're out of turkey leftovers, just substitute chicken!)I have a confession to make…when the cold weather sets in, I become a slow cooker junkie. Most of the year it sits in my kitchen cupboard, but as soon as the evenings turn dark and cold, it becomes my favorite way to cook. I find myself searching for recipes, making family favorites and often throwing anything I can find in the pot! I can’t get enough of tossing things in to simmer during the day so we can have dinner ready and waiting in the evening.This sweet & spicy chili has only 9 ingredients and is such a fantastic and easy meal for a chilly evening. We’ve made it several times and love using up our Thanksgiving turkey in this recipe! My kids, who don’t normally like spicy food, loved this chili because of the sweetness from the pork and beans. My husband and I added our own hot sauce for a sassy kick and it was a winner all around.Could the directions be any easier? Throw everything into your slow cooker. Let simmer for 6-8 hours on low and you’re ready to serve! Enjoy!

Tex Mex Turkey Chili

A twist on traditional chili made with ground turkey, sweet corn and black beans mixed with Rotel tomatoes and green chilies. Serve in a bowl or scooped with tortilla chips, my Tex Mex Turkey Chili will satisfy your appetite with healthy ingredients.

Tex Mex Turkey Chili is a recipe shared by one of my best friends. Served once in the Crockpot during a Sunday football get-together, it did not take much convincing for me to say that this was one of the best turkey chili recipes I had tried.

This chili recipe is lean, yet spicy if you want with *Hot* Rotel Tomatoes and green chilies and chili seasoning. I have younger ones in my family so we chose mild Rotel and chili seasoning when we did a retake at home and they loved it!

Print this recipe card with ingredients and instructions at the bottom of this post!


1 pound fresh ground turkey
2 cans (14 oz) Mexican-Style diced tomatoes ( we use Rotel and switch between mild and hot flavor)
2 can (15 oz) black beans , rinsed and drained
1 package dried chili mix (your favorite brand)
2 cans whole kernel sweet corn, drained
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (optional)
1 cup water

*salt & pepper to taste and additional toppings like light sour cream and sharp cheddar cheese

Watch me put it all together in this video! All is well until the water bowl decides to jump in the Crockpot.

Tex Mex Turkey Chili is freezer friendly and goes well for lunch or dinner. Don’t forget to add a spoonful of sour cream and sprinkle some cheese on top for an extra delicious meal that will draw your family to the dinner table as it fills your home with such a wonderful smell!

Tex Mex Turkey Chili

Chili is one of those one pot meals that is great for any time of the year. Whether you’re trying to warm yourself up in the midst of a cold winter or doing a summer potluck with friends, you can’t go wrong with chili! We’ve used lean turkey, loaded it up with veggies, and added beans to make this a super healthy, hearty and delicious meal.

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ pounds ground turkey- we used 97% lean
  • 1½ cups chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 large poblano pepper diced
  • 1-2 medium jalapeños, stems and seeds removed, finely diced (use more for spicier chili)
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • Water- fill the 28 ounce tomato can
  • 2 14 ounce cans black beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons Cocoa Powder
  1. Turn on InstantPot to Saute mode
  2. Add oil
  3. Add onions, bell pepper, poblano and jalapeños and sauté for 3-4 minutes
  4. Add spices: garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper
  5. Saute for one minute and stir
  6. Add ground turkey and Worcestershire sauce-break up turkey using your utensil (turkey will turn a whitish color because it is lean)
  7. Continue to cook turkey for 5 minutes
  8. Add tomatoes, water, cocoa and black beans-Stir well
  9. Close the InstantPot lid and lock
  10. Turn vent on the lid to CLOSE VENT to prevent air from escaping
  11. Press CANCEL on the InstantPot
  12. Set pot to MANUAL mode
  13. Set to HIGH PRESSURE
  14. Set timer to 15 minutes
  15. Once timer goes off, allow the chili to sit for a minimum of 10 mins to naturally release the steam
  16. After 10 minutes, manually release the steam by opening the vent. The silver prong will drop back into the lid. BE CAREFUL OF THE HOT STEAM
  17. If you want the chili to have less liquid, set the InstantPot to Saute mode and simmer until you reach the desired consistency
  18. Serve with your favorite toppings! Enjoy!

Serving suggestion:
Serve with your favorite toppings: Shredded cheese, sour cream (or Greek yogurt), onions, green onions (scallions),
tortilla chips, crackers, fritos, salsa, etc

Can be thickened to use on nachos, baked potatoes or eaten as is.

As mentioned in the technique, you can thicken the chili if you do not like it soupy.
To make it spicier: add 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper when adding the other spices

VEGETARIAN VARIATION: Omit turkey and add other types of beans or vegetables. You can also use soy based crumbles to substitute for the meat.

NO ONION/NO GARLIC VARIATION: Omit onions and garlic. Use other types of beans and vegetables instead of the turkey.

Storage Options:
Mason Jars, Plastic containers, glass containers

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How to Cook Tex Mex Turkey Chili with Beans Step-by-Step

Add bacon to dutch oven, or multi-cooker (I used my Ninja 3-in-1 Cooking System (affiliate link) ), and cook on medium until crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes or so.

Add onions, garlic and jalapeños. Stir frequently until softened (about 5 minutes):

Cooking Bacon, Onions, Garlic and Jalapeños in Ninja Multi-Cooker

Add ground turkey and break up the meat – I used my Pampered Chef Mix N Chop (affiliate link) for this:

Using Pampered Chef MixNChop to break up ground turkey

Cook until meat is browned (about 10 minutes):

Cook ground turkey until browned

Add chili powder, cocoa, and cumin. Stir for 1-2 minutes.

Break up tomatoes with your hands and add along with remaining puree from the tomatoes to the pot.

Add molasses, water, and salt:

Adding molasses, crushed tomatoes and salt to chili pot

Reduce heat to simmer and cook covered for 15 minutes.

Add beans. Continue cooking uncovered for 30-45 minutes:

Cooking Tex-Mex Turkey Bean Chili in Ninja

Tex-Mex Turkey and Bean Chili from Martha Stewart

I have never been a big fan of Martha Stewart since I watched her butcher an “authentic” Spanish paella on national TV. The finished product looked more like fish and rice soup than paella and it was evident that Martha had never had the real deal.

I am a huge fan of the Mediterranean diet, but even I like to get back to my Tex-Mex roots. While many authentic chile specialists will be horrified at the use of beans in chile, this is a real winner.

Martha’s culinary skills (most likely those of her staff) seem to have matured with this delightful recipe for turkey chili from one of her “Everyday Cookbooks”. We use the recipe frequently to accommodate the many non-beef eaters in our family. Frankly, I can’t tell whether it is beef or turkey because the flavor profile is so rich. If you are looking for a hearty chili this winter, look no further than Martha Stewart’s Tex-Mex Turkey and Bean Chili.

(Editor’s Note: Order your Benton’s Bacon early since it takes about 3 weeks to arrive! This is a decision you will never regret.)


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