Slow Cooker Turkey Bean Chili is a crowd pleaser, with umami from mushrooms and smoky ancho and chipotle chili flavor. It’s budget-friendly, can be made ahead of time, and is freezable. Perfect for casual entertaining, whether for friends or family. I make a big pot for lunch during our family Christmas gathering. Serve with a variety of toppings and let your guests customize their own chili bowl.
We’re in the thick of winter and stews, chili and soups have been on our weekly menus lately. During the wintertime, our bodies crave rich foods, and oftentimes, these foods are heavier and higher in fat. However, that can lead to those extra couple of winter pounds I gain. So, I’ve been trying to satisfy these cravings with comfort food that’s been lightened up, without sacrificing on flavor or heartiness.
This Slow Cooker Turkey Bean Chili is heavier on the beans than on the turkey. I use whatever beans I have in my pantry – black beans or red beans of any variety. That means, more fiber and plant based protein, with the added benefit of being a low-cost family meal, great for entertaining too. Love it when that happens. Mushrooms add some nice meaty flavor with far fewer calories. Chopped up fine, they meld right into this chili and add some bulk.
Toppings for Slow Cooker Turkey Bean Chili
An assortment of toppings make this slow cooker turkey bean chili especially fun for parties. Have some fun with your favorite toppings, including any of the ones suggested below. Serve buffet style with bowls of all the toppings so your guests can customize their chili bowls. Another idea I learned is to serve all the toppings in a bar condiment caddy.
- Chopped avocado or guacamole
- Chopped red/yellow onions or scallions
- Fresh or pickled jalapenos, minced
- Shredded cheese (sharp cheddar, pepper jack are extra flavorful)
- Low-fat Greek yogurt, plain yogurt, or sour cream
- Hot sauce (I like to provide mild and super spicy hot sauces)
- Fresh salsa or pico de gallo
Corn muffins or cornbread on the side are also a wonderful accompaniment.
Slow Cooker Turkey Bean Chili
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces mushrooms finely chopped
- 2 medium onions chopped
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon ground toasted cumin
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
- ½-1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder depending on desired spice leve
- 7 cups cooked black beans or red beans 1 pound dried beans, cooked
- 28 ounces can whole tomatoes chopped up in food processor
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup bean cooking liquid or low-sodium chicken broth
- Chopped avocado
- chopped scallions
- low-fat Greek yogurt
- low-fat shredded cheese
- Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onions and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add ground turkey and cook until browned and cooked through. Add oregano, cumin, chili powder, ancho chili powder, and chipotle chili powder. Stir well and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add black beans, tomatoes, bean cooking liquid, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour chili into a crockpot and cook on low 6 hours to develop flavors. Alternatively, continue cooking chili on the stovetop on low heat for 1 hour.
Serve with variety of garnishes on the side.