The Olympia Kitchen

Recipe: Slow-cooker turkey chili


This chili recipe is healthy, easy and delicious. My daughter tells me she can’t eat chili unless I made it.  With the changing weather, this warm comfort food is perfect on raw, windy days.


2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
One large sweet onion, finely diced
One package of ground Turkey (I prefer regular ground Turkey, which includes both white and dark meat, instead of ground Turkey-breast meat). Ground beef can be substituted.
One green bell pepper, finely diced
One red bell pepper, finely diced
One large can of tomato sauce (for an extra kick, you can substitute spicy V-8 juice or even Bloody Mary mix)
One can of Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies
2 cans of chili pinto beans, not drained
2 cans of kidney beans, drained
1 can of refried beans
2 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon of granulated garlic
2 Tablespoons of ground cumin
2 Tablespoons of coriander
2-3 Tablespoons of ground chili powder
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of dried cilantro (optional)
Shredded cheese (optional)


Place the oil in a large skillet and heat it.

When it starts to shimmer, add the diced onions, green and red peppers.

Cook on medium heat until the onion begins to turn translucent.

Add the ground turkey and break up the meat, incorporating it into the onions and peppers.

Meanwhile, place the tomato sauce, and all beans except for the refried beans in the slow cooker.  When the meat and onion/pepper mixture is cooked, add the contents of the skillet to the slow cooker. Stir all of the ingredients together.  Then add all of the spices, and stir thoroughly. Put the slow cooker on the High setting for 2 hours.  Then stir the contents of the slow cooker and add the refried beans.  Stir and break up the refried beans and they will melt into the chili and thicken it.

Turn the slow cooker setting to Low, and cook for 3-4 hours, until the delicious smell tells you it is ready to serve.

If you like hotter chili, feel free to add a few drops of hot sauce while it is cooking. You can top the chili with chopped onions, scallions, shredded cheese or sour cream.

It will make a large slow cooker pot and feed 6-10.


Shannon Beigert is a chef and baker who loves to entertain guests at her Olympia home. If you want to let her know that this recipe worked well for you, send her a note at


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