Get a healthy and filling dinner on the table with pantry staples and hearty veggies with this Instant Pot Turkey Chili. It's moderately spicy, just lightly sweet, and full of beans and lean protein.
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This recipe was originally published on March 24, 2020. It was updated with additional recipe information and new photos on November 2, 2020.
Add another delicious pantry-staple recipe to your menu this week with this Instant Pot Turkey Chili. It's an easy-to-follow and healthy recipe you can get on the table in under an hour.
Read on for options to make this recipe on the stovetop or in a slow-cooker. Also, use whatever canned beans you have on hand and don't worry if you don't have one or two of the hearty vegetables the recipe calls for. The chili will be delicious either way!
Sitting here getting ready to write this, I don't even know where to take my post. Do I try to convince myself to stay positive, making the argument to myself one keystroke at a time in fear of being another negative voice on your screen? Or, do I be real and share that I don't even know what to feel, hoping that it doesn't bring you down too but feeling I need to be honest about what's on my heart?
Do I be honest and share that I'm so overwhelmed and confused and anxious and sad that it's making me tired and want to just sit here on my couch binge-watching reality TV while snacking on chocolate chips?
And do I write that I'm worried about my loved ones and just barely fighting off frustration with people who aren't social distancing and that I'm struggling with the uncertainty of when this will all be over?
Because only after sharing and feeling my real feelings do I then feel better. And only by sharing my real feelings can we connect with and help others feel better about their real feelings too.
After all, we're all in this together. And we're all doing our best to figure it out and find the best way through.
And for me, that's trying to find and focus on the little things that I can do and control in such an uncertain time.
Like loving my family, counting my blessings, moving my body, making the most of my time inside, getting outside in nature, checking in with loved ones, and making myself healthy food.
This Easy Instant Pot Turkey Chili is one way I've been trying to do a few of the above. With pantry staples, long-lasting veggies, and lean protein, it's a satisfying comfort food I can bring to the table that tells us all it will be okay someday, even if we don't know how just yet.
I hope it brings that feeling to your table as well. <3
- Olive oil -- though you can also substitute in avocado oil
- White or yellow onion -- sweet onion works as well
- Green pepper -- or other sweet pepper (red, orange, yellow)
- Ground turkey -- a mixture of light and dark meat, or about 85% learn is perfect
- Spices -- chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt
- Beans -- use your favorite mixture of beans. I love using garbanzo beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans though black beans are also delicious!
- Corn -- fresh, canned, or frozen (defrosted) all work great!
- Worchestershire sauce
- Soy sauce -- or Coconut liquid aminos to keep this recipe gluten-free
- Canned diced tomatoes -- preferably without salt
- Tomato paste -- adds dimension and flavor to the chili
- Water -- only add this if you like your chili a bit more watery or soupy. Keep it out if you want your chili more stew-like.
- Brown sugar -- just a little bit adds a touch of sweetness to the chili, making it warmly spiced and delicious!
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- Garlic -- if you don't have fresh garlic, 1 teaspoon garlic powder works as a substitute
- Canned tomatoes -- if you don't have diced canned tomatoes, you can pulse tomatoes in a food processor or blender and use them in the recipe.
- Ground turkey -- 85% or 92% lean ground beef can work in place of the ground turkey
- Corn -- fresh or canned corn also works in this recipe
- Veggies -- you can use any combination of carrots, celery, sweet peppers, and onions in this recipe. So, use whatever you have on hand and like! As you can see in my ingredient photo (above), I was out of celery and green pepper when I made that batch, so I just used more onions and peppers!
This Instant Pot Turkey Chili Is...
- Lightly Sweet
- Full of veggies
- Ready in under an hour
- Comfort food
If you're looking for some healthy comfort food the whole family will love, this easy turkey chili is for you. It's hearty, spicy, just lightly sweet, making it super satisfying.
Can you freeze turkey chili?
Yes, you can freeze chili. Just store it in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for 2 months. For best results, defrost the chili before reheating it.
How do you make this recipe?
Follow the instructions and video below on how to make this recipe. For the complete instructions and specific measurements, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Heat the Instant Pot saute feature to medium heat.
- Saute the veggies in the oil until the onions turn translucent.
- Add the turkey and cook, crumbling as you do.
- Add the seasonings and garlic to the Instant Pot and cook another 1-2 minutes. or until fragrant.
- Pour in the beans, corn, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce (or liquid aminos), tomato paste, brown sugar, and water (if using).
- Turn the saute feature off and lock on the pressure cooker lid. Pressure cook the chili for 16 minutes on high heat.
- Natural release the pressure for 5 minutes and then quick-release the rest of the pressure.
- Serve the chili hot with your favorite toppings!
What beans are best for turkey chili?
You can use almost any bean for turkey chili. I usually use whatever beans I have on hand -- pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans, or garbanzo beans -- so grab whatever you have in the cabinet for this recipe!
Can you make this chili gluten-free?
Yes, you can certainly make this chili gluten-free. Simply substitute coconut liquid aminos in place of the soy sauce (or use a gluten-free soy sauce) and this chili is gluten-free and safe to eat!
How long do you cook chili in an Instant Pot?
It only takes about 16 minutes to cook chili in an Instant Pot, though you will want to make sure you saute the veggies and meat before you cook the chili in the pressure cooker, Use the natural pressure release for the first five minutes of depressurizing the pot and then switch it to the quick release to relieve the rest of the pressure.
Can you make this turkey chili on the stovetop?
Yes, in fact, making chili on the stovetop is how I grew up learning how to make it!
Follow the recipe directions as listed, sauteeing the meat and veggies in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat as listed in the recipe.
Then, after you add in the tomatoes, beans, and rest of the chili ingredients except for the water, simmer the chili on the stovetop over medium-low heat for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes, or until the chili is a deep red color.
Can you make this recipe in a slow cooker or crockpot?
Yes, you definitely can make this recipe in the slow cooker. It's a great way to save on time during busy evenings. Also, I'm not sure you can beat being greeted by the smell of chili when you get home from work. 🙂
Here's how to make slow-cooker turkey chili:
- Follow the recipe directions to saute the meat and vegetables, though doing so over medium heat on the stovetop in a dutch oven or soup pot.
- Add the seasonings to the meat and veggies and saute for another 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Pour the meat and veggie mixture into your slow cooker or crockpot. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, Worchestershire sauce, soy sauce (or liquid aminos), tomato paste, and brown sugar (i.e. all the other ingredients except for the water). Give the pot a good few stirs.
- Cover the chili and cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce to low and cook for another 7-8 hours, or until the chili is cooked through and a dark red color.
- Top with your favorite chili toppings and enjoy!
What seasonings do you need for turkey chili?
Common chili seasonings are chili powder, cumin, salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper. If you don't like your chili as spicy, you can either limit how much cayenne pepper you use or omit it altogether.
Can you use this chili for meal prep?
Yes, this chili is perfect for meal prep! It stores well and reheats like a dream. Enjoy it again...
- For lunch throughout the week
- Scooped it up with tortilla chips as a post-workout snack
- Or even topped with mashed potatoes for a fun take on a shepherd's pie.
How do you serve this instant pot chili?
This Instant pot chili is delicious served with cornbread, maybe a glass of beer, and any of the following toppings:
- Sour cream (or 2% Greek yogurt)
- Sliced green onions
- Diced cilantro
- Shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese blend
- Sliced black olives
- Diced tomatoes
- Crumbled tortilla chips
More Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker Recipes to Check out:
- Pressure Cooker Pineapple Chicken
- Instant Pot Risotto
- Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans
- Italian Beef Ragu
- Pressure Cooker Maple Baked Beans
- Instant Pot Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
- Pressure Cooker Bean Soup
- Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
Other chili recipes to check out:
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Add another delicious pantry-staple recipe to your menu this week with this Instant Pot Turkey Chili. It's an easy-to-follow and healthy recipe you can get on the table in under an hour, thanks to your Instant Pot or pressure cooker.
Use whatever canned beans you have on hand and just use whatever of the hearty vegetables you have on hand. The recipe will be delicious either way!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 large (or 1 cup) white or yellow onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 lb. ground turkey, preferably 85% lean
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 pinch - 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3, 15 oz. cans beans (garbanzo beans, pinto beans, black beans, or kidney beans), drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
- 1 28 oz. can diced unsalted tomatoes
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce or liquid aminos (See notes)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1/3- 1 cup water (optional; see notes)
- Your favorite chili toppings (optional); Sour cream, shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese, green onions, cilantro, sliced black olives, etc.
- Heat the Instant pot or pressure cooker to medium heat on the saute setting. Add the oil to the pot and heat it until it sputters when you flick the oil with water.
- Add the onion, celery, carrots, and pepper to the oil. Saute for 5-6 minutes, or until the onion turns translucent.
- Turn the heat up to medium-high heat. Add the turkey and saute, breaking up the meat as you cook, for 5-6 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through.
- Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper (if using), and salt to the meat mixture. Saute for 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture is fragrant. but the spices aren't burning yet
- Add in the beans, corn, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce or liquid aminos, tomato paste, brown sugar, and water (if using).
- Turn the saute feature off and lock in the pressure cooker lid. Turn the pressure cooker on high for 16 minutes.
- Natural release the pressure for 5 minutes and then quick release the rest of the pressure.
- Serve the chili hot with all your favorite toppings and enjoy!
1. To keep this dish gluten-free, use liquid aminos.
2. Water: if you like your soup a little thinner, add some or all of the water. If you like your chili more stewy, or thicker, just omit it.
3. This recipe is a great pantry recipe; the more of the fresh veggies that you can include the better, but if you are out of one or two of the veggies, just omit it. Similarly, you can substitute in a red, orange, or yellow pepper in place of the green pepper.
4. If you can only find whole Roma or plum canned tomatoes, just pulse them in a food processor or blender to break them down a bit before adding them to the chili.
5. If you don't have turkey or want to make this chili vegan or vegetarian, simply omit the turkey from this recipe.
6. Leftovers of this recipe last covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
7. Leftovers can also be frozen for up to 2 months in a freezer-safe container.
8. Recipe substitutions:
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder can work as a substitute for fresh garlic.
- 85-92% lean ground beef in place of the ground turkey
9. To make this recipe on the stovetop: Follow the recipe directions as listed, sauteeing the meat, veggies, and spices in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat as listed in the recipe. Then, after you add in the tomatoes, beans, and rest of the chili ingredients except for the water, simmer the chili on the stovetop over medium-low heat for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes, or until the chili is a deep red color.
10. To make this recipe in a slow cooker or crockpot: Follow the recipe directions as listed, sauteeing the meat, veggies, and spices in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat as listed in the recipe. Then, add the mixture of a crockpot with the rest of the ingredients (water optional), cover with a lid, and cook on high for 1 hour and then on low for 7-8 hours.
Amount Per Serving Calories 357Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 60mgSodium 1152mgCarbohydrates 41gFiber 9gSugar 17gProtein 22g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dieticians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.