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A perfect dinner for a cold night, this healthy Turkey Chili is made in the slow cooker and is freezer friendly! Eat half now and freeze the rest!
Does anyone else agree that soups and chilis make some of the easiest freezer meals?
I mean, for the most part, you cook everything in a crock pot and stuff it all in a freezer bag. And to be honest, I think it tastes better the next day, after being frozen and reheated.
This is the best turkey chili recipe and it makes for a super easy freezer meal! It has lots of spices, and it’s warm and hearty- the perfect comfort food for cold days. Meal prep this ahead of time and have dinner ready for those busy nights.
Scroll down to the bottom of the post to get to the recipe card. Or keep reading for extra tips and tricks!
P.S. Want to watch how to make this? Check out the Turkey Chili recipe video on my Youtube channel!
I keep most of these ingredients at home already, so I don’t have to run to the grocery store to pick up those forgotten items:
- Lean ground turkey (Ground beef or other ground meat is fine too)
- Red kidney beans
- Pinto beans
- Tomato juice
- Tomato paste
- Cayenne pepper
- Salt and black pepper
- Chili powder
Note: When I originally made this, I used just one pound of ground turkey and added some shredded zucchini/carrots for extra bulk. If you don’t want to do this, you can just use two pounds of ground turkey instead.
- Beans: Feel free to use other types of beans, like black beans. Add more if you want a vegetarian chili instead!
- Liquid: Use chicken broth instead of water
- Other vegetables: I like adding red bell pepper and green pepper.
- Seasonings: If you like spicy food, add some red pepper flakes or other favorite spicy seasonings.
Best tips for prepping a freezer meal
- Add it to your meal planning routine! Make a plan to double the recipe, and double the ingredients. The best part is, this doesn’t take any extra time when cooking!
- Make prep lists if you’re cooking more than one recipe. Batch steps together- chopping all the vegetables at once, cooking all the meat at once, etc. Little bits at a time!
- Set aside more time than you think you need. Especially if it’s your first time making freezer meals. You need time for prep, cleanup, and any mistakes (Which happens to me a LOT)
How to make
In a large pan, cook the ground turkey with the diced onion until the meat is fully browned.
Add to the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients. Cook for 6-8 hours on LOW.
Divide into bowls and serve with your favorite toppings and side items.
How to store
Once the chili has cooled to room temperature, store in an airtight container in the fridge. Use up within 3-5 days.
How to freeze
Lay flat on a baking sheet and place in the freezer overnight. This will stay fresh for 3 months, but it’s still safe to eat after that.
To defrost, place the bag on a baking sheet and put in the fridge overnight. Then you can heat it in the slow cooker or on the stovetop when you’re ready to eat! Reheating chili is super easy.
What to serve with this
When I eat chili, I usually load it up with a bunch of my favorite chili toppings:
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream
- Fritos or other tortilla chips
This makes a healthy meal in itself, but chili and cornbread also go really well together. I like making my favorite recipe for these Cornbread Muffins!
Other chili and soup recipes
Looking for other great recipes to add to your collection? Here are some of my favorites:
- Creamy White Chicken Chili
- Quick and Easy No Bean Chili
- Sweet Potato Chili
- Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili
Print this healthy turkey chili recipe now:
- 2 pounds ground turkey or beef (Or use 1 pound with 1 cup each shredded zucchini and carrots)
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 can pinto beans
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 46-ounce can tomato juice
- 2 6-ounce cans tomato paste
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 cup water
- In a large pan, cook the ground turkey with the diced onion until the meat is fully browned.
- Add to the slow cooker with the remaining ingredients. Cook for 6-8 hours on LOW.
- Divide into bowls and serve with your favorite toppings and side items.
Recipe adapted from PinkWhen.
To freeze, divide into 2 gallon-sized labeled freezer bags. Lay both flat on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer.
To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge and let simmer on the stove for about 20 minutes.
Jaime is a Nutrition Coach and professional writer. She enjoys cooking easy meals, running, and learning more about food.
Jaime specializes in helping women with ADHD learn to meal plan and cook healthier meals without getting overwhelmed.