Recipe: Low-Fat Turkey Chili in Crock Pot

soaked kidney beans
Image by sweetbeetandgreenbean via Flickr

This is an easy, filling, and very flexible recipe. Double it and save half for an extra meal.

Serves 6


  • 1 can, or 1 cup dried, kidney beans.
  • 1 can tomatoes.
  • 1 onion, chopped.
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic.
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped.
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder, more if you like it spicy, or 1 tablespoon paprika and 1 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper and cumin.
  • ½ kg (1 pound) ground turkey. You can also use beef. I boil the raw, ground turkey in water to drain off the fat before adding it to the chili.


  1. If using dried beans, soak for eight hours. Remove stones and wash beans. If you’re short on time, place beans in water and cover with water to a level of 3 cm. (1 inch) higher than the beans. Bring to a boil, simmer for one minute, close the pot, and let the beans sit in the hot water for an hour. Drain. Cook for 30 minutes; they’ll continue cooking in the crockpot. Even with tomatoes.
  2. Place all ingredients, including drained beans, in the crockpot.
  3. Cook on High for 1 hour, then on Low for 4 more hours. Use Auto for 5 hours if your crockpot has this option. Otherwise use Low for 6-7 hours if you won’t be home to change the setting.
  4. Serve on top of  spaghetti or brown rice.


  1. You can make this quickly in a pot. Use cooked or canned beans, and saute the onion for 5 minutes before adding the other ingredients. Cook for 45 minutes, or 15 minutes in the pressure cooker.
  2. Like most stews, chili lends itself to additions. Add vegetables like celery, carrot, or zucchini. Or  some leftover soup or meat drippings. If you want it thick, add a quarter cup of oatmeal.
  3. Vegetarians can substitute additional beans for the turkey.

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