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This quick and easy turkey chili recipe is irresistible comfort food that you can feel good about! It’s made with pantry ingredients and is ready in just 30 minutes.

You may also like my Quick Chili Recipe or Creamy White Chicken Chili next.

a bowl of turkey chili with a spoon

Why you’ll love it

This super easy turkey chili is on the table fast. Ground turkey is one of my favorite proteins, and it’s amazing in this perfectly seasoned chili. I have a few other turkey chili recipes like my Turkey Sweet Potato Chili, but I’m excited to add this basic one to the site!

You can customize the heat level in this chili, and my seasoning blend has spices you can pick up at any grocery store. It also makes awesome leftovers, so meal prep or work lunches is easy. I love eating this ground turkey chili on a rainy or chilly day.

What you’ll need

  • Olive oil – for sautéing
  • Onion – I like sweet (Vidalia) onions
  • Ground turkey – it’s lean, inexpensive, and delicious
  • Tomato paste – it adds rich, concentrated flavor
  • Worcestershire sauce – for another punch of savory goodness
  • Spice blend – we’re using chili powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, and cayenne. Most chili powders are mild, but you might want to double check if you’re sensitive to spice and/or decrease the cayenne pepper.
  • Beans – canned red kidney beans are always in my pantry
  • Rotel – the original variety has a bit of a kick, so use mild if heat is a concern
  • Chicken broth – another layer of flavor
ingredients for turkey chili in prep bowls

Pro tip

This makes a smaller batch to feed four people, but you can easily double it if you want to freeze some or have a larger family/teenagers to feed!

How to make turkey chili

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

sauteing onions and ground turkey in a soup pot and adding chili seasonings

In a large pot, sauté the onions in olive oil until softened. Add the turkey, breaking it apart as you go along, until browned. Stir in the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and spices.

stirring in tomatoes and beans into a pot of chili and simmering

Add in the beans, Rotel, and chicken broth/water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir every so often. Meanwhile, prep your toppings. When it’s ready, taste and season with salt & pepper.

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

  • I use this Dutch oven to make this recipe.
  • Dish up soups and chilis with this sturdy ladle.
  • Here’s my favorite trusty can opener for the canned goods, and use a spoon or meat masher to break up the turkey.

Substitutions and variations

  • Chili is fairly flexible, so making a swap or two shouldn’t hurt. Don’t have kidney beans? Swap with a different kind like black beans or navy beans. Don’t like a particular spice in here? Omit it.
  • This is a turkey chili recipe, but there’s no reason why ground beef or ground chicken wouldn’t work in here.

What to serve with turkey chili

  • Some of my suggested chili toppings are: shredded cheddar, sour cream, cilantro, corn chips/strips, chopped red onions or scallions, and avocado.
  • Cornbread also is a great way to round out the meal.
  • If you’re craving something fresh to pair it with, try spring mix with my Chipotle Ranch Dressing.

Leftovers and storage

  • Leftovers will keep 3-4 days in the fridge but can be frozen for a few months.
  • Reheat in the stove in a covered saucepan or the microwave. I recommend prepping toppings fresh if possible.
a pot of turkey chili with a ladle

Please leave a star rating and review below if you made this turkey chili recipe! If you made this or any Salt & Lavender recipe, tag me on Instagram with your photos.

a bowl of turkey chili with a spoon
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Easy Turkey Chili

This quick and easy turkey chili recipe is irresistible comfort food that you can feel good about! It's made with pantry ingredients and is ready in just 30 minutes.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste, see note
  • 1 (14 ounce) can red kidney beans drained
  • 2 (10.5 ounce) cans Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies with juices
  • 1/2 cup water or chicken broth
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Suggested toppings:

  • Shredded cheddar, cilantro, sour cream, corn chips/strips, scallions or red onions, avocado, etc. optional, to taste


  • Add the olive oil to a Dutch oven/soup pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the ground turkey to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, breaking it up as you go along.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper. 
  • Add in the beans, Rotel, and water (or chicken broth). Increase heat to high and bring it to a gentle boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes with the lid slightly open, stirring occasionally. 
  • Prep the toppings while the chili is cooking.
  • Season with salt & pepper as needed, then serve with toppings and enjoy. 


  • Skip or reduce the cayenne pepper if you prefer a milder chili. Original Rotel does have a bit of spice as well, so this one has a bit of a kick. Most chili powders are mild but be sure yours is if you’re going to add the cayenne pepper and are concerned about spice levels.


Calories: 334kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 38g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 62mg, Sodium: 166mg, Potassium: 1164mg, Fiber: 11g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1754IU, Vitamin C: 17mg, Calcium: 102mg, Iron: 7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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