If you need a new way to put leftover turkey to good use, you have come to the right place! This leftover turkey chili is a delicious way to reimagine cooked turkey into a hearty and flavorful meal.
Leftover holiday turkey can become a thorn in the side of every home cook. You don't want to toss it, but you just can't eat one more bite. That is exactly the time to make slow cooker turkey chili. It is a hearty meal your whole family will gobble up - without even realizing they are eating turkey leftovers - again!
To make this easy turkey chili, you will need:
- cooked leftover turkey meat - shredded*
- diced tomatoes - with onions and garlic, if available
- tomato sauce
- black beans
- kidney beans
- frozen corn
- diced green chiles
- chili seasoning - homemade or the store bought package (see below for homemade recipe)
- green bell pepper - chopped
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper - to taste
This new favorite leftover turkey recipe is a great way to keep the crew happy on game day! This makes it perfect for Thanksgiving leftovers.
This great recipe just involves a few simple steps:
Preparing your slow cooker
Prepare your slow cooker by coating it with a non-stick agent. Any nonstick cooking spray or oil will work. Olive oil and avocado oil are my go-to coatings.
NOTE: some slow cooker inserts come with a nonstick surface. Use of a non-stick agent is still suggested. However, oil is sometimes recommended rather than spray to protect the longevity of the non-stick surface. Check the manual for your slow cooker if you have any concerns.
Alternatively, you can choose to use a slow cooker liner.
Add all ingredients to prepped slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours (or high for 3-4 hours). Add salt and pepper to taste if needed and enjoy!
PRO TIP: Shredding turkey is harder than shredding chicken. To keep it as easy as possible, I use a small blender and pulse gently to shred.
Like all chili, this amazing leftover Thanksgiving turkey chili is perfect served with your favorite chili toppings. Some ideas include shredded cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and some sliced green onions. Fresh cilantro is also a yummy addition.
It is delicious in a scooped-out bread bowl or a taco bowl. Alternatively, a side of rice or riced cauliflower turns this easy meal into a dinner-time masterpiece!
Serve this dish with a bowl of corn chips or tortilla chips and lime wedges for an delicious kick! It is a thick and wonderful dish to scoop with chips on a cold day.
- No leftover turkey? This recipe is perfect with the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken as well.
- I generally make this dish with white meat as that is what I usually have leftover. However, any meat from a turkey or leftover chicken would work.
- Canned white beans, navy beans, great northern beans, and pinto beans can all be used in this recipe.
- This recipe is for a mild chili. If you like it hot, try adding diced jalapenos and red pepper flakes to your dish. Hot sauce can also be added to the bowls of those who want to dial it up. You may also want to try adding more chili seasoning to suit your personal taste.
- Not a fan of red chili sauce, then chicken white chili is for you!
If you love this recipe, please let me know in the comment section below!
Store leftover chili in an airtight container or zipper top bag. It will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator or 4-6 months when frozen. Storing in meal-sized portions makes for easy future reheat-and-eat meals.
😉Hints & hacks
- This great chili recipe is perfect for busy nights. It can stay on the warm setting in your slow cooker. Perfect for when your people will be eating at different times.
- This chili recipe is intentionally mild. To make it hotter, add a diced hot chili pepper with all other ingredients before cooking.
- Hate cutting veggies? Green peppers are available pre-cut in the market. They are often in the fresh vegetable section but are more economical purchased in the frozen vegetable section.
- I always recommend the use of a slow cooker liner. Of course, this is an optional step. I like to purchase my liners in bulk for a less expensive per-piece price.
- In the market for a new slow cooker? I love mine!
- Always double check to make sure your slow cooker is on and plugged in!!! Coming home to a cold slow cooker is the worst!
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Slow Cooker Leftover Turkey Chili
- 6 quart slow cooker or larger
- measuring cups and spoons
- blender optional
- 1-2 lbs cooked turkey shredded
- 2 -14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes with onions and garlic, if available
- 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 15 oz can black beans
- 15 oz can kidney beans
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 4 oz can diced chili peppers
- ½ cup chili seasoning homemade or packets
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
Homemade Chili Seasoning
- 4 tablespoon hatch chili powder
- 1½ tablespoon cumin
- 1½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground ground cilantro
- shred 1-2 lbs cooked turkey prior to use. I find that using a blender to lightly blend is easiest
- add 1-2 lbs cooked turkey, 15 oz can tomato sauce, 15 oz can black beans, 2 -14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes, 15 oz can kidney beans, 1 cup frozen corn, 4 oz can diced chili peppers, ½ cup chili seasoning, 1 green bell pepper, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
- cook on low for 6-8 hours (or high for 3-4 hours)
- top with shredded cheese, if desired and enjoy!