If you're looking for a healthy turkey chili recipe, try my Best Instant Pot Turkey Chili Recipe! It's super easy to make, packed with flavor, and is oh so satisfying. The ultimate comfort food! Recipe also includes instructions for making this chili in the slow cooker and stovetop.
This recipe was originally published on November 4, 2021. It was updated on October 23, 2023 with more helpful cooking tips and ingredient information.
Chili is, for me, one of the ULTIMATE fall comfort foods. Full of lean ground turkey meat, a combination of beans, rich flavors from spices, and favorite toppings like sour cream, green onions. This is hands down one of my favorite Instant Pot recipes!
The first time I made this chili recipe, my husband went back for seconds. The next day, he had leftovers. I knew then that this was the best turkey chili recipe that I've made so far!
This healthy dinner is now a regular in our family dinner rotation. I've made it dozens of times since, and it always gets rave reviews from friends, family, and readers!
🌟What makes this the best Instant Pot chili
Traditional chili recipes require the ingredients to simmer on the stovetop. Much like the traditional bolognese sauce that would simmer on your Nonna's stove all day long on Sundays, the meat, beans, and veggies in the chili would simmer for hours and create awesome flavor the longer they co-mingled.
What's extra awesome about multi-cookers – like the Ninja Foodi and the Instant Pot – is that they speed up that flavorful co-mingling process by pressure cooking and shorten cooking time. And these kitchen tools give you the same mouthwatering, complex, hearty chili in a fraction of the time.
If you're looking for a unique chili recipe, try my Dutch Oven Chili with Ground Turkey, Farro, and Stout.
🥓 Ingredient notes
Most of your prep work that goes into this pressure cooker turkey chili recipe is simply dicing veggies, then opening cans. The pressure cooker does most of the work!
- Bacon - the flavor starts from a foundation of salty crunchy bacon.
- Bell pepper, onions, and garlic - then the flavor builds with sautéing diced red bell peppers (you can also use yellow bell pepper), yellow onion (can substitute red onion), and minced garlic.
- Ground turkey - It's best to use ground turkey meat that is around 85% lean/15% fat. You want some fat to help build flavors and to keep the meat from drying out. If you prefer to have ground beef, you can use that instead of ground turkey.
- Beef broth - you can use your own homemade broth, or use one (14.5 ounce) can of beef broth. If you don't have beef broth, you can use chicken broth instead. Just be aware that it won't have the same depth of flavor as beef broth.
- Canned beans - I use a mix of one can each of pinto beans (or white beans), black beans, and red kidney beans. Use your fave hearty beans!
- Canned tomatoes - I love the extra flavor that canned diced fire roasted tomatoes add to this chili. You could also use regular diced tomatoes instead.
- Tomato paste - a small (6-ounce) can of tomato paste.
- Worcestershire sauce - Worcestershire sauce is what gives this chili an extra rich umami flavor!
- Herbs and spices - The final touches to make this super flavorful, rich, hearty pressure cooker chili is in the herbs and spices. Use oregano, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.
🧀 Substitution options
DAIRY OR DAIRY-FREE: On its own, this is a dairy-free chili recipe. However, for add-ins and garnish, I have used regular cheddar cheese and regular sour cream for the dairy lovers in my life. I simply sub those out for dairy-free sour cream and dairy-free cheddar cheese.
SPICE: This is a milder (yet still super flavorful!) chili recipe. Most of my recipes are on the milder side, because it's much easier to spice up a recipe than it is to cool it down. Like it spicy? Add jalapeños in the chili and/or on top as a garnish. You can also adjust the spices to your preferred level of heat.
VEGGIES: I like to add more veggies when I can into a dish. Diced carrots, green peppers, red onions, potatoes, and even small chunks of butternut squash would be yummy additions to this. You could even make this a vegetarian chili by subbing out the ground meat for butternut squash and more veggies. Just try to balance out the amount of veggies you put into the recipe for the amount of meat you are taking out of the recipe.
✅ Step-by-step instructions
Here are step-by-step photos and helpful cooking tips to making the best instant pot turkey chili recipe. A full ingredient list and instructions are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Press the Sauté function on your Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi, then add the bacon.
2. Sauté until the bacon is crisp. Transfer bacon to a plate or bowl lined with paper towels. Drain some of the grease, leaving about a tablespoon of grease in the pot.
3. Add the red pepper, onion, and garlic to the pot. Sauté, stirring regularly, until the peppers are slightly soft.
4. Add the ground turkey and break up the meat with a wooden spoon. as you do so, mix the meat in with the veggies. Cook just long enough to brown ground turkey, about 4 to 5 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. This will help you avoid a BURN notice while pressure cooking.
5. Add the beans (make sure they are drained), tomatoes (undrained), tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce.
6. Then sprinkle in the oregano, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.
Stir the ingredients together gently just enough to mix in the herbs. You don't want all of the tomatoes and tomato paste at the bottom, as that may cause your Instant Pot to give off a BURN notice.
7. Seal and lock in the pressure lid, making sure the pressure release valve is in the SEAL/SEALING position. Press the Pressure Cook (or Manual) setting on your Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi on high pressure. Set the timer for 20 minutes.
8. Once the 20 minutes is up and the pressure cooker is done cooking, allow the unit to Natural Pressure Release for 10 minutes (in other words, don't touch it for 10 minutes), and then move the pressure release valve over to Venting to allow for Quick Release. Once all pressure has been released and the pressure release indicator knob is all the way down, very carefully twist and open the lid.
Serve immediately and top individual servings with your choice of toppings. We love bacon, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and/or sliced jalapeños.
Kitchen tools and equipment
OPTION 1: Ninja Foodi - I make this chili often in my Ninja Foodi. I have the 8-quart XL Deluxe Foodi, but you can also make this in the 6-quart Foodi. And yes, that is my cookbook, The Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker Meal Prep Cookbook, in that first photo! ;)
NOTE: While cooking times remain the same, the 8-quart multi-cookers can take a few extra minutes to come to pressure. And no matter what size multi-cooker you have, you want to be sure to never add ingredients above your Ninja Foodi/Instant Pot fill line.
OPTION 3: Slow Cooker - If you don't want to make this in your instant pot, or if you don't have a pressure cooker, you can easily make this yummy chili recipe in a slow cooker. You can also make this in a dutch oven on the stove. You just need to make a few adjustments, which I've noted in the NOTES section of the recipe card below.
To make this chili, you will also need:
👩🏻🍳 Recipe FAQs
- Serve over tortilla chips and top with sour cream, chives, and bacon for chili nachos. Or use our Sheet Pan Nachos as a base recipe.
- Three words: chili cheese fries.
- Cook some frozen tortellini the next day and combine it with leftover chili for Tortellini Chili Soup. Just add a couple of spoonfulls of the starchy pasta water and mix together for more of a soup vs. chunky chili texture.
- Chili breakfast scramble: add to scramble eggs, top with avocado and sour cream.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 or 5 days. Or, store in an airtight, freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to two months.
Absolutely! You can either substitute your favorite plant-based meat alternative (like Beyond Beef Crumbles). Or, try using chopped mushrooms and potatoes instead of the ground turkey. Be aware that if you only use vegetables, you may have more liquid after it's cooked. You can either turn your Instant Pot/Ninja Foodi to sauté and stir regularly, allowing some of the liquid to cook off. Or you can simply spoon some of the excess liquid out.
🍷 Wine pairings for chili
Chili does, indeed, pair so well with a cold beer. However, I also enjoy a big bold red wine with this ground turkey chili. Go for a medium- to full-bodied red that has high tannins and high acidity to help balance the spices in this dish.
The Abacela Winery Tempranillo stands up beautifully to this hearty chili. A Malbec, such as the Misty Oaks Vineyard Malbec, would complement the mild spices and beans.
You can also pair this with a classic California red, such as one of my faves, a Ridge Vineyards Zinfandel.
More pressure cooker recipes
- Instant Pot/Ninja Foodi Seafood Jambalaya
- Ninja Foodi Shrimp Scampi Linguine
- Instant Pot Lentil Soup
- Pressure Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
- Instant Pot Potato Corn Chowder
More hearty comfort food recipes
Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to leave a 5-Star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card, and if you really loved it, please leave a comment further down on the page. Thank you!
Instant Pot Turkey Chili
- 8 slices bacon, sliced into small pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, de-stemmed and diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 - 1½ lbs. ground turkey
- 1 can (14.5 oz) black beans, drained
- 1 can (14.5 oz) pinto beans, drained
- 1 can (14.5 oz) kidney beans, drained
- 1 can (14.5 oz) fire-roasted tomatoes (do NOT drain first)
- 1 can (14.5 oz) beef stock (should equal a little more than 2 cups)
- 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp ground oregano
- 2 tbsp ground chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground paprika
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
Add-ons and garnishes
- sour cream (optional)
- cilantro leaves, finely chopped (optional)
- jalapeño (optional)
- shredded cheddar cheese (I use Daiya non-dairy shreds)
- Press the Saute mode on your instant pot, then add the bacon. Sauté until the bacon is crisp. Transfer bacon to a plate or bowl lined with paper towels. Drain some of the grease, leaving about a tablespoon of grease in the pot.
- Add the red pepper, onion, and garlic and sauté until the peppers are slightly soft.
- Add the ground turkey and cook until the meat is browned, breaking up the meat and mixing with the veggies throughout.
- Add remaining ingredients and half of the cooked bacon. Seal the lid.
- Press the Chili setting (or Manual/Pressure Cook) on your instant pot and cook for 20 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, and then quick release.
- Optional: top individual servings with bacon, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and/or sliced jalapeños.
- Cook the bacon and set aside on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Sauté the red pepper, onion, and garlic in a large skillet. Add the meat and cook until browned.
- Add all ingredients (except for half the bacon) into the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5-6 hours.
- Follow the instructions as you would for the instant pot, but after combining all ingredients, bring the chili to a low boil and then turn down to a low simmer for 3-4 hours.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.
NOTE: This post was originally published on October 25, 2018. It has been fully updated with new content, an updated recipe, new step-by-step cooking tips, and new photos and republished on November 4, 2021.