A big warm bowl of this no-bean turkey chili will warm your soul on even the coldest of days. If you like beans, feel free to add them to this stellar chili recipe!
Is it getting cold where you’re at? It was in the 30s one night this past week in the Northeast. Cold weather makes me crave warm and cozy comfort foods, and this no-bean turkey chili totally fit the bill.
I know this may strike a nerve with some people. I do not like beans. I’ve tried to like beans and I have tasted many types of them just to see if I’ve changed my mind. I haven’t changed my mind. I love chili but I LOATHE the beans that many recipes call for…so I created my own take on a family recipe that left the beans where they belong. (In their cans in the pantry, off to die.)
This recipe starts off with a sizable portion of ground turkey, browned up in a pan before being transferred to the slow cooker. I love that this recipe uses ground turkey instead of beef to keep it on the lighter side of comfort food. Did I ever tell you that my first time making chili I just dumped all the ingredients into the slow cooker? Uncooked ground turkey and all? Turns out, if you don’t brown the meat first you get a consistency similar to that of wet dog food. I was not a fan of my own chili that day. I learned my lesson. For a superb chili, please brown the meat in a separate pan first. Your future bowls of tasty chili depend on it.
After the meat is browned there’s just a lot of gathering from the can-try. (Cans+pantry…get it?! I’ll stop now.) Either a large can of diced tomatoes or two regular sized ones will do. I used one regular can of diced tomatoes and another that was diced tomatoes with chiles, for a little added spice. Speaking of added spice, one diced jalapeno with the seeds mostly removed will add to the spiciness of the chili.
Next comes the chili seasoning. One cannot have a good chili without the proper chili seasoning. This is my boyfriend’s mother’s recipe that I used to toss into my Frankenstein version of her chili family recipe. For this batch of seasoning – 1/4 cup flour, 4 teaspoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons dried parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. This makes more than enough for one batch, so you only need to measure out 1/4 cup of the seasoning mix to toss in the slow cooker with your browned ground turkey. Store the rest in an airtight container in the refrigerator to use in your next batch of chili!
So, browned meat gets tossed into the slow cooker along with chili seasoning. Traditionally, the cans of diced tomatoes would also be tossed right in, but I have a slight dislike of chunky tomatoes…so I pureed the diced tomatoes in the blender along with a medium sized white onion for flavor. I added that liquid to the seasoning and meat along with one diced jalapeno and a 12 ounce can of Yuengling lager. You can use whatever lager or ale you have on hand, but I like the flavor that the Yuengling imparts on the chili. Mix everything all together and leave it in the slow cooker on high for 2 hours or on low for 4. This simmering time will allow the flavors to meld together to make a seriously yummy smell that’ll dance around your house having you ask when it’ll be time to dig into the chili.
Patience, young grasshopper. Do you have a favorite chili recipe?
Warm and Hearty No Bean Turkey Chili
- 2 lbs ground turkey browned
- 28 ounces canned diced tomato
- 1 medium white onion
- 1 diced jalapeno
- 12 ounces lager Yuengling
- 1/4 cup chili seasoning*
- Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add ground turkey and cook until meat is no longer pink. Drain excess liquid from the pan, add to slow cooker.
- If you prefer less chunks in your chili, puree diced tomatoes and onion, add to slow cooker. If you prefer chunkier chili, dice onion and add diced tomatoes as-is.
- Finely chop a jalapeno, removing seeds if you prefer less spice and leaving them if you prefer a spicier chili. Add to slow cooker.
- Scoop 1/4 cup of pre-made chili seasoning and pour over other ingredients.
- Pour 12 ounces of Yuengling lager over other ingredients. Mix to incorporate.
- Set slow cooker to high and cook for 2 hours or low and cook for 4 hours.
- Serve with tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, or sour cream (totally optional).
- Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. This chili also freezes well and can be defrosted and reheated.
Looking for other dinner ideas? Check out my dinner posts!