Junior League Prize Winning Turkey Chili with Beans (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot)

This junior league prize-winning turkey chili with beans can be made in a slow cooker or Instant Pot and is amazingly flavorful and delicious.

turkey chili with beans

A Junior League Cookbook Prize-Winning Chili

This recipe for turkey chili with beans is my slight adaptation of one found in The Junior League at Home~a a recipe collection from Junior Leagues across the U.S.The cookbook calls this recipe “Favorite Chili Beans” and declares it the winner of a chili cooking competition. I’ve adapted this recipe for my family, and everyone loves it.

How do you make ground turkey flavorful?

Bland ground turkey can be made very flavorful with several seasonings. One of my favorites is the dry ranch dressing mix. I sprinkle it on the ground turkey once it has been browned and drained.  Turkey meat is best seasoned BEFORE other ingredients are added to the pot. After browning the turkey, I add the dry seasonings and mix until turkey crumbles are completely coated. Then, all other ingredients can be added and the chili cooked according to the recipe.

What beans taste best in chili?

There are several types of beans that taste great in this chili recipe. My go-to beans are Bush’s chili beans. They come in a chili sauce (mild or medium). Black beans, navy beans, and white and red kidney beans work also. I drain and lightly rinse the beans before adding to the chili.

How to serve turkey chili with beans.

If you have a crowd, a fun and yummy way to serve this chili is alongside these Perfect Baked Potatoes with Crispy, Garlicky, Salty Skins. In addition to offering a platter of these delish potatoes, I set out bowls of toppings for a potato bar. My favorites are chopped bacon, shredded sharp cheddar, sour cream & salsa. This chili is also wonderful atop rice or tortilla chips or simply eaten out of a bowl with saltine crackers.

How to cook turkey chili with beans in the Instant Pot.

This turkey chili can be cooked in the Instant Pot instead of the slow cooker. Simply prepare the turkey (browning & seasoning) and saute the onion, garlic & jalapenos) on the stovetop. Then add the meat, sauteed vegetables, and all other ingredients to the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes and allow to slow release. I leave mine in the IP for several hours if I can, as it gets better as it sits. See how I make this in the Instant Pot in the video below.

Watch me make Turkey Chili in the Instant Pot

If you try these, please let me know what you think! As always, thanks for being a reader! Be blessed, and stay savvy!

turkey chili with beans

Junior League Turkey Chili with Beans

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes


  • 2 (16 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans beans (I prefer navy beans or Northern beans)
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (frozen chopped onion works great)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 TB chopped pickled jalapeno
  • 1 TB plus 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 (6-oz) tomato paste
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 - 1 cup water or bone broth (beef or chicken)


  1. Brown turkey meat in EVOO; season with kosher salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  2. When the meat is brown, add onion and garlic on one side of the pan. Saute until tender. Stir into the meat.
  3. Place turkey and all other ingredients in slow cooker; stir well to combine.

SLOW COOKER- HIGH 3-4 hours or LOW 7-8.



  • The chili should be cooked until it has a dark, rich color.
  • I brown turkey a day or two ahead to save time
  • Leave chili in the IP up to 3 hours after pressure cooking; it stays warm and gets even better.

Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 293Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 80mgSodium 508mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 2gSugar 9gProtein 23g

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