By June 7, 2014 4 Comments Read More →

Summertime, Spicy Crockpot Turkey Chili


Usually, chili is associated with a cold winter day, but Richard and I enjoy this spicy, turkey chili on a “hot” summer day (Here in the Southwest, “hot” means well over one-hundred degrees!). Like most turkey chili, this chili is lighter and lower in calories than a beef chili. However, my spicy chili has a lot more going for it than just the fact that it’s made with turkey. A combination of special ingredients creates a unique chili.

sliced jalapenos

First, there’s the jalapeno peppers. Big rings of sliced jalapeno peppers, including the seeds and veins, make this chili “spicy hot”. This is not a chili for the timid. The heat level of this chili brings you right up to the point where your eyes feel like they might start watering, but they don’t. In my book, that’s perfect! Now, you might think that you shouldn’t eat spicy food in hot weather. That’s just not true. Spicy foods make you sweat, and in turn, that cools you down.

sliced mushrooms

There’s chopped mushrooms in this chili. I don’t know about you, but I don’t put mushrooms in my standard beef chili. The mushrooms give the chili a hearty flavor without the fat and unwanted calories of meat.  This chili is lighter and healthier than your average chili.

stewed tomatoes

Two cans of Mexican stewed tomatoes give the chili a strong tomato flavor. Lately, I’ve had to search through my local grocery stores to find these. So, when I run across them,  I stock up. The flavorful stewed tomatoes do make a difference in the chili.


Instead of dark kidney beans, this chili recipe uses Navy beans (small white beans) and pink pinto beans. These lighter beans balance well with the turkey, mushrooms and tomatoes. The chili is not overly laden with beans, making it suitable for summertime.


I don’t have to worry about heating up my kitchen during the hot summer weather when making this chili. It cooks in a crock pot. Another bonus is that this chili freezes well. I freeze mine in serving size containers. Then on a  hot summer night, when I don’t feel like cooking, I just defrost and serve. It doesn’t get any easier!


The last step to this perfect summer chili is serving it with fresh cilantro and lime wedges. They add that necessary burst of freshness. You can add shredded cheese if you like. I serve this spicy chili with warm tortillas and ice cold beer, for an ideal summer meal!

Spicy Crockpot Turkey Chili

Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 7 hours
Total time 7 hours, 20 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Freezable
A nutritious, spicy chili made with lean turkey, tomatoes, mushrooms, white beans and pinto beans. Topped with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice, this serves as a great summertime chili!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion (diced)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 celery stalk (diced)
  • 20oz lean ground turkey
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers (sliced into rings)
  • 1 cup diced fresh mushroom (approx. 4 large mushrooms)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2- 14 ounce cans Mexican stewed tomatoes
  • 1- 28 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1- 14 to 15 oz can Navy beans or small white beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1- 14 to 15 oz can pink Pinto beans, (rinsed and drained)


  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • lime wedges
  • shredded cheese (optional)


Step 1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté the onion, bell pepper, and celery for 5 minutes or until slightly soft.
Step 2. Add the ground turkey. Continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes or until the turkey is no longer pink. Break the turkey up into small pieces as it cooks.
Step 3. Mix in the minced garlic and jalapeno pepper. Cook for another 1/2 minute.
Step 4. Place the turkey mixture into a crockpot. Add the mushrooms, ground cumin, ground coriander, chili powder, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans. Stir gently, folding the bottom ingredients to the top.
Step 5. Cover and cook on low for 7 -8 hours.
Step 6. Serve with chopped fresh cilantro and lime wedges. Top with shredded cheese if desired.

Special Notes:

This Corn Maiden recipe is adapted from a recipe titled "Pollo Loco", created by Kelley Gracey of Wooster Ohio


salt pepper2

Vintage red hot chili pepper salt and pepper shakers from Lisa’s collection.

Chili cooking over fire

I am adding the pictures that Margie sent me of her Spicy Turkey Chili cooking over her fire pit (see comment left below). Man, does that look good!

alaskan pipeline fire pit

Margie’s told me her fire pit is made from a section of the Alaskan pipeline. How cool is that!

Posted in: Poultry, Uncategorized

4 Comments on "Summertime, Spicy Crockpot Turkey Chili"

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  1. Margie schaefer says:

    I made this chili again for company last night. I always forget how delicious it is, even though I make it fairly often. I think some salad with it would have been a good idea. I made some sour dough bread that I didn’t think turned out very well, but everyone else seemed to like it, and it was all gone by the end of our meal! Thank you Lisa for sharing this fabulous recipe. I’m forwarding the link to your blog to my friend Kristina. BTW, this recipe is an ample amount for 4 hungry adults.

  2. Margie Schaefer says:

    I made this delicious chili yesterday for a party at our cabin. Everyone loved it. We do not have electricity – so no crock pot, unfortunately. I cooked it in a Dutch oven indoors in our propane oven and then moved it outdoors to hang on our metal tripod over the bonfire. It was a hit. I took a photo for you, I’ll try and send that.

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipie. I will definitely make it again! I encourage everyone to try this recipie!

  3. suzy says:

    I made this chili and it is so good. Would never think to put
    mushrooms in chili but it was great.

    • Lisa says:

      Suzy, I’m glad you enjoyed the chili. I love the fact that you are making the things that I post! Makes me feel like it’s all worth while.

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