This easy turkey, corn, and black bean chili is perfect for quick dinners on chilly weeknights! Ready in under an hour with just a handful of pantry staples.
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If you looked up “quick and easy weeknight dinner” in the dictionary, we’re pretty sure a picture of this simple ground turkey chili would be riiiiiiight next to it. It’s hearty, cozy, and ready in just over 30 minutes.
We’re leaning on pantry staples in this recipe – all you need are some basic canned goods, ground turkey, and some garlic, onion, and chili powder.
Serve with our quick gruyere biscuits or an easy skillet cornbread!
How to make this easy turkey black bean chili:
- Sauté garlic and onion, then add ground turkey and cook through!
- Add a few teaspoons of chili powder, then stir in a can of crushed or diced tomatoes and a bit of water.
- Mix in some canned or frozen corn and canned black beans. Add salt and pepper, bring everything to a simmer, and serve!
Riffs and substitutions
This is a VERY forgiving recipe, so feel free to mix it up and use whatever you have on hand! Some of our favorite additions and substitutions:
- Use fresh or frozen corn in place of canned, or swap the canned black beans for dry beans that you’ve soaked/cooked yourself.
- Use ground beef or ground chicken instead of turkey, or omit the meat and dial up the veggies to keep it vegetarian!
- Add a pop of color with fresh or frozen spinach or kale.
- Add diced sweet potato, butternut squash, mushrooms, lentils, rice, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, or white beans to mix it up!
Can I make this black bean chili in a crock pot or Instant Pot?
To make this chili in the crockpot or slow cooker, sauté the onion and garlic and brown the turkey as directed in a skillet on the stove. Transfer to a slow cooker, add all the remaining ingredients, and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until you’re ready to eat.
You can also make this chili in the Instant Pot if you like, but because this is already such a quick chili recipe it doesn’t really save time. That said, it’s still a great option if you prefer your pressure cooker! To use the Instant Pot, use the sauté function to cook onion, garlic, and ground turkey as directed, then turn off sauté, add the remaining ingredients, seal, and pressure cook 5 minutes on high to heat everything through and build some extra flavor. You can also sauté the onion + garlic + turkey in the Instant Pot and then use its slow cooker setting to cook it all day if you like!
This easy turkey chili is ready in under an hour with just a few pantry staples!
FOR THE CHILI:
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large can (28 oz) diced or crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 can (15 oz) corn kernels, drained
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained
- Chopped green onions
- Fresh cilantro
- Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat.
- Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add ground turkey to pot. Use a wooden spoon to break it into pieces as it cooks. Cook, stirring occasionally, until turkey is cooked through, 7-10 minutes.
- Add chili powder and stir to combine. Cook for 30 seconds or so until chili powder is fragrant.
- Add crushed tomatoes and water to pot and stir to combine. (We recommend eyeballing the 1/2 cup water and adding it right to your tomato can, then swirling it around to make sure you pick up every last piece of tomato before you add it to the chili!)
- Add corn and black beans and stir to combine.
- Reduce heat to medium and bring chili to a simmer. At this point, you can eat the chili right away, or you can reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, for an hour or two until you’re ready for dinner. If you let the chili simmer for awhile, you may need to add another 1/2 cup water or extra tomatoes to prevent it from drying out.
- Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve immediately with your favorite garnishes!
Additions and substitutions. Use ground beef or ground chicken instead of turkey if you prefer. Use leftover diced turkey in place of ground turkey (perfect for Thanksgiving leftovers!) Use kidney beans, butter beans, or chick peas/garbanzo beans in place of the black beans if you like. Use fresh or frozen corn in place of canned. Use fresh diced tomatoes in place of canned if you like (you’ll need about 2 pounds of fresh tomatoes). This chili is very forgiving: use what you have on hand! We like to add butternut squash, lentils or rice, kale, spinach, or diced sweet potato to make it a bit heartier!
To make this chili vegetarian and vegan, omit the turkey and add one or two cups of additional vegetables (see our substitution suggestions above!) Skip the sour cream and cheese toppings if you’re keeping this chili vegan.
To make this chili in the crockpot or slow cooker, sauté the onion and garlic and brown the turkey as directed in a skillet on the stove. Transfer to a slow cooker, add all the remaining ingredients plus an extra 1/2 cup water or chicken stock, and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until you’re ready to eat.
You can make this chili in the Instant Pot if you like, but because this is already such a quick chili recipe it doesn’t really save you any time. That said, it’s still a great option if you prefer your pressure cooker! To use the Instant pot, just use the sauté function to cook onion, garlic, and ground turkey as directed, then turn off sauté, add the remaining ingredients, seal, and pressure cook 5 minutes on high to heat everything through and build some extra flavor. You can also use the slow cooker setting on your Instant Pot instead of pressure cooking if you like!
Depending on the brand of chili powder you use, this chili isn’t terribly spicy; if you like more spice we recommend adding an extra teaspoon of chili powder, a dash of hot sauce, or a teaspoon of smoked paprika.
This is a relatively thick chili; if you’d like it to be more soup-y add an extra can of tomatoes or a bit of extra water! You can also increase or decrease any of the ingredients here to stretch it a bit further or play with the texture. This is a very forgiving recipe, so don’t be afraid to make adjustments!
Keywords: soup, main dish, healthy