Leftover Turkey Chili is one of the best leftover turkey recipes! Easy to make, healthy and loaded with flavor – this is a must try! Make it in your crockpot, instant pot, or on the stove. This simple recipe is perfect for thanksgiving leftovers!
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If you’ve got Thanksgiving leftovers – this Leftover Turkey Chili recipe is a must try! Make it with white or dark meat – this recipe is great for leftover tough turkey. (And if you’re still planning your Thanksgiving menu – check out these Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes!)
Turkey leftovers can get pretty boring, pretty quickly… but this chili is anything but boring! Turkey gets cooked low + slow with tomatoes, veggies, and spices to make the perfect hearty meal!
And if you’re looking for how to cook your turkey – this Crockpot Turkey Breast is the best!
Why we love leftover turkey chili:
- easy to make – made in one pot, this turkey chili can be cooked in the crockpot, instant pot, or on the stove
- freezer friendly– after Thanksgiving, we’re typically sick of turkey. I love to make this and freeze it for another day. For all my freezing tips, check out my post on How To Freeze Soup.
- hearty & delicious! – this is much heartier than a turkey sandwich!
Ingredients for Leftover Turkey Chili:
This Turkey Chili is made with only 10 ingredients:
- crushed tomatoes
- olive oil
- garlic, onion, peppers, carrots
- cooked turkey
- black beans (rinsed and drained)
- frozen corn
- spices: paprika, red pepper flakes, pepper, salt, chili powder, cumin, and ground turmeric
You can find substitutions for all of these ingredients below in the green shaded substitutions box.
If you’re looking for other slow cooker recipes – check out these Paleo Crockpot Recipes.
How to make Leftover Turkey Chili:
- Add all ingredients to the crockpot except for frozen corn.
- Mix together until combined. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours.
- When ready to eat, stir in frozen corn.
Substitutions for this slow cooker turkey chili recipe:
It’s easy to substitute ingredients in this turkey chili recipe! Feel free to customize it however you like.
Meat: This chili works with cooked ground turkey, ground beef, or chicken (ground or shredded)! We also have Ground Turkey Chili, Ground Beef and Sweet Potato Chili, and Pumpkin Chicken Chili if you’re looking for other chili recipes!
Veggies: You can use more or less of any of the veggies in this recipe. Feel free to use fewer peppers, more carrots, etc. It’s a pretty flexible recipe.
Beans: Feel free to omit beans in this recipe
Paleo/Whole30: If you are paleo/Whole30 – skip the beans + corn in this recipe.
Spices: Feel free to add more/fewer spices depending on your tastes. You could also add chopped, de-seeded jalapeno to the crockpot for more spice!
Instant Pot Turkey Chili
If you are making this in the instant pot, make sure to scrape off any pieces of food on the bottom of the Instant Pot or you may will have a burn notice during cooking.
You also must make sure your Instant Pot pressure is set to sealing. See below for instant pot instructions in the recipe.
What to Serve with Easy Leftover Turkey Chili
There are a lot of different ways to serve this leftover turkey chili!
- Rice/Quinoa: We love to serve our chili over brown rice
- Over a salad
- With cornbread
- With chips
- Toppings: Guacamole, avocado, and chopped onion are all great toppings for this recipe. We love to add cheddar cheese, crushed tortilla chips, or non fat greek yogurt/sour cream too!
If you’re paleo or whole30: Serve this chili over cauliflower rice, Crispy Sheet Pan Roasted Potatoes, or with your own homemade roasted plantains.
Our favorite way to serve chili: Over rice with cheddar cheese and green onions.
Turkey Chili Toppings:
Here are some of our favorite toppings for turkey chili:
- guacamole or avocado
- fresh salsa (this Pineapple Mango Salsa is great!)
- tortilla chips
- sour cream or greek yogurt
Storing Leftover Turkey Chili
Refrigerator: Leftover Turkey Chili is good for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. You can freeze it before then if you don’t plan on eating it.
Does turkey chili freeze well? Yes! You can freeze this turkey chili! This chili freezes very well. I love these containers for freezing chili. They’re portioned silicone molds that make freezing so easy!
Then, when you’re ready to enjoy, you can take a container out of the freezer and heat it over the stove or in the microwave. It’s great for a quick meal!
How do you reheat leftover chili? I usually reheat turkey chili in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes. You could also reheat turkey chili in a pan on the stove.
How long can you have leftover turkey in the fridge? It’s best to eat turkey within 2 days after you’ve cooked it, but it can last up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Do you need to cook the meat ahead of time?
Yes, you need to cook the turkey before adding it to the crockpot. It adds texture to the chili and ensures the meat is completely cooked! If you’re making this recipe on the stove/instant pot – you also need to cook the meat.
Leftover Chili FAQ
This Leftover Turkey Chili Recipe is good for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. You can freeze it before then if you don’t plan on eating it.
The most popular ways to eat turkey leftovers are in a sandwich, soup/stew, chili, or casseroles like a turkey pot pie!
You can reheat turkey chili in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through. You could also reheat turkey chili in a pan on the stove.
No, leftover turkey is not good after 7 days. It could make you sick from bacteria.
There are so many things you can do with overcooked turkey, but the best thing to do is use it in a recipe that rehydrates it. Soups, stews and chili are perfect for using up overcooked turkey.
Leftover Turkey Chili
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup onion minced minced
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced minced
- 1 cup carrots chopped in small pieces
- 1 cup red bell peppers chopped in small pieces
- 3 cups cooked turkey (breast, dark, meat, etc- chopped)
- 40 oz canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoons paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes omit for less spicy
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 15 oz can black beans rinsed + drained
- 2 cups frozen corn
- Chop vegetables.
- Heat olive oil in a pan on the stove. Add in the onion, garlic and carrots. Sauté for 2-5 minutes or until slightly translucent. (This step is optional, but recommended!)
- Stir all of the remaining ingredients EXCEPT corn together in the crockpot until thoroughly mixed.
- Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours. Five minutes before serving, add in frozen corn and stir until warmed. Serve over rice or cauliflower rice.
Instant Pot Instructions
- *Warning* The instant pot Is very finicky. We do not recommend making this chili in it unless you must as it may give you a burn notice. This chili tastes much better and is easier to make in your crockpot or on the stove. Note: You will need 1 cup of water in addition to the ingredients listed above to make this in the instant pot.
- Chop vegetables.
- Set the Instant Pot to sauté mode for 5 minutes. Heat olive oil. Add in the onion, garlic and carrots. Sauté for 2-5 minutes or until slightly translucent.
- Important: Make sure to scrape off any pieces of food on the bottom of the Instant Pot or you will get a burn notice during cooking.
- Add peppers, cooked turkey, crushed tomatoes, spices, beans and 1 cup of water to the pot. Do not add corn. Stir together.
- Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook for 6 minutes on high pressure. Make sure the pressure release is set to sealing (on older models). When finished cooking, allow pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.
- When ready to serve, add in frozen corn and stir until warmed. Serve over rice or cauliflower rice.
- Chop vegetables.
- In a large pot on the stove, heat olive oil. Add in the onion, garlic and carrots. Sauté for 2-5 minutes or until slightly translucent.
- Add peppers, cooked turkey, crushed tomatoes, spices and beans. Do not add corn. Stir together.
- Bring chili to a low boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and cook over medium heat for 20-30 minutes on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally. You can simmer this on the stove for up to 2 hours.
- Five minutes before serving, add in frozen corn and stir until warmed. Serve over rice or cauliflower rice.