Instant Pot turkey chili is very similar to my beef chili recipe but this one uses leaner meat and has more veggies like red peppers, celery, and sweet potatoes! It's brimming with flavor thanks to all of the delicious seasoning herbs and spices and all of it is surrounded by a tomato-based broth.
There is nothing more comforting than a hearty bowl of chili, and this one delivers! What's better is that it has so many added immune-boosting nutrients so it's a recipe I keep coming back to over and over again through the winter months.
It's a breeze to make in the Instant Pot. It's basically a dump-and-set recipe once you brown the meat and the pressure cooker will tenderize everything beautifully infusing all of the flavors into every single bite.
It's perfect for a quick weeknight meal and makes plenty of leftovers too! Serve hot with all of your favorite toppings and a slice of cornbread or tortilla chips!
Why You'll Love this Turkey Chili Recipe
- It's a one-pot meal ready in 20 minutes! So easy to have dinner ready and on the table quickly any night of the week.
- Having a healthy, hearty, and delicious dinner in one is always a win with the kids!
- It's flexible and there are no rules as to what has to be on your ingredients list. Play around with it to suit your needs. Add more veggies, make it a little spicier, or switch up the protein, it's all up to you!
- The pressure cooker makes chili in a fraction of the time as any stovetop or slow cooker method that requires a long simmering time.
- Lots of leftovers means effortless dinners on the following days!
- Ground turkey - A lean meat that is high in protein!
- Olive oil - Needed to sauté the veggies at first, but also used to keep the meat from sticking. Ground turkey is a lean meat that doesn't produce excess fat, so we need olive oil to help.
- Aromatics - As usual, the dynamic duo of onion and garlic is needed to impart amazing flavor at the base of this chili.
- Veggies - Coarsely chopped red pepper, celery, and diced sweet potato are the main veggies used. You can swap them for whatever you decide you like best.
- Broth - I used Better Than Boullion Roasted Chicken Base for flavor and convenience but when I have homemade broth on hand, you bet I'm using it.
- Seasoning - Oregano, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper combined strike a balance between a vibrant herb and warm grounding spices.
- Espresso powder - This is the secret to enhancing the flavor and making it less bland (as turkey doesn't have as much flavor as beef does). Using cocoa powder is the same idea.
- Brown sugar - A little sweetness to cut through the acid, mellowing out the tomatoes.
- Diced tomatoes - You'll need both the tomatoes and its juices.
- Kidney beans - I like to use kidney beans but you can use another kind or a combination of a few, such as navy beans, cannellini beans, black beans, etc.
How to Make Turkey Chili in the Instant Pot
Step 1: Turn on the Sauté function on your Instant Pot. Allow it to become HOT (after 1 minute, it will display the word hot). Then, add the olive oil, onion, red pepper, celery, and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened.
Step 2: Add in the ground turkey (along with more oil if needed to prevent sticking), and brown the turkey. This means you're cooking it until it is no longer pink. Press Cancel.
Step 3: Pour in the chicken broth and use a wooden spoon to scrape off any bits on the bottom of the pot. This is called deglazing the pot. Those bits add loads of flavor!
Step 4: Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and close the lid. Set the pressure release valve to the sealing position and press Pressure Cook (or Manual, depending on your model) on High Pressure for 10 minutes.
Step 5: When the cooking time is up, you can either do a quick release of the pressure or do nothing and allow the pressure to release on its own.
Step 6: Open the lid and serve hot with desired toppings. We love sour cream and cheddar cheese but see below for more ideas!
TOP 3 TIPS
- Veggies: Whether you want to add more or switch them completely, you can! Corn kernels, carrots, squash, mushrooms, regular potatoes, or a different color of bell peppers are all great ideas.
- Espresso: You can substitute not only cocoa powder, but instant ground coffee as well (although this last one, isn't as rich.
- Releasing the pressure: The Instant Pot cooks the chili in under 20 minutes, so doing a quick release is just fine. If you do want a deeper flavor, a natural release will give the flavors time to permeate even further. The longer it sits, the better it gets!
FAVORITE TOPPING IDEAS
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream
- Sliced avocado
- Diced jalapenos
- Tortilla strips
There are a few ways to go about this. You can leave it on sauté for a bit and allow the liquid to cook off or even add a cornstarch slurry if you're in a rush. Alternatively, you could use a rubber spatula, wooden spoon, or potato masher to mash some of the beans on the side of the pot. Give it a stir and you'll notice the chili will become thicker.
If it's not thin enough to warrant making any changes, you could let it cool and thicken a bit on its own as it cools.
Keep any leftover chili in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. If you're going to freeze it, allow it to cool completely and then keep it stored in a freezer-friendly bag or container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight when you're ready to enjoy it again.
You can easily swap the ground turkey for ground chicken or even ground beef. If you want to make it vegetarian, skip the ground meat and increase the number of beans and veggies instead.
It's not only gluten-free, but it's dairy-free too! If you want to make it refined sugar-free you can swap the brown sugar for maple syrup or leave it out altogether.
If you're reheating a big batch it's worth it to reheat it in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat. If it's just a single serving, the microwave is probably faster for those times when the kids just can't wait!
Instant Pot Turkey Chili
- Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 large sweet red pepper, cored, deveined and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups sweet potato, large diced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoon ground chili powder
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon Espresso powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 (15.5) can of diced tomatoes, and juices
- 3 (15 oz) cans of kidney beans
- shredded cheddar cheese
- sour cream
- Set the Instant Pot to Sauté mode. Add olive oil, onion, red pepper, celery, and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until softened.
- Drizzle more olive oil, if needed, to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the pot. Add in ground turkey and cook until brown.
- Deglaze the pot with chicken broth. Using a wooden spoon, scrape off any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Press the Cancel button to reset the instant pot. Add in the remaining ingredients (sweet potato, dried oregano, chili powder, ground cumin, espresso powder, cinnamon, brown sugar, salt and pepper, diced tomatoes, and kidney beans).
- Close the lid, making sure the knob is in the sealing position. Press Pressure Cook or Manual and set it to cook on High Pressure for 10 minutes. When it is done, manually release the pressure by switching the pressure release valve to the venting position or let it naturally release pressure by doing nothing (it'll be ready when the pin drops down and the lid can open).
- If you wish to thicken up the chili, you can do so in 2 ways:1. Press the Sauté button and let the liquid cook off for a few minutes. 2. Remove about ⅓ cup of the beans. Then, using a rubber spatula, wooden spoon, or potato masher, mash the beans and stir it back into the chili.
- Serve hot with desired toppings such as sour cream, and shredded cheddar cheese.