If you’re in need of a healthy pressure cooker chili recipe, you’re in the right place. Every serving of this simple turkey chili is packed with 23 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber, and only 235 calories. And thanks to freshly diced peppers, a homemade chili seasoning, and the Instant Pot, loads of flavor in minimal time!
It’s perfect for meal prep, and I’ve included a ton of ways to serve or incorporate your leftover turkey chili into other recipes. But that’s plenty of chili talk, let’s get down to business.
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Instant Pot Turkey Chili Recipe Walkthrough
I’ve included a visual walkthrough with tips, tricks, and ingredient notes below. If you skip down to the printable recipe card and have questions, you may want to hop back up to this walkthrough to see if it’s been covered.
Make your own chili seasoning.
This turkey chili takes a page from the book of my kid friendly chili recipe by limiting some of the veggie prep via garlic and onion powder. If you’d like to use freshly diced onion and minced garlic, you’re more than welcome to do that and add them in with the diced peppers in the next step. Though I’ll say I’ve tested both and obviously prefer this version.
You won’t see any salt in the recipe because every chili powder, can of beans, and chicken broth may have varying sodium levels. It’s better to salt to taste at the end instead of using a salty chili seasoning.
And in case you’re wondering, a pre-made chili seasoning would work here. Store bought chili seasoning, however, tends to have higher sodium content so be mindful of your other ingredients.
Dice 8 ounces of bell pepper or an assortment of peppers.
This turkey chili is definitely on the milder side of the spice spectrum. I went with a combo of sweet mini bell peppers and shishito peppers, which are both near the bottom of the Scoville scale. If you wanted to spice things up, use peppers like ancho, poblano, jalapeño, or gaujillo. Any hotter than that and you probably don’t need my help choosing chiles!
Brown ground turkey using the Instant Pot’s sauté function before flipping and adding the diced peppers. Brown the other side before mincing and fully cooking.
Now, to actually cooking the turkey chili.
If you’ve tried my ground turkey sweet potato skillet, you’re aware of my passion for browning ground meats. It’s one of the easiest ways to improve the flavor of your dishes via the Maillard reaction. That’s a fancy way of saying putting your meat in the pan or Instant Pot and leaving it alone creates the brown crust that’s full of flavor.
Make sure your Instant Pot heats up before adding the ground turkey or it may take a while to get the browning you’re after. Once the pot is hot, it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes or so. Then you can flip, add the peppers, and brown the other side before you crumble and finish cooking the turkey.
Turn off the Instant Pot and add tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, and the chili seasoning.
My biggest tip in this step is to use the tomato sauce and balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pot or remove any crispy bits (the fond) stuck to the bottom of the pot. Not only is there tons of flavor in the fond, it’s important to remove so you can avoid the Instant Pot’s “burn” error during pressure cooking.
Add 3 cans of beans and 1 cup of chicken broth. Stir, seal, and pressure cook for 15 minutes.
I used a trio of black, pinto, and kidney beans in my turkey chili, but you can make it your own with any beans you’d like. Since my recipes are geared toward macronutrient and calorie tracking, I never drain beans. There are tons of nutrients and goodies in the juices!
That said, you could drain and rinse the beans, using extra broth to make up the difference in liquid. If you’re winging it and add a little too much broth, you can always turn the Instant Pot’s sauté function back on after pressure cooking to reduce and thicken your turkey chili.
After pressure cooking, that’s a wrap. You’re ready to serve up some turkey chili or pack it up as meal prep for the week.
Serving Your Turkey Chili
There’s nothing wrong with keeping things simple. This turkey chili goes great with the usual corn chips (or baked tortilla chips for a lighter option), shredded cheese, and scallions or diced chiles. I also love using fat free Greek yogurt as a sour cream alternative.
If you want to get a bit more creative and work your chili into other recipes, check out these options:
- stuffed chili spuds using my air fryer baked potato recipe
- with the baked corn chips from my healthier Frito pie
- over hash browns with fried eggs like my breakfast chili
- inside leftover chili cheese dog boats or chili cornbread casserole
For even more leftover chili recipes, check out these leftover chili burritos or chili cheese enchiladas.
And that should cover it. If you have any recipe or ingredient questions I missed, don’t hesitate to leave a comment at the bottom of the post. Otherwise, enjoy your Instant Pot turkey chili!
Instant Pot Turkey Chili
This healthy 3-bean turkey chili has 23 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber in every 235 calorie serving.
- 1 lb Ground Turkey (97/3)
- 2 (250g) Bell Peppers, diced*
- 8 oz can Tomato Sauce
- 2 Tbsp (30g) Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 C Chicken Broth
- 3 cans (15 oz each) Beans (I used black, pinto, and kidney)
For the Chili Seasoning
- 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
- 1/2 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 Tbsp Dried Oregano
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Ground Coriander
- Use the sauté function on your Instant Pot to brown one side of the ground turkey (about 4-6 minutes).
- Once one side has browned, flip the ground turkey and add the diced peppers. Leave the turkey and peppers alone for an additional 4-5 minutes to brown the other side.
- Once both sides of the ground turkey have browned, turn off the Instant Pot. Add the tomato sauce and balsamic vinegar, deglazing the pot completely, before adding the chili seasoning blend. Stir until everything is evenly incorporated.
- Add the beans and broth before sealing the Instant Pot and pressure cooking on high for 15 minutes with quick release (vent immediately after cooking). Give the turkey chili a stir and salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with corn chips or baked tortilla chips, shredded cheese, fat free Greek yogurt or sour cream, and scallions or freshly diced chiles.
*You can use hotter peppers or a mix of peppers for spicier turkey chili. Check out this Scoville scale guide for choosing peppers.
Each serving of turkey chili has 1 WW SmartPoint (blue).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Servings Serving Size: 300g (about 1 1/3 C)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 235Total Fat: 3gCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 10gProtein: 23g
Monday 13th of December 2021
Fantastic recipe...entire family loved it! Has definitely made our dinner rotation.
Tuesday 14th of December 2021
Thank you, Donna!
Monday 29th of November 2021
made this recipe a week ago, but dont own an instant pot or crockpot so just subbed by using a large pot on the stove. followed directions pretty much the same but cooked the turkey in separate pan before combining everything. turned out amazing still!
Friday 26th of November 2021
This is my favorite chili recipe ever. I just used 3 cans of the same bean bc I was lazy. It was literally so quick and easy to make. It made a huge amount and I had enough to meal prep it for the entire week. I also added a diced onion
Saturday 6th of November 2021
So I’ve read through the directions and notes again but don’t see anything for stovetop prep. Should I just brown the meat as you describe and then toss everything in and simmer 15 min?
Sunday 7th of November 2021
Yep, you got it. I might go 25-30 minutes to let flavors develop and thicken the chili a bit more.
Saturday 17th of April 2021
This is one of the best chili recipes ever tbh. I go with kidney, garbanzo, and black beans every time I make this and it never fails to disappoint. The balsamic vinegar is a fantastic add, it does something to the chili that makes it taste so good! I like my chili on the thicker side, so when it’s done I always add a roux of cornstarch and water to thicken it right up. This makes enough chili for at least 3 meals for my boyfriend and I. I highly recommend!