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The Absolute BEST Instant Pot Turkey Chili


With bold Tex Mex flavor and a simple ingredients list, this Instant Pot turkey chili is hands off to cook thanks to the Instant Pot! Cozy up with a bowl of this hearty, yet healthy chili.

If you inquire me, chili is the ultimate one pot meal with the great balance of protein and veggies. From slow cooker smoky turkey chili to Instant Pot vegetarian chili, there are so many different ways you can play with the ingredients and flavors.

instant pot turkey chili in a bowl with toppings and spoon

When it comes to chili, I’m a bit of a snob: it has to have the great bean: meat ratio, the spices have to be perfectly balanced, and it can’t be ‘too saucy’ or ‘too tomatoey’. After 5 attempts, I finally nailed this Instant Pot turkey chili.

Reasons to ♡ this Instant Pot turkey chili

  • it’s got bold TexMex flavor, and the great blend of spices
  • it’s simple to prepare and is hands off (thanks to the Instant Pot)
  • it’s great for meal prep: store in the fridge or freezer!

Recipe video

Wondering how this turkey chili comes together? Watch this 1-minute video to see how simple it is to prep! You can find more recipe videos on my YouTube channel.

overhead view of ingredients required for turkey chili

Ingredient notes

  • ground turkey– pick a mixture of light and dark turkey meat for the top flavor: typically, ground turkey can be found at the store simply labelled ‘ground turkey’. This is a mix of light and dark meat, and works perfectly well for turkey chili.
  • kidney beans– feel free to swap for black beans or pinto beans, if you like an extra ‘beaney’ chili, consider adding two 15 oz cans.
  • tomato sauce– not to be confused with ketchup, this is pureed tomatoes and is occasionally called ‘passata’.
  • diced tomatoes– for extra flavor, use fire roasted tomatoes; make sure to conclude the juices

collage image showing how to make instant pot chili

Step by step directions

Scroll to the recipe card for ingredient amounts.

  1. Sautée onions- Select the sautée function of the Instant Pot. To the stainless steel insert, add olive oil and onion. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, until softened.
  2. Add ground turkey- Break the turkey up with a spatula, and cook until no longer pink, 7-10 minutes.
  3. Sautée garlic- Make a space in the middle of the turkey/onion mixture, and add the garlic. Sautée for 1 minute.
  4. Add spices- Add the chili powder, cayenne, coriander, cumin and salt, and stir everything up.
  5. Add remaining ingredients- Add the stock, and stir everything up. Add the corn and kidney beans. Add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes on the very top and do not stir.
  6. Pressure cook- Set the Instant Pot to cook for 5 minutes, and allow a 10 minute natural pressure release. After the 10 minutes are up, carefully release the remaining pressure.

Recipe notes

Adding the spices

You’ll detect in the directions above that we specifically toss the turkey/onion/garlic mixture in the spices. The reason for this is that it helps infuse the meat with the flavors while it cooks. When the chili was cooked skipping this step, the turkey noticeably lacked flavor.

To make this step go seamlessly, have all your spices measured out into a small bowl. This way you can add them all at once, and not worry about the spices sticking to the pot and burning.

Avoiding a burn warning

This is a thick chili, so we need to be careful to avoid the burn warning. When adding the stock to the pot, take the time to scrape the bottom of the pot, ensuring that nothing is stuck.

Tomato products are notorious for triggering a burn warning, which is why we add them last. Do not be tempted to stir them in!

10 minute natural pressure release

When cooking soups or stews in the Instant Pot, I like to give them a 10 minute natural pressure release. This helps the liquids settle, preventing them from spurting through the valve while the pressure releases.

What a 10 minute natural pressure release means is that we will let the Instant Pot sit for 10 minutes after the timer beeps. At this point, you can release any remaining pressure.

For more information on fast versus natural pressure release, check out Instant Pot 101.

Instant Pot models that work

This recipe was tested in both a 6 quart Instant Pot and an 8 quart Instant Pot and it works great in both. I have not tested in a mini, and believe that you would need to cut the recipe in half to obtain it to fit. If you try, abandon us a comment below so we cognize how it goes!

turkey chili on soup ladle

Serve it with

Instant Pot turkey chili is great with a variety of toppings:

  • tortilla chips or strips
  • sour cream or greek yogurt
  • cilantro or green onions
  • avocado or guacamole
  • cornbread
  • shredded cheese
  • jalapeno slices

Storage and reheating

This turkey chili tastes even better on day 2, so it’s a great candidate for meal prep! Here’s how to safely store and reheat after cooking:

  • Fridge– cool completely, then portion out into meal prep containers or large jars. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  • Freezer– cool completely, then portion out into freezer-friendly meal prep contains, souper cubes, or plastic/glass freezer jars. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw– thaw overnight in the fridge, or immerse the jars partially in water to speed the process. Once thawed enough to obtain the chili out of the jar, you can heat in a pot on low heat.
  • Reheat– heat a large batch in a pot over medium heat on the stove until warmed through. Reheat individual portions in the microwave until steaming hot. Do not reheat more than once.

Check out my favorite freezer containers.

overhead view of three bowls of instant pot turkey chili

More Instant Pot soups + stews

Instant Pot Turkey Chili

Course: Soup

Cuisine: Mexican

Keyword: chili, freezer, ground turkey

Calories: 273kcal

Author: Denise Bustard

Servings: 6

With bold Tex Mex flavor and a simple ingredients list, this Instant Pot turkey chili is hands off to cook thanks to the Instant Pot! Cozy up with a bowl of this hearty, yet healthy chili.

Prep Time15 mins

Cook Time5 mins

Time to arrive to pressure + release30 mins

  • Select the sautée function of your Instant Pot. To the stainless steel insert, add the olive oil and onion. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is soft.

  • Add the ground turkey and use your spatula to break it up into small pieces. Cook for another 5-7 minutes, until turkey is cooked through and no longer pink.

  • Make a space in the middle of the ground turkey/onion mixture and add the garlic. Simmer for 1 minute, then stir it into the turkey/onion mixture.

  • Add the spices (chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and cayenne; see note 3). Mix with the ground turkey mixture.

  • Add the chicken stock and scrape up the bottom of the pan until nothing is stuck. Add the corn, kidney beans, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce (always add the tomato products last; see note 4).

  • Put the lid on the Instant Pot, set the steam release cope with to the ‘sealing’ position, then pressure cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.

  • Allow a 10 minute natural pressure release: let the Instant Pot sit for 10 minutes. At this point, you can carefully transfer the steam release cope with to the ‘venting’ position, releasing the remaining pressure.

  • Stir up the chili and enjoy!

1- I use a paprika-based chili powder blend for this recipe; find it in the spices aisle of your grocery store or make a homemade version using the recipe linked in the blog post
2- tomato sauce refers to a puréed tomato mixture; sometimes it’s called passata. Do not confuse with ketchup
3- it’s smart to have all the spices measured out in a small bowl before you begin cooking so that they don’t burn while you are measuring out the other spices.
4- tomato products are notorious for causing a burn warning; adding them last keeps them away from the bottom of pot.
5- serving size is strictly an estimate and represents 1/6 of the batch.
Topping suggestions
Top with tortilla chips or strips, guacamole or avocado, cheese, sour cream, cilantro or your favorite chili toppings.
Storage
Cool completely, then portion out into your favorite meal prep container or soup storage container.

  • fridge- store for up to 4 days
  • freezer- store for up to 3 months

Reheating

  • large batch- heat in a pot on the stove over medium heat, stirring frequently, until heated through.
  • individual portions- heat in the microwave until steaming hot

Serving: 1cup (note 5) | Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 1424mg | Potassium: 993mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1326IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 4mg


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