Our lean Instant Pot Turkey Chili is not only hearty and absolutely delicious, but it’s also chock full of fiber, protein, and nutrients. It’s perfect for a comforting weeknight dinner, and you’ll have leftovers for lunch the next day.
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Instant Pot Turkey Chili checks all of the boxes. It’s delicious, healthy, easy, freezer-friendly, and can be made in both the Instant Pot and slow cooker.
What’s in Instant Pot Turkey Chili?
Here are some of the powerhouse ingredients in this delicious, yet oh-so-healthy chili:
- Sweet potatoes (a superfood!)
- Lean ground turkey (sub: ground chicken)
- Tomato paste
- Petite diced tomatoes
- Broth (make your own with this recipe)
- Black beans
Isn’t it so pretty?!
Is it Gluten Free & Dairy Free?
You bet! This is a great recipe for anyone trying to avoid gluten and dairy in their diet. Just skip the sour cream topping at the end and you’ll have yourself a super healthy bowl of chili!
How to Make Turkey Chili in the Instant Pot
After writing our second cookbook, From Freezer to Cooker, we consider ourselves pretty knowledgeable when it comes to navigating the Instant Pot. We honed in on the perfect cooking times for all types of recipes. We also utilize the multi-cooking functions that the Instant Pot offers. This turkey chili recipe is a perfect example.
1. Dice the veggies.
You will first saute your veggies and then cook all of the ingredients to perfection.
Let’s start with peeling and dicing up those sweet potatoes, shall we? Put on some music or your favorite podcast and get to work. This is the most tedious part of the recipe so once you get these taters done, you are practically home-free!
Now, in retrospect, these potatoes could have been diced a wee-bit smaller. I didn’t mind bigger chunks of sweet potato, but go ahead and chop them a bit smaller than what’s in the picture below.
Next, you’ll chop the onion up.
P.S. If chopping onions makes you weepy, try chewing gum when you do it! Wearing contacts also helps a ton.
I’ve seen some home chefs go to great lengths like wearing goggles to avoid the onion tears. We aren’t saying you should do that. But if you do, please send us a picture.
2. Let’s saute!
Set the Instant Pot to “Saute” (highest heat setting). Pour in 2 tablespoons of the oil and heat it until shimmery.
Add the sweet potatoes and onions and cook, stirring, for about 4-5 minutes, until they start to soften, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper while they cook. Transfer them to a plate and set aside.
3. Brown the ground turkey.
After you’ve transferred the veggies to a plate, let’s get that turkey cooking!
Pour the remaining 1 tablespoon oil into the pot and heat until shimmery.
Add the ground turkey and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat as it cooks, until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper as the mixture cooks.
4. Pressure cook the chili.
The hard work (if you call that hard work) is done! All you have to do now is dump the remaining ingredients into the Instant Pot, lock and seal the lid, and pressure cook it!
How Long to Cook Chili in the Instant Pot
Now here’s the key to delicious Instant Pot Turkey Chili: Great timing! If you follow our recipe, you’re good to go. But…be sure to download and print off our Instant Pot Cooking Times Chart that we spent two years developing for our cookbook.
This guide will help you pressure cook both fresh and frozen meals perfectly! It’s our gift to you!
P.S. Did you know we published an Instant Pot cookbook called From Freezer to Cooker? During our two years of research and testing, we learned EXACTLY how long to cook meals in the Instant Pot both from fresh OR from frozen. Be sure to download and print off our Cheat Sheet here. It’s so helpful to have inside your cabinet.
Can You Make Turkey Chili in the Slow Cooker?
Yes, this turkey chili works beautifully in the slow cooker. In fact, we have a whole post walking you through how to make Slow Cooker Turkey Chili. You will still need to brown the meat ahead of time, but this recipe works great both ways.
How to Freeze Turkey Chilli
It’s no secret we are big fans of freezer meals around here. In fact, we have 2 freezer meal cookbooks, 1 Hour Freezer Prep Sessions, and even a round-up with 70+ freezer meal recipes that you will love!
So, we definitely have freezer meal instructions for this recipe.
Freezing soups is one of my favorite ways to save my future self time. Turkey chili is no different. Here is how to make it a freezer meal…
Option 1: Fully Cook and Freeze the Chili
Freeze For Later: Fully cook and cool the chili as instructed. Freeze in an airtight freezer bag or in smaller containers if making a freezer meal for 1-2 people.
Prepare From Frozen: Thaw chili completely. Warm it up on the stovetop, in the microwave, or in the Instant Pot using the lowest “Saute” setting.
We like freezing chili and soups in 2 cup portions in Souper Cubes (see pic below). After freezing, you can easily pop out the cubes and store them in a large freezer bag to have on hand for quick lunches.
Option 2: Prep the Meal to Be Fully Cooked Later
Freeze For Later: Follow Steps 1-3 (stop before pressure cooking it). Freeze the uncooked chili in gallon-sized freezer bag and place it in a round container while freezing (so it freezes in the shape of the Instant Pot). You can remove the container once it’s frozen.
Prepare From Frozen: If it wasn’t fully cooked, then Saute the soup in the Instant Pot for 5-10 minutes to release some liquid. Turn off the Saute function. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 15 minutes, and then quick release the pressure.
Can I Cook Chili Straight from Frozen in the Instant Pot?
Instant Pot freezer meals. This is what we do! Not only have we written an entire cookbook of freezer meals for the Instant Pot, but we have tested and re-tested hundreds of recipes over the years.
When you combine the magical powers of the Instant Pot AND freezer cooking, you practically set yourself up for hands-free cooking. That’s because you can dump your frozen meal directly in the Instant Pot and cook it from frozen! Like we mentioned above, here’s how to cook chili straight from frozen in the Instant Pot:
1 – Be sure your chili is frozen in a circular form. This will help it easily fit into the pot when you want to cook it. I oftentimes use my Instant Pot steel bowl as a mold for my freezer meal. See the picture below of our Instant Pot Spaghetti Sauce as an example of an Instant Pot Freezer Meal.
2 – Once you’ve dumped your frozen chili into the Instant Pot, saute it for 5 minutes to help it release some liquid.
3 – Cook for 12-17 minutes on high pressure. If it’s not fully thawed after this time, break it up with a spoon and pressure cook it for a few more minutes.
What to Serve with Turkey Chili
- Diced avocado
- Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Crushed corn tortilla chips
- Thinly sliced green onions
Side Dish Ideas:
- Cornbread (or try this gluten-free, dairy-free cornbread recipe)
- Avocado Lime Salsa or Guacamole with Tortilla Chips
Our lean turkey chili is not only hearty and absolutely delicious, but it’s also chock-full of fiber, protein, and nutrients. It’s perfect for a comforting weeknight dinner, and you’ll have leftovers for lunch the next day. Be sure to top it with your favorite chili toppings.
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil, divided
- 3 cups peeled and diced sweet potatoes (about 2 medium potatoes)
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 (15 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, liquid and all
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 can (15 ounce) cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
- Topping for serving: hot sauce, diced avocado, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, shredded cheddar, diced onions, salsa, thinly sliced green onion, etc
Make It Now:
- Set the 6-quart Instant Pot to “Saute” Pour in 2 tablespoons of the oil and heat until shimmery. Add the sweet potatoes and onions and cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes, until they start to soften, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper while they cook. Transfer the sweet to a plate and set aside.
- Pour the remaining 1 tablespoon oil into the pot and heat until shimmery. Add the ground turkey and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat as it cooks, until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper as the mixture cooks.
- Add in the garlic for the last 30 seconds, being careful not to burn it. Press “Cancel.”
- Combine all of the ingredients in the Instant Pot: the sauteed veggies, broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 ⁄4 teaspoon pepper to the pot and stir until well combined.
- Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes, then quick release the pressure.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper and serve warm.
Freeze For Later: Fully cook the soup as directed. Let cool and transfer to storage containers or airtight freezer bag.
Prepare From Frozen: Thaw the chili completely. Rewarm on the stove or in the microwave.
Want More Instant Pot Recipes Like This?
Be sure to check out our best of the best freezer meals for the Instant Pot.