Pineapple Black Bean Crockpot Turkey Chili

5 from 2 votes
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This Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with pineapple and black beans is a sweet and spicy comfort food dinner from your crockpot! Hearty and lean because it is made with ground turkey, plus it’s naturally gluten-free.

Looking for more lighter yet cozy gluten-free comfort food? Try my Instant Pot white chicken chili and this hearty chicken orzo stew, next!

Close up of Slow Cooker Turkey Chili topped with shredded cheese and sour cream in a blue bowl.

Why You’ll Love This Slow Cooker Turkey Chili Recipe

  • Cuisine Inspiration: American
  • Primary Cooking Method: Slow-cooker
  • Dietary Info: Gluten-free, Dairy-free
  • Skill Level: Easy

Slow cooker turkey chili with pineapple and black beans has it all! This easy chili recipe is hearty and satisfying, naturally gluten-free, and the perfect blend of sweet heat that will surprise your tastebuds. Making slow cooker turkey chili is super easy, and requires just a little bit of prep work. All you need to do is spend a few minutes chopping your ingredients and browning your meat in the morning or the night before. It’s sure to be one of your favorite crock pot recipes, here’s why:

  • Hands-free. This crockpot turkey chili tastes like it’s simmered all day, and that’s because it is. The slow cooker achieves that incredible blending of flavors without the hassle of hovering over a pot on the stove. I include a video showing just how easy it is!
  • Weeknight-friendly. Save the World’s Best Chili for the weekends. With simple preparation and a shorter ingredient list, this turkey chili is what I consider “weeknight chili”. Leave for work in the morning, and come home to a delicious dinner that’s ready for the table.
  • Loaded with good stuff. Your family will love to dig into a bowl of this ground turkey chili. It’s loaded with sweet and spicy flavors, plus satisfying protein, fiber, and vegetables. 
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili topped with shredded cheese and sour cream in a blue bowl, with bowls of toppings in the background.

Ingredients for Turkey Chili

Check out my notes on the important ingredients below. Scroll down to the recipe card for a printable list of ingredients with the amounts included and the full recipe instructions.

  • Ground Turkey – Lean turkey keeps the fat and calories low, but any ground turkey will work in this recipe. You can also substitute ground chicken or ground beef.
  • Seasonings – I stick with good ol’ salt, pepper, and chili powder. Feel free to use your preferred store-bought blend or homemade chili powder, and add more or less to taste.
  • Vegetables – Onion, red bell pepper, and carrots. Carrots may be an unconventional choice for chili, but they’re a great way to sneak in some extra veggies while enhancing that sweet flavor.
  • Pineapple – I know what you’re thinking. Pineapple? In chili? Trust me, you haven’t lived until you’ve chucked a can of pineapple tidbits into your chili. The sweet-meets-savory combination of flavors is amazing. I used canned, but you can also use 2 cups of fresh chopped pineapple.
  • Black Beans – Canned black beans work perfectly. Remember to rinse and drain them first. I prefer low-sodium beans so I can control the salt content, but you do you.
  • Crushed Tomatoes – Canned crushed or diced tomatoes. Try fire-roasted tomatoes for another layer of flavor.

Chili Topping Ideas

If you’re anything like me, you know that the best thing about a bowl of chili is the toppings! Try these easy toppings that pair deliciously with this sweet and spicy slow cooker turkey chili:

  • Shredded cheddar cheese is always a classic.
  • Tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips to add crunch.
  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt balances out the heat.
  • Chopped raw onions, peppers, or jalapenos can kick up the spice.
  • Avocado or guacamole gives it more richness.
  • Lime wedges will add a little zing.
  • Cilantro freshens and lightens the flavors.
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili topped with shredded cheese and sour cream in a blue bowl, with bowls of toppings in the background.

Tips for the Best Crockpot Turkey Chili

These are my tips for the tastiest turkey chili cooked in the slow cooker:

  • Plan your prep. To save on the prep time, you can chop your veggies while the turkey browns in the pan. Start with the onions and peppers, then chop the carrots while the onions and peppers cook.
  • Sauté the vegetables. The onions and peppers will cook through in the slow cooker, but I find that sauteeing them enhances the slow-cooked and caramelized flavor versus just adding them raw to the crockpot.
  • Meal prep this chili recipe. Don’t have time in the morning? You can even do all of that the night before, store it in the refrigerator, then dump it in first thing in the morning and turn on the slow cooker.
  • Use shredded turkey. If you’d prefer to use shredded turkey instead of ground turkey, that works, too! I love making a batch of slow cooker turkey chili as a way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
  • Different protein. Ground beef, ground chicken, and ground pork, while not as lean, are all good substitutes for turkey in this recipe. Try my beefy aloha chili recipe, also made with pineapple!

Common Questions

Is Turkey Chili Better Than Beef Chili?

While you might think of chili as a dish loaded with extra fat and calories, it can definitely be a lighter option. Chili is chock full of protein and fiber from the meat and beans and even has plenty of veggies. That makes it a complete meal in a bowl. Plus the typical beef is swapped out with lean ground turkey. But with all those ingredients and spices, it still has plenty of delicious flavors.

And unlike some chili recipes that use beer for flavor, flour for thickening, or a seasoning packet for spice, this slow cooker turkey chili is no-fuss and gluten-free

What Slow Cooker Should I Use?

This recipe makes enough to serve four to six people, so a basic 4-quart slow cooker is just fine. If you want to double it and have more features like being able to program it, I love the Hamilton Beach Programmable 6-Quart Slow Cooker.
And I know the slow cooker purists are crying “foul” on me because I brown the meat on the stove. But really, it is super fast. And if you have an Instant Pot, you can brown the meat right in there and then use the slow cooker setting to finish off the chili.

Overhead view of a bowl of slow cooker turkey chili topped with shredded cheese and sour cream, next to bowls of toppings.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

  • Refrigerate. Store any leftover slow cooker chili airtight in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
  • Reheat. Chili is always better on the reheat! Warm leftover chili in a saucepan on the stovetop until it’s hot throughout. You can also heat it in the microwave, zapping in 30-second increments and stirring in between.

Can you freeze turkey chili?

Yes! Turkey chili freezes great and you can freeze it either before or after cooking.

  • Make-ahead: Cook the meat and vegetables, then combine all of the ingredients in an airtight storage container or plastic freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to several months. A day or two before, take the container from the freezer and put it in the refrigerator to thaw. Then transfer to the crockpot and cook as directed.
  • Freezing cooked chili: Alternatively, fully cook the chili and allow it to cool to room temperature. Place it in a container or bag and freeze. Then thaw and reheat in the slow cooker, microwave, or in a pot on the stove.
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili topped with shredded cheese and sour cream in a blue bowl, with bowls of toppings in the background.

Serving Suggestions

I love serving chili in gluten-free bread bowls or acorn squash bowls. This slow cooker turkey chili is satisfying on its own paired with gluten-free cornbread, these garlicky dinner rolls, or crunchy tortilla chips with a dollop of avocado crema. If you’re looking to round out your meal even further, some of my best side dishes to serve with chili are cilantro lime rice, a three bean salad, or an easy green salad.

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili topped with shredded cheese and sour cream in a blue bowl, with bowls of toppings in the background.
5 from 2 votes

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

This Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with pineapple and black beans is a sweet and spicy comfort food dinner from your crockpot! Hearty and lean because it is made with ground turkey, plus it's naturally gluten-free.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 4 hours 15 minutes
Total: 4 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

Optional toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream/Greek yogurt, chopped avocado, minced onion, tortilla chips, etc. for serving

    Instructions

    • In a skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil, then add the turkey, salt, pepper, and chili powder.
    • Saute until the turkey is fully cooked, breaking up as it cooks.
    • Add onion and pepper, and saute for another 2-3 minutes, until onion starts to become translucent.
    • Transfer the mixture to your slow cooker, then add carrots, pineapple, black beans, and crushed tomatoes, and stir.
    • Cook on Low for 4-6 hours.
    • Serve with desired toppings.
    Nutrition Facts
    Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
    Amount Per Serving (1 g)
    Calories 330 Calories from Fat 45
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 5g8%
    Cholesterol 41mg14%
    Sodium 665mg28%
    Potassium 1140mg33%
    Carbohydrates 47g16%
    Fiber 12g48%
    Sugar 20g22%
    Protein 28g56%
    Vitamin A 3980IU80%
    Vitamin C 49.7mg60%
    Calcium 99mg10%
    Iron 4.9mg27%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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    14 Comments
    1. What Are the Best Secret Ingredients for Chili? – In The News Magazine

      […] it’s not authentic! Even if you go with more idiosyncratic additions, like yellow mustard, pineapple, Coca-Cola, apple butter, and grape jam, what’s important is that you like eating […]

    2. Candy

      If only it wasn’t 90 degrees here! I might have to turn the AC down REALLY low and pretend it’s cold enough to make a big batch of this chili!

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