Slow and Steady Wins the Race: Slow Cooker Turkey Chili Made With Chocolate and Love

Updated: Jan 5

Cold weather, crockpots and cozy meals are all you need this winter. This cozy meal is at the top of our list and is on heavy rotation in our household. Slow cooker turkey chili that not only contains protein, a pleasantly tasteful sauce with a kick and crisp is made with chocolate and lots of love! If you’ve never had chocolate in your chili you are in for a real treat!

This is hands down my Husbands favorite chili recipe, he asks me to make it every Sunday, it is a meal he will never get sick of. It contains double the amount of protein from the flavorful turkey meat and tender beans, the right amount of spices to create that savory sauce with a kick, crisp vibrant vegetables that are good for our health and his favorite secret ingredient: chocolate.

I know you might think it is bizarre to put chocolate in a chili recipe. But, let me tell ya, it works! The reason it works is because I use the healthy kind of chocolate, the chocolate that isn’t too sweet and the kind that is actually nutritious for you. The secret is to use 70% chocolate. It is sweet, but not too sweet and when it gets all melty in the pot and mixes in with the herbs and spices it is to die for!

When you use 70% chocolate or higher it has higher a amount of cocoa content and contains fibers and minerals for you that are bodies need. So, not only does this chili recipe contain proteins and vegetables that are good for you it contains fibers and minerals!

Now, do not let the long list of ingredients scare you away. It contains a ton of common pantry spices, fresh vegetables and canned items. All easy peasy things. Your only job is to be responsible for adding them to the pot. There is no real cooking here besides cooking the turkey meat. The crockpot does all of the work for you, which makes this recipe a breeze! Can you say winning!? So, when you are in a rush or you just want a cozy home cooked meal without a pile of dishes and a ton of work this recipes comes in handy!

When it comes to the spice level that is completely up to you. I put my recommendation in the ingredients list below. However, if you you want it less spicy I recommend eliminating some of the jalapenos, habanero, or the Serrano peppers. You also could still include all three and put less in the pot to start and as it cooks add more along the way. I also will recommend either eliminating the red pepper flakes or adding them in as needed.

This is a wholesome feel good meal that will never go out of style. Once you try it, I know this is something we will all agree on. This recipe also pairs extremely well with my Honey Lavender Corn Bread Muffins.

In addition, I recommend garnishing it with some of the following:

  • Sour cream

  • Shredded cheddar cheese

  • Extra jalapenos

  • Cilantro

  • Green onions

  • Crackers

  • Tortilla strips

Did you make this? If so, tag @prettyplatebymichelle or #prettyplatebymichelle on instagram!


2-3 Lbs ground turkey plus their juices

1 16 Oz can reduced sodium dark red kidney beans

1 15 Oz can of golden sweet whole kernel corn

2 14.5 Oz can diced tomatoes

2 14.5 Oz can tomato sauce

1 6 Oz can tomato paste

1/2 of a 3.5 oz bar dark chocolate 70% - Secret Ingredient!

1 Green bell pepper, diced

1 Yellow bell pepper, diced

Half a yellow onion, diced

Half of jalapeño, minced

1 Habenero, minced

1 Serrano pepper, minced

A few sprinkles of Italian seasoning

Salt and black pepper to taste

1 TBSP cumin

2 TBSP chili powder

1/4 TSP ground thyme or fresh thyme leaves

2 TSP minced garlic

1/2 TBSP smoked Paprika

1/2 TBSP chipotle seasoning/powder

Red pepper flakes (optional)

2 Bay leaves


  1. Heat a medium to large pan over medium to high heat. Spray with non-stick spray. Add your ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper. Once done, remove from heat.

  2. Place your slow cooker in high. Add cooked ground turkey with its juices.

  3. Add your cans of: dark red kidney beans, corn, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, yellow onion, jalapeños , habanero peppers, serrano peppers, chocolate squares, cumin, chili powder, thyme, minced garlic, smoked paprika, chipotle seasoning and bay leaves.

  4. Mix well and place the lid on. Cook on high for 4 hours.

  5. Make sure to stir and mix it periodically through out the 4 hours. Taste test it as well and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Here you can also add your red pepper flakes if desired.

  6. When four hours have passed, switch your slow cooker to warm and serve right away. Save extras for left overs.

  7. ENJOY!


  1. 6 qt. Slow Cooker

  2. Glass Prep Bowls

  3. Marble Salt Bowl with Pink Himalayan Salt

  4. Striped Plate

  5. Blue Striped Bowl

  6. Flatware Set

  7. Blue Striped Plate

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