Enjoy The Weekend With Dr. Kelly McNelis’ Slow Cooker Turkey and Black Bean Chili

Kelly McNelis HeadshotThis slow cooker turkey and black bean chili is a healthy twist on the typical chili recipe.  The combination of lean ground turkey, canned tomatoes, black beans, corn, and spices is low in saturated fat and cholesterol.  The final product is also a good source of protein, dietary fiber, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.

Not only is this slow cooker turkey and black bean chili nutritious, it’s delicious and super easy to make.  Simply combine all of the ingredients in your slow cooker and let it do all the work for you.  You can also prep a batch of this chili ahead of time and freeze it for a day when you don’t have time to cook.  (Directions about how to freeze and re-heat below.)If you’ve never frozen anything for your slow cooker before, this is an easy way to get started.

Slow Cooker Turkey and Black Bean Chili


  • 1-1.25 pounds ground turkey
  • 1, 29oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1, 14.5oz can of petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2, 15oz cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 2/3 cup of frozen corn
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


  1. On your stovetop, brown ground turkey in a pan.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine tomato sauce, minced garlic, and seasonings.  Stir to combine.
  3. To your slow cooker, add cooked turkey, seasoned tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, black beans, and corn.
  4. Cover, and cook on “low” setting for 4-8 hours.

To Freeze

  1. On your stovetop, brown ground turkey in a pan.  Set aside, and cool to room temperature.
  2. In a gallon-sized plastic freezer bag, add tomato sauce, petite diced tomatoes, black beans, corn, minced garlic, seasonings, and ground turkey.  (Add the ground turkey to the bag last, so it’s the first ingredient poured into your slow cooker.)
  3. Remove as much air from the freezer bag as possible, seal, and lay flat in your freezer.
  4. The night before cooking, move frozen bag to your refrigerator to thaw.
  5. The morning of cooking, pour contents of freezer bag into your slow cooker and cook on “low” setting for 8 hours, or until all ingredients are heated through.


Serve with tortilla chips and freshly shredded cheddar cheese!

About the author:  Dr. Kelly McNelis is “on a mission to help moms fit exercise, home cooking, and positive thinking into their busy lives.” She’s also a social-personality psychologist, certified health and wellness coach, and cookbook author.  (Her two cookbooks are titled ‘15-Minute Freezer Recipes‘ and ‘Easy & Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes.’)  Kelly funnels her passion for healthy living into her Pittsburgh-based business for moms, New Leaf Wellness.

For more healthy living tips and recipes, you can connect with Kelly on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  1. Slow cooker turkey and black bean chili recipe - New Leaf Wellness says:

    [...] I’m sharing my recipe for slow cooker turkey and black bean chili as a guest blog post for McGinnis Sisters Special Food Stores.  This turkey and black bean chili [...]

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