Slow Cooker Turkey and Beer Chili with Beans


I like the convenience of canned beans but I tend to buy dried beans more frequently.  Dried beans take up less storage space on my shelves and they are a lot more budget friendly. One pound of dried beans cost about the same as a can of pre-cooked beans but you will be able to fill almost 4 cans after you cook the pound of dried beans.

There are a few things to consider when you cook dried beans. If you pre-soak them they will not only take less time to cook but they will be more digestible and in turn keep you more socially acceptable.  Pre-soaking your beans will also help reduce the phytic acid that binds to minerals like magnesium, calcium, zinc, and iron, making them less available to your body.  I am not really all that concerned about the phytic acid but I do know it is a concern for many people.

I also avoid salting my beans while they are cooking.  Adding salt at the beginning of the cooking time will make the beans less susceptible to absorbing water, lengthening their cooking time and making them tougher.

The beer in this recipe adds a distinctive malty flavor. I tried the recipe once with a dark stout and found that the stronger beer overwhelmed the chili so I would recommend using a pale lager or ale.

slow cooker turkey and beer chili

5.0 from 1 reviews
Slow Cooker Turkey and Beer Chili with Beans
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The zesty spices are complimented by the maltiness of beer in this slow cooker chili.
Recipe type: slow cooker
Serves: 8
  • 5 Anaheim chili peppers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup dried pinto beans *
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle of beer
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (15 ounces each) cans stewed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 to 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
  1. Pre-heat the oven to broil. Place the Anaheim chili peppers on a foil lined baking sheet and place them under the broiler for 5 to 7 minutes, turn them and broil the other side for another 5 to 7 minutes. The peppers will get blistered and charred looking. Place them in a bowl and cover it tightly with cling wrap. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat then add the onions. Cook the onions about 6 minutes or until they are soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes. Add the ground turkey and cook for 5 to 6 minutes (stirring to break up the lumps) until the turkey is no longer pink.
  3. Transfer the turkey mixture to a slow cooker. Remove the cover from the Anaheim peppers. By now they will have had time to sweat and loosen their skin. Pull off the stems then peal the skin off the peppers and remove the seeds. Chop the peppers coarsely and add them to the slow cooker. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne to the mixture and stir well.
  4. Add the dried pinto beans, beer, water and bay leaves. Make certain that all the beans are submerged in liquid or they won't cook in the allotted time. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 5-6 hours. Stir in the stewed tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook for 20 more minutes to heat the tomatoes.
  5. Remove bay leaves, stir in the salt, and serve with condiments on the side.
If you do not presoak the beans you will need to add ½ cup water.

To pre-soak your beans, rinse them and sort out any rocks. Place them in a bowl and submerge them in warm water. Cover them and let them sit on the counter or in the refrigerator over night. Toss out the soaking water and rinse the beans.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 257 Fat: 7.7 Saturated fat: 1.3 Sugar: 6.1 Sodium: 458 Fiber: 6.2 Protein: 19.7 Cholesterol: 46

slow cooker turkey and beer chili



  1. Josh says

    This was so delicious! The nice big pieces of Anaheim pepper were perfect. And I could actually taste the beer in there too. Maybe next time I will try it with a different beer to change the flavor up a bit!

    • says

      I’m glad you liked it Josh. The type of beer you choose will definately affect the flavor of the chili. One time I made it with a dark stout and didn’t care for it but you may like that flavor profile.

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