Slow Cooker Heart Healthy Turkey Chili

by Alli

This post, Heart Healthy Turkey Chili, was sponsored by Collective Bias, Inc. and ConAgra Brands. All opinions are mine alone. 

February has a special place in my heart. It’s Heart Health Month and I’m finally ready to tell the story of my own heart. I also want to share my family’s favorite Slow Cooker Heart Healthy Turkey Chili. Here goes!

Psst: If you don’t want to read my story, feel free to click “Jump to Recipe” at the top of this page! 

Heart Healthy Chili

September 13, 2011, will be forever imprinted on my mind. It’s the day a stent was implanted in the left anterior descending artery (LAD) of my heart. When the main artery down the front of the heart (LAD) is totally blocked or has a critical blockage, it is often referred to as the Widow Maker. Mine was 99% blocked. Yikes!

When people ask me what symptoms prompted me to rush to the emergency room on the night of September 11, 2011, I immediately blurt out, “Severe heartburn.”

Let’s Back Up and Start at the Beginning

In late August of 2011, I was enjoying a week at the beach with the entire family. Our condo is on the 7th floor and I’d take the stairs instead of the elevator in order to get my daily steps in.

My son-in-law noticed I was out of breath one day after walking up seven flights of stairs and asked me if I was OK. I exercised on a fairly regular basis and I joked that I must be more out of shape than I thought.

North Myrtle Beach - Heart Healthy Turkey Chili

I Thought It Was Heartburn

After we returned home, I began having constant indigestion. I’ve never suffered from indigestion before and thought it a little strange. Then the “heartburn and indigestion” got worse.

Then It Happened!

On the evening of September 11, I was busy packing my suitcase for a business trip the next day. I ran out to the mailbox (I mean I really ran, not walked) to check the mail and when I returned to the house, I was out of breath. The heartburn was worse and I felt a tingling pain running down my left arm.

My husband had been bugging me to make an appointment with my doctor. I kept telling him it was heartburn and would eventually go away.

I’m so stubborn! When the tingling began in my left arm, my husband rushed me to the emergency room.

The emergency room takes heart-related pain seriously, so I was immediately taken back to a room. As they prepared to run an EKG, I kept telling them it was just severe heartburn.

The EKG showed that something was up and they took me to a room that was a step up from the emergency room for overnight observation.

The Saga of my Heart Continues

At 5 AM on September 12th, a cardiologist stopped by to check on me and informed me they were taking me to the Cath Lab to have a look around. A catheter was inserted into a vein in my wrist and threaded through my blood vessels to my heart. That’s when they found out my Widow Maker artery was 99% blocked.

Because the hospital I was in didn’t actually perform stent implants, I had to be transferred to a larger hospital. On September 13th, the stent procedure was done.

Thankfully, all went well. My doctors and nurses kept saying I was too young to go through this and had no pre-existing reasons for me to have a clogged artery.

It was beyond scary and I admit I cried off and on for two solid weeks after having the procedure done. I’m so glad that I didn’t have a heart attack because of my husband’s insistence that I go to the emergency room. After that ordeal, I decided to get as healthy as possible.

Heart Healthy Turkey Chili 

These days I try to eat right 80% of the time and I’ve learned to tweak my favorite recipes in order to make them more healthy for my heart.

For instance, my Heart Healthy Turkey Chili is delicious and the family doesn’t know that it’s better for them.

Slow Cooker Heart Healthy Chili

Whenever I’m shopping at Walmart, I always stock up on fresh produce and Hunt’s Tomatoes. I’ve found that keeping my pantry stocked with staples that are good for me keeps me on track when it comes to fixing healthy dishes for my family.


Slow Cooker Heart Healthy Turkey Chili

Ingredients to make healthy version of chili

In a large skillet, brown the ground turkey, chili powder, and diced onions over medium-high heat. Drain and place the turkey mixture in a slow cooker.

Brown the ground turkey for the chili

Add the Hunt’s Diced Spicy Red Pepper Tomatoes, peeled and diced sweet potato, beans, chipotle chilis, chicken broth, and spices.

Add diced tomatoes

Stir to combine and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Ingredients to make chili

How To Freeze Turkey Chili

My Heart Healthy Turkey Chili is even better the next day. If I’m planning on eating leftovers for lunch the next day, I store the chili in an airtight container in the fridge. 

You can also freeze the leftovers in family-sized portions for up to six months. Scoop each portion into a freezer container or bag, leaving 1/2″ empty space at the top.

Slow Cooker Heart Healthy Turkey

Yield: 8-10 servings

Slow Cooker Heart Healthy Turkey Chili

Slow Cooker Heart Healthy Turkey Chili

Heart Healthy Turkey Chili simmers in the slow cooker all day. The seasonings, beans, and tomatoes add the best flavor to this chili.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes


  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (16 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz. each) Hunts Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can low-sodium chicken broth (14.5 oz.)
  • 2 Tablespoons chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. In a large skillet, add the ground turkey, diced onion and chili powder. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the turkey is browned.
  2. Place the ground turkey mixture in the slow cooker. Add all the remaining ingredients. Stir.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours.
  4. Garnish with low-fat sour cream, if desired.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 323Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 97mgSodium 613mgCarbohydrates 18gFiber 4gSugar 7gProtein 27g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

Be sure and try my Heart Healthy Turkey Chili. It’s delicious, nutritious and a family favorite.

If you like this recipe, you’ll love the recipes below!

Homemade vegetarian taco soup!

Slow Cooker Barbecue Sliders

How To Roast A Turkey And Use The Leftovers For Turkey Panini 


Originally posted in February 2017 and updated on Oct. 18, 2021


robin masshole mommy February 15, 2017 - 6:37 am

Wow, thanks for sharing your story. We all need to take care of our hearts because we only get one! Your chili sounds amazing, too, btw.

Paula Schuck February 15, 2017 - 8:32 am

That chili sounds delicious. I am very low on the heart disease risk scale, but I still try to eat a very heart healthy diet. I want to be around for the long haul!

Katie Kinsley February 15, 2017 - 8:49 am

Oh wow, I’m sorry to heart about that event. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that I’ve had a lot more heartburn when I eat certain food or drink too many margaritas. I hope if this every happens to me that I’ll recognize some of the differences before it’s too late.

Jeanette February 15, 2017 - 11:02 am

How scary! I’m glad that you were OK and I’m glad that you shared the story. There’s a lot of people out there that ignore stuff, I am one of them, and I think this is a wake up call for all of us to get checked out.

Destany February 15, 2017 - 11:23 am

What a scary story! I’m prone to anxiety, and just reading your story made my flare up – I can only imagine what you went through. The turkey chili does sound yummy!

Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai February 15, 2017 - 1:06 pm

Wow, what a story! I am so glad you got to the emergency room before anything really bad happened — you are a lucky lady! I love Hunt’s Tomatoes and keep them in my pantry too. Your Heart Healthy Turkey Chili looks fantastic, definitely saving this recipe! 🙂

Life With Lorelai

Christy Maurer February 15, 2017 - 1:16 pm

I’m so glad you went to the ER and they were able to help you. This is how my husband died, but his happened while he was sleeping. He had been in good health, but the autopsy showed that that artery was completely blocked. It is a scary thing to have to deal with, but it looks like you’re doing amazingly well since then! Keep up the good work.

Angelic Sinova February 15, 2017 - 1:24 pm

I could definitely go for some Healthy Turkey Chili right about now! Hunts tomatoes are my go-to for my famous (well, famous within my family) spicy beef chili.

Jacqui @FlightsFancyMom February 15, 2017 - 1:48 pm

First, so glad you listened to your husband and let him take you to the hospital! That’s some scary stuff, not to be put off. Especially with the tingling in the left arm! My brother was having issues, but because our stepdad was ill at the time, he was more focused on him, than himself. While our stepdad was in the nursing home, my brother ended up going to the hospital. He ended up having a stent put in too. Second, that chili looks fantastic!

Kita Bryant February 15, 2017 - 2:25 pm

I have been trying to cut down on beef, and turkey has been the best substitute. I also always make my chili with Hunt’s. There flavor is very consistent.

Annemarie LeBlanc February 15, 2017 - 3:12 pm

Interesting twist to the basic chili recipe! I will have to try this. I love that I get to use my slow cooker in trying out a new recipe. Hunts is the best choice when making chili!

Pam Wattenbarger February 15, 2017 - 5:31 pm

I love using my slow cooker to make dinner because it saves me so much time! This heart healthy turkey chili sounds pretty tasty.

ricci February 15, 2017 - 10:11 pm

Oh my! I am so glad that your husband insisted you go to the ER and that you are ok! I have been tweaking a lot of my recipes to make them more healthy also, heart disease and diabetes both run in my family!

Amanda February 15, 2017 - 10:41 pm

That turkey looks so heartwarming and delicious. It is the absolute perfect dish for getting through the long and cold Chicago winter!

valmg @ Mom Knows It All February 15, 2017 - 10:42 pm

That is scary, thank goodness they caught it in time. I know many people that actually prefer the flavor of turkey chili over other meats.

Chubskulit Rose February 16, 2017 - 5:52 am

Thank you for sharing your story. Just like you we had the same heart scare 8 years ago when my husband had a sudden heart attack. Thank God He took care of my husband!

Anosa February 16, 2017 - 10:50 am

Thanks for reminding us to take care of our hearts! Sometimes its really scary whenever we will heard of heart attacks.

Amber Edwards February 16, 2017 - 11:16 am

What a scary experience! So grateful you went to the ER as well and all is well now. This is the type of recipe several in my family would absolutely love! And I love that it can easily be frozen for easy dinner another night! -client

Mary February 16, 2017 - 3:59 pm

Wow, that was scary. Your words are powerful and am glad that you are able to share a positve ending. I appreciate the chili recipe. I’m sure it’s delicious. Thanks

Dee February 16, 2017 - 10:25 pm

Your chili looks so good! I am a big fan of turkey chili and since I love to coupon this makes a wonderful meal for my family and I like it saves money.

Mimi Green February 17, 2017 - 8:27 pm

That is really scary, glad to know hubby didn’t listen to you and took you to the ER. He totally saved your life. It is good to know that you are taking your heart health seriously.

I love chili, it is one of my favorite winter eats.

Shirley Wood February 22, 2017 - 8:00 am

Wow, that was a scary time for you and your family! You are still too young for that to happen! Your chili sounds so yummy. I like the addition of the yams. I have been buying ground turkey rather than ground beef for many years. I have an irregular heartbeat and have to be cautious also.
Hunts are my tomatoes! I like the basil, garlic and oregano diced for recipes!

Alli February 22, 2017 - 8:04 am

It was definitely a scary time and a total shock. I was in denial for so long and it was hard to wrap my head around it all. We have to take care of our hearts, right?

Karen - Kupon Girl March 4, 2017 - 12:38 pm

So glad you got checked out at the hospital! Thanks for sharing your story. I am sharing this with my daughter as she has had a lot of heartburn lately.

Beth February 5, 2018 - 6:21 pm

I found this recipe looking for a heart healthy chili for super bowl watching with my boyfriend. we are both trying to be healthier and I have to say, this recipe was probably the best chili I’ve ever had. We did tart it up with a dollop of guacamole. My bf bought the ingredients so I don’t know what the sodium count was tho.

Alli February 6, 2018 - 9:35 am

I’m glad you loved you! It’s a favorite with my family too.

Kelly September 9, 2018 - 1:55 pm

Thanx for the recipe. But, a tablespoon of salt? Wowza.

Alli September 9, 2018 - 3:56 pm

That should be 1 teaspoon. I fixed the error. Thanks for letting me know. 🙂

Teresa Gonzalez April 5, 2020 - 10:14 am

Hi, what size is the “can” of chicken broth?

Alli April 5, 2020 - 10:40 am

14.5 oz.
I’ll add it to the recipe. Thanks!!

Jen in Hawaii July 18, 2021 - 10:03 pm

Hi Alli. I was hunting online this morning for a heart healthy turkey chili recipe and came across yours. After reading your story, I just had to try it. A month ago, my husband suffered a heart attack due to a blocked LAD. Fortunately, he was also able to have catheter stent surgery and is recovering nicely. Your chili is cooking in my slow cooker now and smells amazing! He and I can’t wait to try it. So glad you (and my husband!) are doing well. Thanks for the inspiration and a healthy recipe!

Alli July 19, 2021 - 9:01 am

So glad to hear that your husband is recovering! That’s really good news!


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