Toddler-Approved Turkey Chili

I’m lucky that my newly 3 year old is a pretty good eater as far as toddlers go. He will pretty much eat any fruit or vegetable, meat and cheese or snack food separately throughout the day.

Every morning the first thing he asks (okay in all honesty demands) is that we go to the “CAUV-VAAARD” (cupboard/pantry). That starts his day of constantly snacking. He is not super into meals these days, but this turkey chili is one of his favorites and he’s happy to eat it a few days in a row too.

It is super easy and I recommend doubling it so you can freeze half and then eat the other half for 3 days (if you can stand doing that). What is better than not having to cook? I will gladly eat the same thing for multiple days if it means not having to cook. And what a treat it is to look in your freezer and see that you already have a meal made that just needs thawed!


1.5 lbs ground turkey (can do beef if you prefer)

One red, orange or yellow bell pepper (diced small)

One medium white onion (diced small)

2 cloves of garlic (minced)

28 oz can crushed tomatoes

2 8 oz can tomato sauce

1 10 oz can Rotel Mild Tomatoes with green chilies (I actually use the Aldi brand)

1/2 cup of low sodium chicken broth (a little more or less depending on preferred consistency)

2 15.5 cans of red kidney beans

1-2 cups of frozen corn (based on preference)

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 bay leaf

Topping Choices:

sour cream

shredded sharp cheddar

tortilla chips



fresh jalapeno (for the grown ups)

your favorite hot sauce (I think the flavor is perfect, but if a grown up wants their bowl a little spicier add hot sauce to it)

ground black pepper (not in recipe since it’s toddler friendly)


  1. In a large pot or dutch oven (what I use) heat 2 teaspoons of oil then sauté onion, pepper and garlic for 4-5 minutes until soft. Remove from pot and set aside on plate.
  2. In the same pot cook your turkey meat breaking up until brown and no longer pink. Can season with salt.
  3. Add onion, pepper and garlic back to pot.
  4. Dump in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomatoes with green chilies, beans, corn, broth, cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt and mix all together.
  5. Add bay leaf.
  6. Let cook on stove for at least an hour on medium low stirring frequently.

Alternative cook methods: You may want to use a crock pot instead. Cook on low for 6 hours and on high for 4 hours. For an instant pot pressure cook on high for 20 minutes. Though I love my instant pot I do find that sometimes the quickness of it results in the flavor falling short. Low and slow is best for flavor.

I hope you enjoy this easy and tasty toddler approved turkey chili!

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