Indian-Spiced Chili in the Slow Cooker

Ground turkey and chickpeas, combined with Indian flavors and made super easy in your slow cooker.

So I tried something new with this recipe. I’ve always thought that you needed to brown your ground beef or ground turkey before you put it in your crockpot to cook all day. And that is what I have always done. But to be perfectly honest, that browning step sometimes stops me from making a crockpot recipe that includes ground beef or turkey. Browning the meat really isn’t that hard, but as I’ve mentioned before, I really like EASY recipes. Like minimal effort.

Then I discovered this post on another food blog, where the recipe did not require you to brown your meat before throwing it in the crockpot. I was intrigued.

I tested out the not-browning-your-meat approach with this Indian chili recipe. It felt a little wrong to just stick the ground meat in the crockpot, but at the same time, it was so liberating. Could cooking ground turkey really be this easy?

Turns out that cooking ground turkey really can be super easy. I just threw the meat in the crockpot, with all the other ingredients, and then broke the meat up with a fork at the end of the day, right before we ate it. No browning required! And it came out super yummy.

So this recipe does not require you to brown your meat before putting it in the slow cooker. If that feels wrong to you, you are more than welcome to brown the meat. It will taste wonderful. But I encourage you to try skipping the browning. It’s that much easier, and the chili will still taste wonderful.

Try these other easy Indian slow cooker dishes:

Try serving this Indian chili with a green salad and some whole wheat naan for a yummy nutritious meal.

Indian-Spiced Chili in the Slow Cooker

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

1 lb ground turkey
15 oz canned tomato sauce
30 oz canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 large onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp red curry paste
1 Tbsp garam masala (see note below)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin

  1. Place the turkey and beans in the slow cooker.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to the slow cooker, and stir until the chickpeas and spices are well-combined.
  3. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
  4. Before serving, break up the ground turkey with a fork.
  5. Serve hot. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.


If you don’t have garam masala on hand, you can make it from scratch using this recipe.

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