10-Minute Instant Pot Turkey Chili

Instant Pot Turkey Chili in bowl

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This Instant Pot Turkey Chili was calling my name during our last cold spell. I couldn’t wait to make a pot and share it with my family. I thought about you when I was preparing it because it is the perfect meal after bariatric surgery.

One of the best things about this simple turkey chili is just that… it’s simple. Most of the ingredients you have in your pantry at all times. I usually buy extra ground turkey meat and store it in the freezer, so when I want to prepare a batch on the fly it’s all there.

Instant Pot Turkey Chili Ingredients

What goes in Turkey Chili?

Traditionally turkey chili includes ground turkey, kidney beans, crushed tomatoes, onion and spices. I used all of these ingredients in this dish but I decreased the amount of beans.

Beans are excellent for you because of their high nutrient content but they also contain a significant amount of carbs and many bariatric patients are trying to reduce carbs to make room for more protein. Because of this I reduced the amount of beans in the recipe.

As you become more comfortable cooking with chili, you may want to add your own twist. You could carrots, substitute black beans for the kidney, or maybe add a little cocoa powder.

Instant Pot Turkey Chili Cooking

How many calories and carbs are in Turkey Chili?

Each recipe is going to be different. If a recipe has more beans in it then it typically will have more carbs and calories.

If you are concerned about calories, be mindful how much olive oil you put into the pot. If you are like me, you may be tempted to eyeball it but many times you may overdo with the oils and add unnecessary calories. Typically turkey chili is served with cheese on top. Although this adds a little protein you may be adding unwanted calories too. Stick to no more than an ounce of cheese on top.

This specific chili has about 200 calories and 15 g of carbs (only 10 net) per 1 cup serving.

Here’s the thing though, even if you added another can of kidney beans you are only adding about another 5 g of net carbs plus another 2 g protein. So honestly, I don’t think it makes that big of a difference if you add one or two cans.

How to make this Instant Pot Turkey Chili for one person?

If you are cooking for one you have two options.

  1. You can prepare the recipe as is, then freeze 1 cup portions in large muffin tins to save for another time.
  2. You can cut this recipe in half and either save the leftovers for later during the week or freeze the leftovers like above.

Turkey chili tastes so good as leftovers (in fact, maybe even better). Although it may seem like a lot of food, this instant pot turkey chili is easy to make and totally worth the leftovers.

Instant Pot Turkey Chili Blended by immersion blender
If pureeing a small portion, consider using an immersion blender.

How do I make this Instant Pot Chili on the Stove Top?

If you do would like to prepare this on the stovetop, then prepare as usual but add the beans when you add the broth and crushed tomatoes. Then simmer for at least 45 minutes.

How do I make this Instant Pot Chili in the Slow Cooker?

If you are preparing this in your slow cooker then make sure you brown the turkey meat first in a skillet. Then add the turkey meat along with all the other ingredients (beans too) in the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours.

What goes with turkey chili?

If you recently had bariatric surgery, chances are that you may not want anything else with this meal. However, if you are more than 6 months after surgery you may want to add a little something.

I would suggest a small salad on the side for yourself. Your family might enjoy a grilled cheese prepared with whole wheat bread or even some fresh cornbread.

Typical toppings for chili include shredded cheese, onion and sour cream. If you want to boost the protein even further I would suggest using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.

If you like this recipe you may also like:

Instant Pot Turkey Chili Regular

Bariatric Diet Modifications:


  • Prepare as is, then blend in blender until desired consistency reached.

Soft Diet:

  • Prepare as is, but omit raw onion topping


  • Serve as is and consider adding a small side salad
Instant Pot turkey chili 3 ways

10-Minute Instant Pot Turkey Chili

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This Instant Pot Turkey Chili is the perfect comfort food after bariatric surgery. You can make it for each stage after surgery. 

  • Author: Kristin Willard, RDN
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 25
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant mPot
  • Cuisine: Comfort


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1.5 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 can (28 oz) can crushed tomato
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil and onion on sauté function in Instant Pot. Cook until softened.
  2. Add add spices and turkey. Sauté until turkey is browned.
  3. Stir in crushed tomatoes and broth. Close lid and cook high for 10 min.
  4. Once complete, release valve. Stir in kidney beans. Purée if necessary.



  • Prepare as is, then blend in blender until desired consistency reached.

Soft Diet:

  • Prepare as is, but omit raw onion topping


  • Serve as is and consider adding a small side salad. Family may enjoy cornbread or grilled cheese on the side. 
Turkey Chili Pinterest Image for after bariatric surgery

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For the past seven years, I’ve worked with over a thousand pre and post-op patients to help them develop sustainable lifestyles unique to them.