Home > Recipes > Slow Cooker Turkey Chili With Cactus & Cilantro

Kevin Curry

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili With Cactus & Cilantro

Even though the title sounds pretty complicated, the recipe is pretty much boilerplate when it comes to chili. Chili is the perfect meal for any new cook or anyone who does not want to spend countless hours in the kitchen. Throw everything in a crockpot and walk away…well, you do have to cook the meat (or seitan) first, but you get my point! It’s simple and flavorful.

Oh and I know it’s likely many of you cannot find nopal cactus in your grocery store; it’s one of the perks of living in Texas and in such close proximity to Mexico. They are fantastic! Nopal tastes a lot like green bean but way more acidic (almost a faint lime flavor), with the texture of okra (kinda slimy). It provides both flavor and texture to the chili – and it’s PACKED with tons of vitamins and minerals.

One last thing you may be wondering, why did I add cactus (or veggies in general)? Well, why not?!

Add fresh veggies is a proven way to boost the heartiness of your dishes as well ensure you’re getting a least one serving of vegetables daily.


Ingredients for up to 8 servings:

  • 2lb (32oz) 93% lean ground turkey (OR substitute veggie ground or seitan instead)
  • 2 cans (~30oz) low sodium black beans with liquid
  • 6oz no salt tomato sauce
  • 2 cups sliced/chopped nopal cactus (OR substitute with raw, chopped green beans)
  • 2/3 cup chopped cilantro (or more/less if desired)
  • Seasonings
    • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 1 teaspoon coriander
    • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • spray olive oil


Step 1

Set a nonstick skillet on medium high heat and spray it with a little olive oil. When the skillet is hot, toss in the turkey (or seitan or veggie ground) and chop with a wooden spatula and stir until it is done, about 10-15 minutes.

Step 2

Add the cooked meat (or vegan alternative) to a slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients.

Step 3

Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 hours. I recommend cooking it longer so the flavors really meld together.

Step 4

Enjoy with brown rice, quinoa, couscous or my favorite, backed sweet potato!

Approximate macros for 1 of 8 servings

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Nutrition per serving

About Kevin - author


Hey, I'm Kevin

My name is Kevin. My life changed when I realized that healthy living is a lifelong journey, mainly won by having a well-balanced diet and maintaining an active lifestyle.

By experimenting in the kitchen and sharing my meals on Tumblr, I learned healthy eating is not boring! By making a few adjustments to my favorite foods, I could design a diet that could help me achieve my wellness goals while satisfying my desire for BANGIN food! 😅 Now I try to help people around the world realize that same level of freedom in eating regardless of budget. Welcome, let's #DemocratizeWellness together!