Slow Cooker Turkey Chili With Cactus & Cilantro

About the author


My name is Kevin. My life changed when I realized that healthy living is truly a lifelong journey, mainly won by having a well-balanced diet and enjoying adequate exercise. By experimenting in the kitchen and openly sharing my meals, I learned that healthy eating is hardly boring and that by making a few adjustments, I could design a diet that could help me achieve my personal fitness goals. Our bodies are built in the kitchen and sculpted in the gym.

Calories 251
Protein 28g
Fat 8g
Carbs 20g
Total Time

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.



Slow Cooker Turkey Chili With Cactus & Cilantro


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

  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.
  2. Add the cooked meat (or vegan alternative) to a slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients.
  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.
  4. Enjoy with brown rice, quinoa, couscous or my favorite, backed sweet potato!

Approximate macros for 1 of 8 servings:

Available in the FitMenCook app

Open this recipe in the FitMenCook app to add the ingredients to your shopping list, scale the recipe and track your calories. Enjoy!

  • logo
  • logo