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Kid-Friendly Crock Pot Turkey Chili

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This CrockPot turkey chili recipe is just for the kiddos (or picky family members)! Serve it with some chips on the side for the perfect back to school lunch.

This CrockPot turkey chili recipe is just for the kiddos (or picky family members)! A kid-friendly chili with ground turkey, corn, bell pepper, tomatoes and spices. Serve it with some chips on the side for the perfect back to school lunch.
Kid-Friendly Crock Pot Turkey Chili

A kid-friendly chili with ground turkey, corn, bell pepper, tomatoes and spices. I created this milder chili for my daughter who doesn’t like beans or overly spicy food – this recipe is perfect (it’s also gluten-free). A few other chili faves try this CrockPot Chicken Taco Chili, Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili, and Turkey Chili Taco Soup.

This CrockPot turkey chili recipe is just for the kiddos (or picky family members)! A kid-friendly chili with ground turkey, corn, bell pepper, tomatoes and spices. Serve it with some chips on the side for the perfect back to school lunch.

My youngest daughter is heading to school next week (Pre-K) and this year she’ll be bringing lunch to class for the first time. She doesn’t eat sandwiches (neither did my oldest), so I’m going to have to get pretty creative to make sure she’s still eating healthy balanced meals. I just ordered this Foogo Stainless steal leak-proof thermos from Amazon, which I also did with my oldest daughter and I’ll be filling it with some of her favorite warm meals.

This slow cooker turkey chili is super easy to make, I did it in the crock pot, but you can also simmer it on the stove. It makes 5 adult size servings, and you can easily double the recipes and freeze it for future freezer-friendly meals.

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Kid-Friendly Crock Pot Turkey Chili

4.89 from 26 votes
This Crock Pot turkey chili recipe is made with ground turkey, corn, bell pepper, tomatoes and spices. Serve it with some chips on the side!
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
This CrockPot turkey chili recipe is just for the kiddos (or picky family members)! A kid-friendly chili with ground turkey, corn, bell pepper, tomatoes and spices. Serve it with some chips on the side for the perfect back to school lunch.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 15 minutes
Yield: 5 servings
Serving Size: 1 cup


  • 1.3 lbs 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced fine
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 10 oz can Rotel Mild Tomatoes
  • 8 oz small can plain tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf

Optional Toppings:

  • diced avocado
  • reduced fat sour cream
  • reduced fat shredded cheese
  • baked tortilla chips


  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the turkey, season with salt and cook, breaking up with a spoon until turkey browns and is no longer pink; place into the slow cooker.
  • Add the oil to the skillet and sauté the onion, garlic and bell pepper over medium heat for about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Spoon over turkey into the slow cooker and stir in corn and tomatoes, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder, paprika and salt, mix until well blended.
  • Pour chicken broth into the crock pot and add the bay leaf.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH 4 hours or LOW 6 hours.
  • Serve with desired toppings.

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 cup, Calories: 226 kcal, Carbohydrates: 21 g, Protein: 31 g, Fat: 3 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Cholesterol: 59 mg, Sodium: 688 mg, Fiber: 3.5 g, Sugar: 5 g


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202 comments on “Kid-Friendly Crock Pot Turkey Chili”

  1. Can I use canned corn instead of frozen? If so, do I put it in at the beginning or wait until the rest is almost done?

    Loved this when I made it years ago and forgot about it. Will be making it again tonight!

  2. I made this for a neighborhood gathering, and it was destroyed by kids and adults alike. I had to sub mild salsa for Rotel because the store was out, but it was an unqualified hit. I also added more corn than was called for because kids.

  3. My family LOVES this recipe. My kids and husband just devour it. We follow the recipe exactly. It’s so easy and affordable.

  4. Hello — cannot get the nutrition info to match up in My Fitness Pal.  MFP tallies 386 calories per serving.

  5. Love this recipe! Thanks for sharing! Been making it for several years, I always make a double recipe and add zucchini to sautéed veggies. Also add a bay leaf or two. I also will put all of the canned/frozen ingredients and spices in the crock pot on high before I start chopping/cooking so that they’re warmed up by the time everything else is added, seems to cut down cook time. 

  6. I can’t wait to make this meal stove top. A few modifications: Less the bay leave and Rotel Mild Tomatoes.

  7. Hi!  I’m excited to try this for my kids!  Is there something else I can use instead of the Rotel tomatoes?  Our whole family hates cilantro.
    Thanks so much!

  8. Avatar photo
    Cynthia Pastula

    DELICIOUS! Easy too!
    I prepared this stove top. After I put thee recipe together, I let it simmer very low for one hour. A fast weeknight winner.

  9. I made this for a small outdoor Yew Years day party. I figured the chili would keep people warm since it’s cold. I tripled the recipe and left the crockpot outside to stay warm. It was such a hit. Even all the children were getting seconds and thirds of the chili. My huge pot was completely devoured by the end of the night and I keep getting texts for the recipe!!! Woo hoo!

  10. How can CrockPot Kid-Friendly Turkey Chili be 0 points for Blue but 4 points for Purple? Things which are 0 for blue are usually also 0 points for purple.

    1. I had the same question. I think it’s a typo. When I add it to the recipe builder on the WW app, it’s 0 on blue and purple.

      1. Thank you! I was just looking for this answer! I couldnt figure out why is was 4 on purple

  11. My boys ages 2 and 5 both loved this! I followed the recipe exactly and added a can of kidney beans. It was a big hit!  Love that is full of protein and veggies! 

  12. This is one of my favorite recipes. It’s great for making ahead for easy lunches. I’m not sure why it says 4 WW points on purple plan. I added ingredients into WW recipe builder and it came out to 0pts. 

  13. I tried making this tonight and after it was done, there was barely any liquid.  Almost like it’s just a pot of ground turkey, tomatoes and corn.  Any ideas on what to do to get more sauce? Should I make another batch without adding turkey and corn and just add that to this chili? Wondering if there is an easier way to solve this.

    I have made this recipe so many many times over the years and continue to love it more every time.
    My boyfriend and I have started eating vegan in the last year so today I made the recipe with textured soy protein soaked in veggie stock, (1.5 cups dry), doubled all of the spices (and garlic) and added a can of kidney beans. I don’t have a crock pot anymore so I set it on the stove at low heat for about an hour.
    My Chilean partner had never had “American Chile” before and loved it! Thank you for this recipe, Gina, your site introduced me to a more healthy way of cooking almost 5 years ago 🙂

  15. Avatar photo
    Tiffany Smith

    Mixed thoughts on this. I prepared it exactly as the recipe instructs and when I got it  mixed in the crockpot, it was so extremely thick. More like the consistency of a meat pie. Just like a pan of meat and corn. . I feared the results, so I ended up doubling all the liquid ingredients (even the rotel) and cooked  as directed. Once finished the consistency was perfect. Rachel Ray “stoup” consistency. Really tasty. A When I went to reheat for leftovers, I had to add a great deal of liquid to get it back to our preferred consistency. So I think as written, I do not care for this recipe. If I make it again, I will probably use half the meat or again double the liquid. 

  16. This was my first time trying, it’s full of great seasoning!! I recommend this to everyone who doesn’t care for beans and loves great tasting chili!!

  17. Can you explain why there are points for this for the purple plan? What is in this that gives it the points, other than the olive oil? I must be missing something.
    Thank you

  18. This was my go to recipe on ww and since re joining ww this is my first recipe that I prepped its delicious  ! Thank you GINA for the fantastic recipes on this blog !

  19. Very delicious recipe. I did add kidney beans and black beans to mine. Leftovers freeze great for lunches down the road!!

  20. If i wanted to make this in my instant pot, what modifications would need to be made? This is my favorite recipe of yours and I really want to try it in my new instant pot! 

  21. Love this chili! I have been making it for years. Just bought an instapot- can you give directions to adapt? Thanks!

  22. I have made this many times and it is delicious. Ready to start 2018 fall with making it again.

  23. Love this recipe! I made this for my bf(who does not like beans)but we love spicy so I added 1 finely chopped jalepeno and added it when browning the turkey. I also added alittle red pepper flakes on the last hour. Will make again! Thanks!

  24. Can I just tell you I love this recipe! The fact that it is 0 points is an added bonus 🙂 I know I will be forpulling (is that a word? ?) this  for fall and winter ? Love love love your recipes

  25. Avatar photo
    Amanda Haynes

    I am down to one vehicle and made this with what I had on hand. I had everything but Rotel so I substituted it for medium salsa and omitted the tomato sauce. I did cook it on the stove top so added an extra cup of salsa for liquid and flavor. It has been simmering and I just had a bite and it’s amazing! Zero points too minus chips and cheese but I’m so excited. I’m such a picky eater but your website has been my go to lately. Thanks so much for all your hard work and sharing.

  26. This was my 1st WW recipe and it was delicious.  Looking forward to trying General Tso’s chicken tomorrow.  Thank you!

  27. How can this POSSIBLY be Zero points when there are, ground turkey, corn in it? Aren’t those a few points in themselves? Used to be a few years ago! Now it seems like A LOT of things are zero! So what’s the Point of joining WW if everything is zero? Sorry, seems counter productive to me.

    1. Avatar photo
      Amanda Haynes

      The foods that are zero points are healthier choices and encourage better eating habits. I’ve lost weight as well. Carbs and snack foods that can easily be over eaten are more points, the system is explained on their website. Turkey is zero. Ground beef and red meat are more. Fruits and veggies are zero for the most part. It’s definitely easier to track.

  28. I always double the recipe. There is always a considerable amount of liquid in the skillet after I brown the turkey. I use lean ground. Do you drain the turkey and toss out the liquid or dump it in the crock pot with the browned turkey? Thank you.

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  30. My family loves this chili!!!! We just bought an instant pot. Trying to figure out how long I need to cook it under high pressure. Guessing 20 minutes? Our go to meal for the Super Bowl!

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  32. This chili is so flavorful and so easy to make! I always pair it with a serving of sweet potato tortillas which I crush and mix into the chili, 1/4 of an avocado and mexican blend shredded cheese. Another win for Gina and SkinnyTaste!

  33. Pingback: Quick Family Meals For A Busy Season - Kreative in Life

  34. Hi Gina! I’ve made this recipe a bunch of times and it’s definitely the best chili I’ve ever had! I saw in one of your other crockpot recipes you added ground beef and chicken straight to the crockpot without browning the meat first. Do you think I could do that with the ground turkey, along with the onion and garlic here? If so, would you adjust the cooking time at all?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Make sure you strain after cooking in the pot. Things can get pretty over saturated in fat and liquid if you don’t

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  41. Can this be adapted to be frozen first and then popped into the slow cooker? I’m looking for recipes that I can prep beforehand so that we have easy meals during the week 🙂 Thanks!

  42. Question on the nutrition information. Does it include the optional sides or just the chili? Logging calories!!!

    1. Nice recipe, thank you!  I made it in the Instant Pot yesterday — I sautéed the turkey and then the veggies (together with the turkey) right in th woot using the sauté function. I had 2 lbs of turkey so just used all of it. Also used a bit more chicken broth than what the recipe called for.

      I cooked it at high pressure for 12 minutes, then let it de-pressurize for about 12 mins before doing quick release. I then put it on sauté for a little bit longer for flavor purposes. It came together pretty quickly and was very good!  Unfortunately my kids wouldn’t eat much of it, but at least we got dinner and lunch leftovers out of it! 

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  45. I have made this probably 5 or 6 times now and my 3 year old and I love it!  I make it in the crock pot.  I have modified it a little just based on what I have on hand.  This time was the absolute best it’s ever turned out. Here’s what I did.  
    Browned ground chicken in skillet., then threw everything in the crock pot for 6 hours.  I sub’d garlic powder for garlic cloves, used diced tomatoes instead of rotel.  I added a can of pinto beans, and topped it with shredded jack cheese and a little sour cream. it was fantastic.

  46. Hi Gina!

    I am just wondering how long this will stay if you keep it in the fridge? I portioned it last week (Monday) into containers and want to know if it will still be good to eat today and tomorrow.

    Thank you!

  47. We loved this! We’re going through a very picky (and very annoying) eating stage with our 2 year old, and she devoured this….and her older brother liked it too. I added black beans and extra bell peppers that I had on hand to amp up the veggies. I actually liked that it wasn’t super *soupy* because it made it easier for the kids to eat. The leftovers might make a good nacho topping for over the weekend….if it lasts that long! It was the biggest toddler dinner victory I’ve had in awhile.

  48. If I wanted to add 1 can of black beans and 1 can of kidney beans to this recipe, would the rest of the recipe stay the same? 

  49. Avatar photo
    Tiffany in Tampa

    Another hit in my house! My picky 17 year old actually said ‘I LOVE THIS!’. Wow! I did add a can of kidney beans, and a little extra broth based on other reviews. It is a nice, light chili that everyone can make their own after plating. My husband and I both used a tomato based hot sauce to kick it up some. I had it with light sour cream and some avocado, my daughter ate it as is, and my husband loaded his with shredded cheddar, sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips. Looks like another one for the regular rotation! I browned the turkey, and sautéed minced onion, red bell, and zucchini at night after the kids went to bed. I threw it all in the crockpot and covered and placed in the fridge. I added the remaining ingredients the next morning before work and set to low. Easy Peasy dinner that was ready when we all got home! Thanks, Gina!

  50. Any special instruction for cooking this stove top? Seems self explanatory but figured I’d ask..

  51. Hello.  I made this recipe last night and it does not look like chili.  Most of the liquid cooked out.  Any recommendations on what kind of liquid (besides broth) I can add to it next time to give it the consistency of chili?  Thank you.

    1. I cooked this yesterday and had this issue too in the middle of cooking (was cooking it for 8 hours on low), so I added a can of diced petite tomatoes (since I had a can in the pantry) and another 1/4 cup of broth and it turned out perfectly and didn’t make it soupy. Hope this helps!

  52. Avatar photo
    Mom of Twin Boys

    How many smart points do you think adding a can of kidney beans would be? I’m guessing and counting one extra SP.

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  56. Does anyone have any suggestions for an alternative to the corn? I just discovered my son has a corn sensitivity and this recipe has become a staple in our house!

    1. Avatar photo
      Ilene Perfetto

      You can def just leave corn out. Add veggies your son likes! I always add other veggies like green beans, zucchini, etc. Also can add some beans…I have used black beans, pinto beans, these work well in this recipe!

    2. Do you think leaving out the corn will affect the sweetness? If so, what might help add that back in naturally?

    3. I don't really think it will affect sweetness at all. Does your son like sweet potatoes or butternut squash? Either one will add sweetness. OR, you could adjust taste at end of cooking with a little honey, or better yet, some maple syrup for a touch of sweetness to balance the chili! My husband makes a regular spicey chili and always adds maple syrup (his is delicious too!) hope this helps!

  57. @skinnytaste GINA, can I make this in the Instant Pot with pressure cooker setting? Would I do everything the same and then just use the Bean/Chili program?

  58. This is my definite go-to chili recipe and I just saw it while reading through one of my sister's gossip magazines!!  I recognized it right away and it was recommended/written in a section called OK!Celeb Cookbook. 
    (I'm not able to attach a picture I took of it but it's from #2 Issue of OK! Magazine, January 11 2016)

  59. Avatar photo
    Kerry Pulverman

    This was incredible! I usually make my chili with beans……I was surprised how good it was!! I was short on time and did mine on the stove….still great! I'm new to your site…..LOVE your cooking Gina….thank you!

  60. I just bought my first crock pot today and it's a 4.5 quart size…can I make this recipe in that size crockpot? Anyone know? Thanks!

  61. This was such a unique twist on chili-it was much sweeter than the chili I usually make….maybe the corn does it? It seemed a little dry (again maybe just what I am used to), so I added an extra can of diced tomatoes. Toward the end I also added some pinto beans-very delicious and filling during the cold snap we've had 🙂

  62. Avatar photo
    Caitlin Byrne

    what can you substitute for the tomato sauce? Could you use tomato paste or marinara sauce?

  63. My kids don't like bell peppers 🙁 what could I substitute it with? If I left it out, would it still be good?

    1. Avatar photo
      Steph Lynn Tank

      You really can add any veggies you want. I added some leftover, diced butternut squash to this and it worked just fine 🙂

  64. As a college student it can be hard to find time to cook healthy meals so I make a batch of this every Sunday as my "back up" meal so I'll always have one of my favorite meals on standby 🙂

  65. PS… my girls are spicy adverse so I substituted rotel with plain diced tomatoes, which is also why I had to kick it up a notch with pepper plant and sour cream as stated in above comment. Just an fyi…

  66. This is very yummy! My kids love it, however I had to alter it for my husband to enjoy since he LOVES spice and LOTS of flavor. I took his bowl and added garlic flavored Pepper Plant and swirled in some sour cream, melted cheddar cheese over some blue corn tortilla chips and poured the chili over the chips for some delicious nachos. He and I liked the extra kick and the kids loved the original (so do I)!!! Thank you for a new family staple.

  67. I fixed this simple dish yesterday and it was good. I didn't have any tomato sauce so I used salsa. Not sure if anyone would have known the difference.
    Thanks for all the great easy recipes.

  68. Have made this recipe MANY times, and again today! I ALWAYS make a DOUBLE batch since my hubby & sons always want seconds, and they love the leftovers during the week either over baked sweet potato or used over Nachos!! I add pinto beans, diced zucchini, and bump up the heat! WE LOVE IT!

  69. This just finished in the crock pot and I just got my first taste. It's delicious! I substituted lean ground beef for the turkey and I used our own home grown canned diced tomatoes with some diced green chili's added intstead of Rotel and some homegrown diced frozen bell peppers instead of fresh ones because that is what I had. I may add some cooked elbow macaroni to bulk this up for my boys(14 &10) as well. It was super easy to throw together. I'm not a fan of having to precook things that go in the crock pot so if it's a hit with my boys, I may try just throwing it all in the crock pot at once and see how it turns out. It's definitely kid friendly with a very mild taste. My hubby will have to add a lot of hot sauce to make it to his liking but that's a OK with me. My kids like beans too and this would taste great with a can of black beans added as well. Really yummy and easy reciep. 🙂

  70. Gina, I love this recipe. I make a batch a week, for my 9 year old daughter's lunch. Instead of Rotel, she does not like spice at all, I add 1 can of diced tomatoes. Thanks Gina.

  71. Thanks for this one. We don't have kids yet but my husband can be very picky and we have just started using our crock pot. He LOVED IT! he even loved it reheated and he usually hates leftovers. I can't wait to try some of the other recipes here.

  72. OK….. I have two teenage boys, 13 & 15 that are VERY PICKY! It is so hard to find recipes that they like and I"M TIRED of the same old things! This sounds so yummy I'm going to give it a try! I'le let you know the results! Wish me LUCK!! 🙂

  73. Avatar photo
    Lindsey Shapiro

    if you make it on the stove, do you still brown the turkey and saute the veggies first? also how long do you cook for – dying to make this but don't have a crock pot

  74. Would it be okay to have this in the slow cooker while I'm at work for 10 hours (or so) or would it dry out? And would ground chicken be okay to use instead? I'm sure it would be fine since turkey and chicken are cousins, but am curious to hear what others think. Thanks!

  75. This is one of my favorite recipes from your website – and I have many! I have a batch in my crockpot right now. Now that my son (the picky eater) is away at college, I also add a can of black beans. Making some pumpkin cornbread to go with this tonight – we can't wait to have dinner!

  76. I made this last night. It was DELICIOUS. I don't usually comment on anything but I have made three recipes from this website and none of them have been anything other than scrumptious!

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  78. I just put all the ingredients in the crock pot and turned it on low. It looks so delicious. Thanks for this great recipe. The only difference I made was roasted red bell peppers bc I happened to have those instead. Yum!

  79. This recipe is fantastic!!! All five of my children loved it! It is very tasty and full of flavor! It comes together so quickly! Thanks for another great recipe!!

  80. Avatar photo
    Jessica Smith

    This definitely had a kick to it, and my non-spicy food little wouldn't touch it. But with blue chips and avocado (to tone down the spicy-ness, as I'm a spicy sissy too), this was delicious. I'm thinking it was the Ro-Tel that did it. I might have to think of something else instead for that next time.

  81. I just had to report that my super duper picky eater son gobbled this down! And the rest of the family loved it too.

  82. I just put this in my crockpot. I work at home two days a week and I am always looking for new crockpot recipes so that I can have dinner ready when my 16 year old comes home 'starving'! We do not eat red meat and she is a very picky teen, but loves corn 🙂 I did a 1 can of chili beans, and will serve with avocado slices. Thanks for the great recipe! It already smells good!

  83. Made this on Sunday for the family and it was a HUGE HIT! this is by far the best chili recipe ever. I added some mushrooms and mild chili beans as well as 1 3/4 more chicken broth to add more liquid:) My picky 9 year old ate THIRDS!:) Thanks GIna! As always – you are amazing:)

  84. This turned out great! The added a bit of taco seasoning and served it with Kraft 3 cheese pizza! yummmm

  85. Avatar photo

    Hey Gina – as usual yummy recipe!! I may have overlooked it but I didn't see a bay leaf in the ingredients.

  86. Gina!! Your blog is an inspiration! I bought rabbit recently, as I've been told it's quite lean meat as well – to my great disappointment I didn't find any rabbit recipes on your site (especially looking for crock pot rabbit recipes) 🙁 is there anything you could recommend for a skinny rabbit dish? I found some but they required frying the rabbit first in oil, which I would have preferred to avoid, or at least minimize. And the recipe was good but not as delicious as the ones you provide here… Thanks in advance!

  87. this was CRAZY good! i loved it. leftovers tasted yummy, too. i followed the recipe exactly and loved every bite! everyone in the family was smiling about this one!

  88. Looks yummy!! I have a bunch of tomatoes from my garden that I would like to substitute for the canned ones. How would you suggest doing this?

  89. Avatar photo
    Karen Chaplin

    Thank you so much for this recipe, I have to write to tell you it was a big HUGE hit with my girls who loved it, I was a bit dubious the eldest wasn't going to like it, I knew my youngest would as she's an eating machine, but the eldest at 6 is still a little picky, both girls gobbled it down.

    The only thing I did different was to add some whole wheat macaroni to it in the last 30 mins in the slow cooker with some extra water/stock and we served it with cheese and sour cream

    Delicious as a family we all totally loved it, I can see so many potential recipes coming out of it too

    Thank you so much for a delicious healthy recipe

  90. I made this for dinner last night, and we loved it! So much flavor, and so easy! However, ours didn't have much juice at all. Like hardly any. We still ate it and loved the flavor, but I will have to double the tomato juice or add some low sodium V8 next time. I left out the corn. Could that have been the cause?

  91. We just finished eating this for dinner and no one could believe it was turkey!!! Really delicious!. My family likes spicey so I kicked it up a bit, and added a can of pinto beans. Also added a chopped zucchini in with the onions! I made a double batch to have leftovers to make the Loaded Turkey Chili Baked Potato another day! Great recipe Gina!!!

  92. Made it tonight for dinner – Loved it!!! Added some yellow & orange peppers, cannellini & black beans as well.

  93. Delicious as usual Gina! I added a can of drained kidney beans for extra fiber, and used just under a pound of turkey.

    I do find however that most chilis don't incorporate enough spices for my liking. They just taste too tomato-y. So, I doubled the spices, and honestly could have used more! But regardless, your recipes are always amazing. 🙂

  94. Avatar photo
    Kiran @

    Mmmm… i truly need a crockpot to save my life! Love this chili. So healthy and comforting, Gina 🙂

  95. Avatar photo

    I'm starving right now. I can latterly go throw the computer and get me some. Looks delicious and simple!!!

  96. Avatar photo
    Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking

    This chili looks sensational, Gina! Chili is one of my favorite meals to make for (and with) friends and family, and I know we all, including my friends' kiddos, would love this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  97. Recipe looks yummy! My crew are bean eaters so I'll most likely add black beans and kidney beans, then adjust the points accordingly. Speaking of points, I don't have my points calculator with me, but at a glance I would have thought the "OLD POINTS" would have been 4, or at most 5. Just wondering? THANKS!

  98. Thanks for the recipe. Why do you sautee the veggies rather than just putting them into the crock pot raw? I know meet usually needs to be browned before it can go it, but not sure I understand why to pre-cook the veggies.


    1. Avatar photo
      Skinnytaste Gina

      I do it because I personally think it tastes better. And why not, the pan is already out and dirty.

  99. Avatar photo
    Verena Lisinski

    I love your recipe ideas for both kids and adults! I'd like to let the other parents of children know of a FB page that gives wonderful ideas for kid's lunches…100 Days of Real Food. It's wonderful, b/c all the ideas are healthy and chemical-free.

  100. Gina,
    Thank you so much for all your yummy recipes! I've loved every recipe of yours I've tried! Tonight we are having roasted spaghetti squash and crockpot pasta sauce with sausage. It is still 100 degrees here in Texas, so I laughed when I saw you talking about cooler weather and chili!
    That being said, I do not like beans so often substitute other veggies. I've never thought of adding corn though. This looks so yummy! Thank you for sharing your creativity with all of us!!!

  101. A quick question — what type of crockpot do you use. I am in the market for a new one. The one I have has a timer that is supposed to switch to warm, but warm still cooks the food and, if I am at work all day long, whatever is in the crockpot is way overdone, even when cooked on low and switched to warm. I would love to know what you use and if you're happy with it. Thanks and thanks for all the great recipes!

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    This looks absolutely perfect! I'm making a bit pot this upcoming Sunday to have for lunches for the week 🙂 Thanks Gina!

  103. This sounds amazing! 🙂 We will be trying it this fall! Thanks for another healthy, scrumptious-looking recipe, Gina!

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    I concur with motivated mommy above; I love the kid-friendly/school lunch options–especially if they can be cooked in the crockpot and freeze well, so more are always welcome! I'm checking out the thermos now (my 1st grader isn't allowed to use the microwave and they won't heat the lunch for him), this may be the perfect solution to break up the sandwich routine. 🙂

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    Motivated Mommy of two

    This recipe sounds delicious, I have to make it for my first grader. This is her first year in full day school and trying to get creative with her lunches. Sandwiches have not been a hit at all and they come back home. I have been sending spaghetti or mac n cheese with her. But they have to heat it up for her, going to get the Thermos you referenced above. I think it would be awesome if you start sharing Kid lunch friendly recipes. My daughter really loves your turkey meatballs with the green tomatillo sauce. Your recipes would be awesome for school lunches.

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      Skinnytaste Gina

      I would simmer it low, until the meat is tender, maybe 30 to 40 minutes, it may need more liquid.

  106. This sounds and looks wonderful. I also have a little one attending preK this year and I will look to you for lunch friendly ideas to pack.

  107. This sounds delicious, and this recipe will be the perfect way help get me in the mood for all things FALL! Quick question – Do nutrition facts include the optional toppings?