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If you have leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, make this White Turkey Chili! It's made with white beans, green chilis, garlic, and of course, turkey.
Photography Credit:Elise Bauer
Usually after Thanksgiving we have plenty of leftover turkey and enough turkey stock for several days of dishes.
Today I whipped up some turkey white chili, based on our chicken white chili recipe, but made it with cooked turkey meat instead of chicken, and with the beans cooked in homemade turkey stock.
I bumped up the heat a bit from the other recipe, feel free to dial it down if you don’t like your foods spicy.
Have you ever had white chili? It’s called white chili because instead of what you find in the usual chile con carne, it uses white beans, white meat, and mild green chiles. It’s absolutely delicious with tortilla chips.
More Ways to Use Up Your Turkey Leftovers
- Mom’s Turkey Soup
- Turkey Tetrazzini
- Turkey Tortilla Soup
- Creamy Cheesy Turkey Enchiladas
- Turkey Noodle Casserole
Turkey White Chili Recipe
If you are starting out with dry beans (recommended), to speed up the process you can put beans into a bowl and pour boiling water over them by 2 inches and let them sit for an hour instead of soaking them overnight (then drain).
You can also use a pressure cooker to cook the beans more quickly than on the stovetop without needing to pre-soak them.
You can also use canned white beans. If you use canned beans, drain them from their juices and combine them with the turkey stock in step one. Only heat the beans and turkey stock enough to bring the stock to a simmer. You don't need to cook the canned beans because they are already cooked.
This recipe can easily be doubled.
- 1/2 pound dry white beans, soaked overnight in water, drained OR 2 15-ounce cans white beans, drained
- 3 cups turkey stock
- 1 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onions, chopped (divided)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, stem and most seeds removed, chopped (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 4-ounce cans chopped green chilies
- 2 cups diced cooked turkey
- Salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon)
Garnishes and extras
- 1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/3 cup (loose) chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped (or guacamole)
- Chopped tomatoes or salsa
- Corn tortilla chips and/or fresh warmed flour tortillas
1a Cook beans if using dry beans: Combine soaked and drained beans, turkey stock, and half the onions in a large soup pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until beans are very soft, 1 to 3 hours or more, depending on the type of white beans you are using.
Cannelli beans are tender and tend to cook rather quickly. Navy beans take longer. Add additional water (or watered-down stock), if necessary.
Or you can skip the soaking and cook the beans in turkey stock with the onions in a pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes, then let release naturally for 10 minutes.
1b If using canned beans: Combine the beans and the turkey stock in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer.
2 Cook jalapeño, onions, garlic, green chiles: Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat, cook chopped jalapeño (if using) and (remaining) onions in oil until tender. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more. Add green chilies and seasonings and mix thoroughly.
3 Combine jalapeño mixture and turkey to stock: Add the jalapeño onion mixture to the stock and beans.
Add the turkey and salt to taste, and simmer for 10 minutes or more (up to an hour) until the beans are thoroughly soft and the stew has thickened.
4 Serve: Serve topped with grated cheese. Garnish with cilantro, chopped fresh tomato, salsa, chopped green onions, and/or avocados. Serve with fresh warmed flour tortillas or tortilla chips.
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White Bean Turkey Chili (with Leftover Turkey)
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This recipe for White Bean Turkey Chili is the perfect way to transform your leftover turkey!
We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, full of family, friends and delicious food!
In the spirit of the leftovers that are hopefully stuffing your fridge right now, we have an easy and warming white chili to share with you today.
Turkey and White Bean Chili
Please note that I only work with companies and products that I feel passionately about and that align with The Defined Dish’s views and that this post contains sponsored content for Honeysuckle White® . While I am compensated for the work I do, my opinions are always 100% my own.
This Turkey and White Bean Chili is hearty, healthy, simple to make and packed with flavor!!
Here is one of those simple weeknight dinners to make that the entire family will devour and everyone will leave the table satisfied. It’s so cozy and so easy to make. While it does need some time to simmer, the recipe is mostly hands-off and all made in one pot.
Ground turkey is definitely the star in this recipe, which is such a great, lean, high-protein staple that I love to incorporate in meals throughout the week. I also love to incorporate boneless turkey breast when possible as it is one of the leanest meats available with one of the highest amounts of protein (a 4-ounce serving contains 26 grams of protein, about 1 gram of fat and 0 grams of saturated fat!) — 12 percent MORE protein than the same serving size of boneless skinless chicken breast! When choosing turkey, I love Honeysuckle White® Lean Ground Turkey because of the high-quality product that they produce, raised without growth-promoting antibiotics by independent family farmers.
Without compromising quality and taste, turkey is such a versatile protein and Honeysuckle White® has a wide variety of products — ground turkey, meatballs, patties and breasts — to make your weekly meal planning easier and more exciting!
If you are like me and are looking to incorporate more turkey into your 2021 diet, definitely kick it off with this easy White Bean and Turkey Chili! It’s so perfect to make on Sunday and enjoy the leftovers throughout the week for lunch because the flavor just keeps getting better with time! Enjoy!
Creamy White Turkey Chili
Ground turkey and white beans are combined with lots of spices and LOTS of cheese to make a delicious, creamy chili!
- 1 pound Ground Turkey
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 whole Small White Onion, Chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
- 2 cans (14 Oz. Size) Cannellini Beans
- 2 cans (14.5 Oz. Size) Chicken Broth
- 1 can (4 Oz. Size) Diced Green Chilies
- 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Ground Sweet Basil
- ½ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
- 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
- 3 cups Monterey Jack/Colby Shredded Cheese
- 8 ounces, fluid Sour Cream
- Hot Sauce, To Serve
- Fritos, For Topping
In large soup pot, cook turkey on the stovetop until well done. Remove turkey from the pot, then melt butter and cook onions until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and cook one more minute.
Add turkey back to the pot, along with beans, chicken broth, chilies, cumin, basil, cayenne pepper, red chili flakes, and chili powder. Simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.
After an hour, add the cheese and sour cream and heat until melted. Serve with your favorite hot sauce and Fritos! Enjoy!
Reviews ( 32 )
I made this exactly as written, and really liked it. A little heat with the jalapeno, flavor was delicate and very tasty. Is a keeper!
This recipe really rocked! After reading the other reviews, I made some very minor changes. Used olive oil instead of the butter (and cut that by a third), used chipotle pepper instead of the jalapeño, added extra garlic, used evaporated milk instead of 1% and added a lime juice at the end. I halved the recipe, served over rice and had enough to feed six people. This is a wonderful way to used leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
So easy to prepare and tastes great, BUT I did have a few modifications. I added shredded rotisserie chicken in lieu of turkey pieces, added smoked paprika (1 tbsp) and coriander (1 tbsp) plus 1 can of chipotle chiles (chopped) with adobo sauce. I used canned corn (summer crisp) vs. frozen and had to add 1 & 1/2 tbsp cornstarch to base during simmer stage to thicken up (only purchased 1 can of white beans and mash was only 1/4 cup - not enough to thicken soup). At the end, I added juice from half a large lime. The chili was wonderfully complex with lots of heat from the peppers and spices. Excellent recipe and would absolutely make again and again enjoy!
This was very easy to prepare. I was suprised by the milk, but what a great taste. I halved the recipe, because 11 servings was just too much. I followed the recipe exactly. Very warm and comforing with a great subtle flavor. This is going into my rotation.
This was actually really good, I was surprised by the milk in this recipe. The leftover thanksgiving turkey was great in this.
Absolutely love this recipe! Easy ingredients, easy to make and so satisfying for a cold snowy day :) I did add 2 chicken bouillons for more flavor and 2 tbs of Wondra quick-mixing flour to thicken it up.
This chili was EXCELLENT. I used chicken thighs instead of Turkey and it was delicious. I cooked the chicken thighs most of the way through in the butter, then put them aside on plate. I then sautéed the veggies in the chicken juices/butter and then chopped the chicken up and added it back to the soup. I feel this really added to the savoriness of the soup. I only used about 1/2 the cilantro in fear that it would overpower, which seemed to be perfect. I also used about 1/2 of the requested beans, and I doubled up on the garlic. I highly recommend this recipe!
Even my pickiest eaters loved this! Omitted the jalapeno, cilantro and used half the chili peppers for the kids. Doubled the garlic. Used a roasted chicken. Served with cornbread. It had a great consistency - not watery at all like some of the reviews. I could not find 19oz can of beans so bought one large 40oz and used it all. Next time, I'll add a little more corn and double the recipe for a second meal. Great for the whole family!!
This recipe is outstanding! I would double up on the spices and jalepeno if you like things spicier. While I liked the recipe as is, I would add more heat next time. Definitely a great way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers!
I give this chili high marks for flavor and heat - I used one jalapeno with about half the seeds, and a chipotle chili powder. It was a little on the soupy side. My favorite white chili recipe incorporates about a cup of a cooked wild/white rice blend. Would totally bring this up to code. I also added about a tablespoon of lime juice before serving, and topped with a little shredded monterrey jack. Ummm, some jalapeno corn bread on the side would be awesome.
One of the rare times I've made a highly rated cooking light recipe that was a flop. This would be better described as a tex-mex soup vs. chili. It was watery and completely bland - not what I'd call chili. I can't imagine how anyone would find this too spicey. It never thickened without adding corn starch. I had to do some major doctoring to make it edible - including adding A LOT more chili powder, cumin and other seasonings. I wanted to try a new chili recipe but this was a huge disappointment - going back to my own T&T recipe.
I'm in college, and this was one of the best meals I've made all year! I got rave reviews from everyone, even my well-fed friends.
Delicious! Love how it's both soupy tasting and chili tasting at the same time. Will definitely make it again. After reading the comments I took some of the advice given. I ended up using only 3 1/2 cups of chicken broth (it turned out a perfect consistency in my opinion), used half a can of evaporated milk and instead of using the different hot peppers suggested I added a little more than a pinch of Serrano hot peppers. It doesn't take much of those to give it some kick! I also put in 2 tsp of cumin. It was delicious. The cornmeal muffins are in the oven right now! Yum.
We all liked it. It's a nice change to regular chili or regular turkey left overs. I made it pretty much to the T except I used a half can of evaporated milk and instead of cilantro (I can't stand the stuff!) I used parsley. It's really not hot what so ever. I used 2 small jalapenos both seeded and a whole little can of chilies. We're not overly tolerant to heat but this is not hot. My 9 year old chowed down and she's very sensitive to heat. Next time I make this, I think I'll double the cumin and chili power and maybe leave one small jalapeno with seeds.
My family and I loved this recipe! I subbed roasted chicken for the turkey but other than that followed the recipe. The consistency was more like soup but still delicious. This will be a winter staple in our house.
Although very easy to make, I thought the flavor was a bit boring. I won't be making it again.
I used ground turkey. Put a little EVOO in the dutch oven and cooked that up first. Removed the turkey and started the recipe as it states with the butter and onions. then added the cooked ground turkey in after. Used a whole jalapeno and had Franks Red Hot on the table as we like things extra hot! For a healthy comfort meal I thought it was great! I had a 1/8 of a cup of light Mexican cheese and one tablespoon of light sour cream. Delicious! And I would definitely use less broth next time. Maybe just a can and a half.
This is outstanding. I used 3/4 of the jalapeno and 3/4 of the can of chiles, it still had heat but not too much. We had green peppers so we used those instead of red. It is phenomenal and even better the next day. I added spinach and had it again for lunch.
I agree w/ another reviewer that on its own, this recipe isn't anything special. However, it is an *outstanding* base with which to work. I followed it to a T and it was so-so. I then made it again w/ the following changes & it earned rave reviews: 1) Used a large rotisserie chicken from the grocery store 2) Doubled the chile powder and cumin amounts 3) Added 2 extra cups of broth (was cooking a larger batch to freeze leftovers) 4) Omitted the jalapeno (I can't handle the heat) 5) Doubled the minced garlic 6) added 1 drained can diced tomatoes 7) Used canned corn b/c I didn't have frozen 8) *a key change*: I bought a box of Carol Shelby's white chicken chili spice kit and used the packet of masa flower and the spice packet. I threw away the red pepper and jalapeno pepper packets 9) I thickened the soup at the very end by mixing 1 TBSP corn starch and 2 TBSP water. This gave it the perfect consistency. Top w/ FF sour cream, some avocado, LF cheese, and tostitos. Awesome.
Slow Cooker Wild Turkey White Chili
When we smoke a whole wild turkey for dinner, there always seems to be quite a bit of meat leftover. Since I use the bones to make stock, I need them picked clean before dropping them into the stockpot. For us, after a family meal on a whole bird, this usually yields a pound or two of smoked turkey meat.
What can you do with it? All sorts of things soups, stews, enchiladas, turkey salad, the list is long. One of our favorite things to do is to make white chili.
This recipe works well for busy work or hunting days since you simply dump everything into a slow cooker in the morning and it is ready to eat when you get home.
I like to use the stock made from the smoked turkey bones for a bit of extra richness, but canned stock will work as well. If you do decide to make your own stock, simply drop the cleaned bones into a stockpot, fill with water, put on a lid and simmer slowly for as long as you can. Our last batch went a full 24 hours. It started with three gallons of water and finished up as three quarts of stock. Try it you will never go back to store-bought stock again.
1.5 to 2 pounds of smoked turkey, cut or pulled into 1/2-inch cubes
2 15.5-ounce cans of great northern beans
2 4-ounce cans of chopped green chilies
1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder
½ teaspoon southwestern seasoning
Combine all ingredients except for ½ cup of sour cream and the heavy whipping cream in a large crockpot. Cook on high for five hours or low for 8 hours. Before serving, stir in the cream and the other half cup of sour cream.
We like to top the white chili with strips of fried corn tortillas and a bit of cheese.
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Head 𠆎m Off at the Pass White Chili
My wife, Mary, came across this recipe for chicken chili from a Paul Newman recipe contest. We’ve adapted it to our taste, using leftover meat from a whole roasted wild turkey.
• 1½ cups cooked, chopped wild turkey (white or dark meat)
• two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans (do not drain)
• ½ cup chopped celery (dime-size pieces)
• ½ cup salsa (use medium or hot salsa to add a bit of kick)
• 1½ cup shredded white cheese divided into two ¾ cups (mozzarella works well)
In a 2-quart pot, sauté onions in olive oil until translucent. Add chopped turkey, then add broth. Add cannellini beans, celery, oregano and salsa. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring gently. Just before serving stir in ¾ cup shredded cheese. Top with remaining shredded cheese and more salsa. Makes five 1-cup servings.
White Turkey Chili with Avocado
Cooking for a crowd? That calls for a pot of chili. But forget that tired old recipe with kidney beans, beef and canned tomatoes. Spice things up with this white turkey chili with avocado. It&rsquos the same satisfying dish with amazing new flavors.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
One 15-ounce can corn kernels
One 15-ounce can white beans
1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
2. Add the turkey and cook until browned and fully cooked, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander and cayenne, season with salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Stir in the broth. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until good flavor develops, 30 to 35 minutes.
4. Stir in the corn and beans, and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
5. To serve, ladle the chili into bowls and top with 1 to 2 tablespoons avocado. Serve immediately.
White Turkey Chili Recipe Is A Fall Must Have
A couple years ago, I wanted to re-create a bowl of white chili that I had in college. There was a small, secondary bookstore near campus called Brian’s Books that also had a café that severed this amazing, white chili with tortilla chips.
One fall afternoon I started craving it – randomly. It had been at least a decade since college at that point and the bookstore was long gone. Still, sometimes you get a taste for things and you just can’t shake it.
The turkey chili I ended up creating that day has become a fall staple in our house. We make it at least twice a season, and it’s a meal both Kevin and I look forward to.
This simmered, homemade White Turkey Chili is full of delicious, savory turkey tangy green chiles and iconic BUSH’S® White Chili Beans.
So, when BUSH’S® asked me to join the #beansquad for the winter season and create recipes using their beans, I knew I wanted the turkey chili to be the very first dish I made.
BUSH’S® White Chili Beans have been a staple for us in this recipe right from the very start. They’re high-quality beans that have been slow cooked to perfection so you get the very best flavor when using them in your recipes. They’re also a great plant-based option for people looking to add more fiber, antioxidants, probiotics and protein into their diets.
White Turkey Chili time
This recipe combines turkey with BUSH’S® White Chili Beans, and we have traditionally used ground turkey for it. However, I have always wanted to use pulled turkey breast in it instead. This time, I made a turkey breast for dinner one night and on the second night, used the leftovers for this recipe.
Before we had children, Kevin and I loved to make food this way. We would make a meal one night and see how we could reinvent the leftovers the next night. Since we were saving for either adoption or fertility treatments, we really needed to conserve. We called it, “Make once, eat twice.” Personally, I think this is still one of the most fun ways to try to make dinner.
This recipe is also perfect for leftovers on Thanksgiving. If you always find yourself with extra turkey on-hand after the holiday is over, this is a great way to use it up and extend your meals through the week.
Endless ways to eat it
We also like to eat this with chips. Kevin specifically almost always uses chips and scoops the Turkey Chili up like it’s a heavy salsa. I like to eat a few bites this way and then just eat it with a spoon. It is so delicious on its own, and sometimes I like to enjoy it as simply as possible.
There also seems to be endless ways to top the Turkey Chili. Topping your chili always feels very personal to me. You could have one chili dish and have 100 different combinations with toppings. We like to use a simple Tomatillo Salsa and a little sour cream for the White Turkey Chili but cheese, cilantro, parsley and so many other herbs too.
How do you like to top your chili? Are BUSH’S® Beans a recipe staple for you, too?
Thank you so much for visiting today, friends! Find the full, printable Turkey Chili recipe with BUSH’S® White Chili Beans below, and please let me know what you think it the comments if you decide to make it for your family!
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 pound ground turkey
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 jalapenos, diced (seeded for milder taste)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cans (19 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- Sour cream, cilantro, and radishes for garnish
In a large, deep, skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up turkey with spoon, until browned, 9 minutes.
Add onion and jalapenos cook until soft, 3 minutes. Stir in cumin and tomato paste cook 2 minutes.
Add cannellini beans, chicken broth, and water bring to boil. Reduce heat simmer until thick, 15 to 20 minutes.