This White Bean Turkey Chili is an easy and tasty way to use leftover roasted turkey from the holidays! And this chili only takes about 30 minutes to make, too!
Have you looked at your calendar lately? Somehow Thanksgiving snuck up and lands in just 2 weeks! Uhh, when did that happen? It feels like just yesterday that I was sitting down showing Robbie the parade on tv. (I made the mistake last year of telling him that Santa was coming, and then all he could focus on for the whole parade was Santa. Ah, the life of a kid!)
Today’s recipe is a perfect one for this time of the year. Chili has been around since the late 1800’s, and it’s a great way to use all sorts of leftovers. In fact, chili became popular thanks to chili houses that sprung up in the early 1900’s from Texas to Wisconsin. These chili houses were small, family-run operations. To differentiate themselves from the chili house down the street, families began including secret ingredients in their version. That tradition has stuck around as folks still claim to have award-winning chilis thanks to that one special ingredient.
So what’s your special chili ingredient? I’ve made some fun versions of chili over the years, but I think this Maple Bacon Chili still takes the cake…err, bowl. That version is topped with maple candied bacon for a fun twist. Holy chili, Batman! I’d gladly enter that version in a chili cookoff. Name the time and place, and I’ll be there! And then there’s Cincinnati Chili. Talk about another fun twist. Cincinnati chili looks more like a pasta dish than chili, but it’s definitely chili! The secret ingredient there? Chocolate. Yes, chocolate.
White Bean Turkey Chili
The special ingredient in this White Bean Turkey Chili isn’t really an ingredient at all. It’s more of a cooking technique instead. In order to thicken up this chili, I blended up one of the cans of white beans and then mix that back into the pot. I’ve tried blending 2 of the 3 cans of white beans, but in my opinion that was a little too thick.
Oh, and then there’s the cheese. Perhaps this White Bean Turkey Chili does have a secret ingredient after all! 2 cups of shredded cheese get stirred in at the end. Once melted, you can’t see the cheese, but it brings a definite punch in terms of overall flavor. (I used Cabot’s 4-Cheese Mexican Shredded Cheddar. Delicious!)
This White Bean Turkey Chili is perfect way to use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. Truthfully, we never have that problem as I actually love Thanksgiving leftovers. In fact, one of my favorite things about the weekend after Thanksgiving is the fact that we have easy and delicious leftovers for the whole weekend ahead. Combine that with our tradition of watching football while decorating the Christmas tree, and you’ve got a pretty awesome weekend planned! Maybe I’ll have to cook an extra turkey this year so I can have enough for both leftovers and this White Bean Turkey Chili. Hah!
If you don’t have leftover turkey, then you can also make this chili with chicken. Or in a pinch, you can even stop by a local deli and grab about 1 pound and a half of roasted turkey. (Just make sure to go to a deli that sells roasted turkey and not just sliced deli meat.) No matter how you make this White Bean Turkey Chili, I hope you enjoy it…it’s great for the holidays when you need an easy, delicious meal! Cheers, friends!
Love chili? Check out some of these other favorite recipes!