White Bean Turkey Chili

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!

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.

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!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.

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!

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 an easy and tasty way to use leftover roasted turkey from the holidays!  And this chili only takes about 30 minutes to make, too!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!

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!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!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Maple Bacon Chili

Slow Cooker Cincinnati Chili

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

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!

White Bean Turkey Chili

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!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 225kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion diced
  • 2 tsp garlic minced
  • 2 4-oz. cans diced green chile peppers
  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • {optional} ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 15-oz. cans Great Northern beans (or cannellini beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 14-oz. can corn, drained
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • 4 cups roasted turkey fully cooked, chopped
  • {for serving} sour cream
  • {for serving} avocado diced
  • {for serving} fresh Italian parsley chopped

Instructions

  • Using a large Dutch oven or stock pot, add onion and garlic. Place over medium heat and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add chile peppers, tomatoes, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, chili powder, {optional} cayenne pepper, 2 cans of beans, corn and chicken broth; stir until well combined. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, using a small food processor or mini-chopper, puree the 3rd can of beans with 1 Tbsp of water. Add pureed beans, cheese and roasted turkey to pot; stir until well combined. Let simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Divide soup into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream, diced avocados and fresh Italian parsley.

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!

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29 Comments

  1. Oh, that’s interesting! I sometimes use canned beans to thicken vegetable soups, instead of potato or tofu. But I’ve never thought to do it to a chili like this. Or any kind or tortilla soup or stew. Fantastic idea!

    1. Yes! I love using beans to thicken this chili. I like broth-based soups, but I love thicker, heartier soups! This one is perfect for cold days, and the roasted turkey adds a ton of flavor. Thanks, Mimi! 🙂

  2. Yes, HOW is Thanksgiving almost here? I’m already dreaming about next year’s berry season and it will be here before we know it. Time terrifies me sometimes. I love finding creative ways to use turkey leftovers because I always prepare about 10 times more food for Thanksgiving than I actually need and sometimes sandwiches get old. This chili is perfect!

    1. Tell me about it, Kelsie! I was visiting my Dad in Texas this weekend, and he mentioned something about Thanksgiving coming up…and I was like, “Hold up. Thanksgiving is next week!?” When did that happen? I hear ya on Thanksgiving leftovers, too. I actually love leftovers from Turkey Day, but they do get a little boring after a while…this chili is a fun way to mix it up!

  3. You and I are turkey chili twinning today, lol….though, two completely different variations 😉 I love chili and you are right – it is a great way to use up odds and ends in the fridge. I also love freezing extra for easy weekday meals. One of my fave things to use in chili is chipotle. but I pretty much enjoy any variety of chili. P.S. The time is going way to fast and I can’t believe next month is Christmas! Eeeeeeek!!! Too much to do and so little time until then. I may just watch Elf this weekend, though 😉

    1. Turkey chili twinning! Hah. I love that, Dawn. The beautiful thing about chili is there are so many delicious options! You’re totally right about freezing chilis (and soups) for easy weekday meals. Speaking of easy meals, I hope you got a chance to curl up on the sofa this weekend with a bowl of chili and watch Elf. What a classic!! 🙂

  4. Hi David! This is perfect for the day after Thanksgiving when the last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time in the kitchen! I like a good turkey sandwich, but not day after day. Like Dawn I’m a big fan of chipotle so I would add some. I sometimes use a can of refried beans to thicken chili.

    1. I hear ya on spending time in the kitchen after Thanksgiving! I actually look forward to cooking the big feast, but once all is said and done, I just want to curl up on the couch next to a fire for the rest of the weekend. (We do spend part of the day Friday decorating for Christmas, though.) Ooo…good call on the can of refried beans to thicken chili. I’m gonna have to try that soon! Hope you had a great weekend, my friend!

  5. Hi David! This is perfect for the day after Thanksgiving when the last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time in the kitchen! I like a good turkey sandwich, but they do get old. Like Dawn I love chipotle so I would add some. I sometimes use a can of refried beans to thicken up chili or posole.

  6. David, that’s a nice bowl of chili you have there. Now about that Cincinnati chili. We used to have a Skyline Chili shop in our town when we lived in the US and you know I kinda got used to pasta with chili. However, your white bean chili is destined to be poured over piping hot basmati rice. Don’t know why, but I like rice with white chili.

    1. I love a good bowl of chili, Ron…and this version with roasted turkey is super tasty! Ah. Skyline Chili. I’m well aware of Skyline. I thought it was the strangest thing when I first tried it, but I’m ok with it now…in fact, it’s kinda fun to serve chili over pasta! I also love rice, and this turkey chili would be excellent with rice added in…although I might have to opt for wild rice. There’s something magical about wild rice in soups/stews/chilis!

  7. Sometimes David I wonder if we’re telepathically thinking the same recipe. My chilli (although a slow cooker version) is coming next week! I’m definitely with you that chocolate is a fab ingredient for chilli. I use it in particular in my vegetarian version. I love how you’ve blendedr up the cans of white beans here and added them to the pot to provide thickness. That’s a unique twist. All in all David this is one tasty recipe and a great way to use up that leftover Thanksgiving Turkey. As we don’t do Thansgiving here I’ll save this until Christmas, thanks! 😀

    1. Hah! Great minds think alike, right, Neil? I’m excited to see your slow cooker chili version next week. Slow cookers meals are always favorites around here…especially during the holidays! I think I just need an extra couple hours in each day during the holidays. Can we make that happen? 🙂

  8. We usually make soup with our leftover Thanksgiving turkey, but I’m liking this idea a lot for this year. I love the idea of using leftovers in combination with fresh ingredients. YUM!

    1. Soup is a classic way to use leftover turkey! It’s easy and the turkey brings loads of flavor. This version is a fun way to mix it up, and I love using the white beans to turn this chili into a thicker version. It’s the perfect way to relax on the couch after a busy Turkey Day! 🙂

  9. 2 weeks until Thanksgiving – tell me about that (Considering the fact that Canada celebrated it exactly a month ago)! And say what? 2 cups of cheese in this chili? That’s the best secret ingredient ever (Even lavender cannot beat it), and that’s certainly one of the most comforting and delicious chili recipes ever. Well done!

    1. Hah! I know it doesn’t have the same effect on you since Canada already celebrated Thanksgiving…but I still can’t believe November is almost half over. Some months seem to drag on forever (ahem January and February) and some seem to fly by! Wait. Did I just read that correctly? You admit that cheese is better than lavender? Well we certainly can agree on that one! Haha. 🙂

  10. This is a fantastic way to use up leftover turkey! It honestly looks good enough that I want to cook a turkey just so I can have leftovers to make it! A big bowl of this and a slab of cornbread and I’m in heaven!

    1. So I might have roasted a turkey (or turkey breast) just to make this chili. You caught me! But it was so delicious, and it just got me in the mood for Thanksgiving! Oh, and I hear ya on cornbread…that’s one of my all-time favorites for a bowl of chili. That, and a fire in the fireplace!

    1. No way! Great minds think alike, huh? White bean chili is just so tasty…and I love how the white beans can be used to thicken it up. I picked up that tip years ago, and it’s been a good one. I love thicker stews and chilis, and the beans are the perfect way to get that texture! Thanks, Kathy!

    1. They took chili off the menu!? But it’s chili season! Of course, homemade chilies really are the best. There’s just something alluring about the thought of food simmering away making the whole house smell amazing! This version with turkey is definitely a favorite around here, and it’s a great use of leftover Thanksgiving turkey! Hope you have a great holiday, Karen!

  11. I so wish I had a bowl or three of this delicious chili to cozy up with today – this week is a 3-day work week here and we ate most of what I meal-prepped for the three days – in one day! GAH!
    So far the chili I’ve enjoyed the most had a dark beer + dark chocolate in it – but that was before I had some of this… I’d say I’d send my drone up but it might freeze mid commute up there…. GAH!

    1. You know what? Sometimes I love when we don’t have any menu ideas planned. That often leads to fun ideas as we raid the pantry/freezer to see what we can cobbler together.

      We’re on a 3-day week here, too, and I can’t wait for Thanksgiving! I love the holiday itself, but it’s also going to be nice to have a little reprieve before the craziness of Christmas sets in. And, yes, I’m pretty sure the snowstorms would knock the drone’s radar off. Guess you’ll just have to make a return trip sometime! 🙂 Hope you and Lil S have a wonderful Thanksgiving, my friend!

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