Turkey White Chili

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.

Turkey White Chili
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 chili 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

Turkey White Chili

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Bean Cooking 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 45 mins
Servings 4 to 5 servings

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 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, 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 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 4-ounce cans chopped green chiles
  • 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


  1. 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.

    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 chiles 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.

White Turkey Chili Served With Chips
Elise Bauer