Easy Turkey Chili with White Beans
White Turkey Chili is a healthy and hearty dish that everyone will love. Using leftover turkey (or even chicken) makes it come together quick and easy. And the perfect blend of spices and creamy white beans gives this chili recipe the satisfying cooked all-day comfort food flavor you crave at the end of a cold day. It’s also naturally gluten free!
When the temperature drops, there are few things more comforting than a steamy bowl of hot chili. While I usually fall back on what I think it the best chili recipe ever, sometimes I want something different.
Something that changes up the flavors. Something that is ready in about 30 minutes. Maybe even something a little healthier.
That is where this recipe comes in. It’s a white chili with turkey and beans and corn, making it hearty and satisfying, but still wholesome and nutritious.
And since you can make it with leftover cooked turkey (or chicken!) it comes together fast!
What is white chili?
Unlike a traditional chili recipe, white chili is typically made with chicken instead of beef. Since it can start with already cooked chicken, it is a great way to use up leftovers or a recipe using rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.
Sometimes, especially when looking for recipes to use up Thanksgiving leftovers, turkey can be used.
It typically does not have a tomato base, and sometimes contains green chiles for flavor and spice, though this can be substituted with dried spices.
Instead of red or kidney beans, white beans are used, either navy beans, Great Northern beans, or even cannellini beans.
Turkey Chili with White Beans
This easy chili recipe will warm you up any day of the year. But it’s especially good right after Thanksgiving because it comes together quickly using leftover turkey. With a handful of spices from your spice cabinet and some other basic ingredients you likely have in your pantry and freezer, you can have a pot simmering on the stove in no time.
What do you put in turkey white bean chili?
- Cooked turkey – shredded or diced, depending on your preference. You can also use chicken.
- Turkey or chicken stock – this tastes extra rich and flavorful if you made homemade turkey stock with the carcass after Thanksgiving dinner. But you can always used a box of chicken broth.
- Spices – a simple blend of cumin, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, bay leaf, salt, and pepper make sit perfectly flavorful and smoky with a hint of spice. If you want to kick up the heat, you can add more cayenne.
- Frozen corn – if you have leftover fresh corn or even canned corn, that will work fine too. Just be sure to rinse drain the liquid from the can.
- Canned navy beans – make sure these are drained and rinsed well. Other white beans like cannellini or Great Northern beans can be substituted.
- Cornstarch slurry – a mixture of equal parts cornstarch and water helps thicken the chili, but it still naturally gluten free.
To make this chili, you’ll need a 6- to 8-quart stock pot, preferable a heavy-bottomed one to ensure even heat distribution, especially if you’d like to let this simmer longer. I especially like enameled cast iron for recipes like this or Chicken Corn Chowder for both that even cooking and because the soup or chili doesn’t stick.
How do you make white bean turkey chili?
For this easy turkey chili recipe, you simply combine the turkey, stock, seasonings, corn, and beans in the stockpot and let it simmer. Then stir together a slurry of cornstarch and water, and slowly stir into the chili. Let it return to a simmer and heat through for about five minutes to thicken.
While this is definitely a quick chili recipe, you can always feel free to simmer it longer to really let the flavors develop.
Of course, a bowl of chili isn’t complete without your favorite fixings.
Turkey Chili Toppings
- Sour cream
- Shredded cheese
- Diced tomatoes
- Sliced avocado
- Crushed tortilla chips
- Chopped cilantro
- Minced red onion
Can you make this in advance?
Yes, turkey chili can be made in advance and kept refrigerated for 3 or 4 days. Reheat gently on the stove, or even keep it warm in a slow cooker. If needed, stir in some extra chicken broth to thin it out.
In fact, chili often tastes even better the next day!
Can you freeze chili?
Yes, chili is a great dish to make extra and freeze the leftovers for another meal. Let cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe container or heavy duty freezer storage bag. For the best flavor, enjoy within two months.
Make it a Meal
A hearty bowl of turkey chili can be a meal on its own, but you might also want to serve it with one of these simple side dishes:
- Pepper Jack Cauliflower Tots
- Gluten Free Cornbread
- Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing
- Cranberry Balsamic Cauliflower Wings
Instead of a bowl, you can also spoon it on top of one of these:
More leftover turkey recipes
More healthy chili recipes
White Turkey Chili
- 3 cups diced or shredded cooked turkey
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- pinch of cayenne , or to taste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
- two 15 oz. cans of navy beans , drained and rinsed well
- 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 Tablespoons water
- In a large stockpot or dutch oven add the turkey, stock, cumin, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, bay leaf, salt, pepper, corn, and beans.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
- In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth. Pour the slurry into the chili while stirring constantly.
- Simmer an additional 5 minutes or until thickened.
- Serve and top with your favorite toppings such as tomatoes, sour cream, cilantro, and diced avocado.