White Chili with Turkey

White Chili with Turkey is always a tradition the day after Thanksgiving. It’s a great way to use leftovers…and to eat a little lighter after gorging on Thanksgiving food. The thing is I continue to make this dish over and over for the rest of the winter – it’s just that good!

White chili with turkey, recipe by Stacy Lyn Harris

To me, you just can’t beat White Chili with Turkey. The creaminess of simmered Great White Northern Beans is hard to beat. They are the ultimate comfort food to me. After they’ve simmered a while, they create a thick soup that is incredibly silky. They are full of health too.  They are packed full of protein and fiber, both known to keep you feeling less hungry. It is also known to reduce belly fat.

Adding just the right spices: cumin, oregano, and cayenne give it that addicting flavor. To me white chili with chicken is fantastic, but I adore the turkey flavor and texture.

I will say the magic ingredient in this recipe is the cornmeal! Can you believe that? It’s also the magic ingredient in my venison chili recipe!

Of course, the toppings need no introduction. The sky is the limit. Although I am a cheddar lover, I prefer Monterey Jack Cheese. Sour cream, guacamole, and tomatoes…and if I’m feeling a little crazy, chopped bacon!

White chili with turkey, recipe by Stacy Lyn Harris
White Chili with Turkey is a great left-over dish the day after Thanksgiving!

Note: You can substitute canned beans in place of the dried beans. If using dried beans, always make sure you keep an eye on the liquid in the pot with the beans. It can dry up before you know it. There always needs to be 1/4-inch of liquid covering the beans in this recipe. Simmering will make a velvety, tender bean soup. Try not to allow it to boil for very long. Serve with various garnishes (see below), cornbread, or tortillas.

Watch me make this leftover turkey chili for the Outdoor Channel:

White chili with turkey, recipe by Stacy Lyn Harris

White Chili with Turkey

White Chili with Turkey is always a tradition the day after Thanksgiving. It's a great way to use leftovers...and to eat a little lighter after gorging.
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Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound dried Great White Northern beans rinsed and drained
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 3 jalapeño peppers deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless turkey cut up into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • guacamole for serving
  • 1 tomato chopped, for serving


  • In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil until almost smoking.
  • Add the onions to the dutch oven and sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic to the pot and cook until onions are translucent.
  • Add beans, broth, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, cayenne and 2 of the chopped jalapeño peppers. Bring mixture to a boil. Once mixture reaches a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until beans are tender. If the liquid gets low in the beans (drops below the beans) add another cup of broth. Continue to check beans to make sure they have enough liquid. The beans should always be covered with at least 1/4 inch of liquid.
  • Once beans are tender, in a measuring cup or small bowl, add some of the hot liquid from the beans. Mix cornmeal into the liquid and add it back to the white bean mixture. Add turkey and cook for another 15 minutes on low to medium heat. Stir in the whipping cream.
  • Serve chili in a bowl and top with cheese, sour cream, and remaining jalapeños. Garnish with guacamole and tomatoes.
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