Nov 26 2011

White Bean Turkey Chili/Stew

Published by at 7:37 am under Food,Recipes

The vision was simple–a turkey chili with white beans in a creamy thick sauce, a hearty repurposing of leftover Thanksgiving turkey without repeating the Thanksgiving flavors that sent me into a food coma the day before.

The beans were easy–a long, hot soak and they were the perfect consistency–you want them soft but not falling apart.  And, the turkey was easy–you just pick it off the bone, chop it a little and you’re ready to dump it in.  In fact, almost all of the ingredients are ones you just dump in.

The problem is, it’s hard to get chili flavors in a white sauce so what we ended up with tasted delicious, with the meaty flavor and texture of turkey, a twinge of heat from chiles and no sage or thyme to be found but had a consistency somewhere between chili and stew.  So I don’t know what to call this but it really doesn’t matter since the goals of flavor and repurposing were met.  And, as an added bonus, the whole thing can be done in the slow cooker.

And after all that Thanksgiving cooking, couldn’t you use a meal that practically makes itself?

White Bean Turkey Chili/Stew

Serving Size: Makes 8-10 servings

White Bean Turkey Chili/Stew


  • 3 cups dried white beans (navy or northern are good)
  • Water and 2 teaspoons salt or chicken/turkey stock (don't add salt)
  • 1 large or 2 medium white or yellow onions, diced
  • 3 cups cooked turkey, coarsely chopped
  • 2 6-ounce cans chopped green chiles
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground chili powder or 1 teaspoon dried jalapeno powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cilantro


Sort and rinse beans to remove dirt and shriveled, broken or otherwise suspect beans and things that are not beans.

In a Crock Pot/slow cooker,combine beans and enough water + salt or stock to cover beans by 2 inches. Heat on high for 4-5 hours or until beans are tender to bite.

Remove 2 cups of cooked beans and puree in a blender (a stick blender in a deep measuring cup works well). Add back to slow cooker and stir.

Check your consistency--it should be just a bit thinner than you'd like the final chili/stew to be. Puree more beans to thicken and add more liquid to thin. Doing this now will prevent your flavors from being off later.

Add the remaining ingredients (salt and pepper to taste) except cilantro and stir to combine.

Leave on low heat for 1-2 hours or until heated through and flavors are melded.

Top with fresh cilantro.


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6 responses so far

6 Responses to “White Bean Turkey Chili/Stew”

  1. Jenon 26 Nov 2011 at 11:37 am

    I have everything on hand to make this except the dried beans! I even have the Greek chilia as I was planning in making a white post-Thanksgiving chili. I hope you’re having a great weekend!

  2. Lindseyon 27 Nov 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Love that about this recipe–it’s so pantry friendly! We had the dried beans but I had to buy chiles. Actually, I had to include a few pinto beans is because that’s what we had but I think it would be better with all white beans (which is why I wrote it that way).

    And you could probably save time by using canned beans, if you haven’t already bought the dried.

  3. Christineon 27 Nov 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Hey Lindsey, your Stew is a Recipe Guessing Game on Knapkins. Think your friends can win?

  4. Kristen - Swanky Dietitianon 28 Nov 2011 at 12:04 am

    I came across your blog through Nicole’s and I just love it.
    This turkey chili looks amazing! What a delicious recipe!

  5. Lindseyon 28 Nov 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Thanks for the sweet comment! I love Nicole’s blog–I get tons of healthy ideas from her!

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