A creamy and savory recipe without any tomatoes, this Leftover White Bean Turkey Chili is a fantastic way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers!
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Use up leftovers and get a healthy and delicious dinner on the table in under 40 minutes with this Leftover White Bean Turkey Chili. This chili is full of protein and uses a healthy cooking hack to make the chili creamy while still not being high in fat!
Move over red chili! There's a new chili in town: Leftover White Bean Turkey Chili.
I mean, not that I could ever not love red chili. It's a favorite I return to multiple times each fall and winter. And it's one that I've already made a handful of times this year.
Turkey chili, beef chili, and sweet potato chili (coming soon in my cookbook!) have all made an appearance on our table. Often with a pile of my favorite toppings (Greek yogurt, shredded cheese, and green onions of course!) and a side of fresh cornbread.
As much as I could eat these red stewed beauties every day until the weather warms again, I'm switching things up a bit today.
After all, I'm planning recipes to use up all that leftover Turkey we'll have on our hands soon. The kind of recipes that are satisfying and feed a holiday crew but aren't too heavy.
Oh, and of course recipes that are easy to put together. Because I think we all need recovery after all of that time in the kitchen on Thursday, won't we?
Thankfully, you can bookmark this white bean chili recipe for more than just the week after Thanksgiving, too. I've made it with cooked chicken and it's been simply delicious. There's nothing like a good versatile recipe!
So delicious that I'm considering adding it to my regular rotation. Let's not tell the red chili though, eh? Can't have them getting all jealous now.
Here at Mae's Menu, we have a variety of readers: those who are more experienced in the kitchen and want to zip straight through to the recipe and those who want to learn more about the dish, potential substitutions, and more.
To skip straight to the recipe, just click "Jump to Recipe" at the top left of this post. To browse the post quickly, just click the headings in the table of contents below.
Table of contents
- This healthy turkey chili recipe is...
- Recipe ingredients:
- Ingredient substitutions
- Additional ingredient mix-ins:
- Can you also make white bean chicken chili with this recipe?
- Is this recipe gluten-free?
- Where do you find canned green chiles?
- What type of turkey meat do you use for this recipe?
- Do we drain the beans?
- How to make leftover white bean turkey chili...
- What do you top white bean chili with?
- Leftover turkey chili serving suggestions:
- How long do leftovers last?
- Can you freeze leftover chili?
- Can you make this chili in the Instant Pot?
- Can you make this chili in the slow cooker?
- Tools needed to make this recipe:
- Other chili and soup recipes you might like:
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This healthy turkey chili recipe is...
- High in protein
- Lower in fat
- Ready in under 40 minutes (& half of that time is hands-free cooking time!)
- Rich in fiber
- Easy to freeze
- Mildly spiced
- A fantastic way to use up leftover turkey
Use up Thanksgiving leftovers and impress your family with a healthy new recipe today!
- Olive oil or avocado oil
- White or yellow onion -- sweet onions also work
- Green pepper
- Ground cumin
- Ground coriander
- Minced garlic -- fresh garlic is best, but pre-minced garlic also works
- White beans -- great northern and cannellini beans are perfect!
- Chicken broth
- Canned green chiles -- I used mild chiles, but you can also use spicier green chiles
- Turkey meat -- white and/or dark meat
- Lime juice
- Greek yogurt -- 2% or 4% yogurt are ideal, as they add extra creaminess
- Meat -- pre-cooked or rotisserie chicken can be used in place of the leftover turkey meat
- Beans -- white beans' texture and color is perfect for this dish, but you can use whatever type of beans you have on hand in this recipe. Black beans, red kidney beans, navy beans, and pinto beans all work well
- Yogurt -- you can replace the Greek yogurt with sour cream, though it will affect the nutritional profile of this dish.
- Onions -- green onions or sweet onions work fine in place of the yellow or white onions
Additional ingredient mix-ins:
Want to get creative or use up other ingredients you have on hand? You can mix in the following:
- Sweet peppers -- red, yellow, or orange peppers; saute them with the onions or green peppers
- Carrots -- peeled and diced into small pieces; saute them with the onions and peppers, too
- Sweet corn -- add-into the pot with the beans and green chiles before simmering
Can you also make white bean chicken chili with this recipe?
Yes, you certainly can make white bean chicken chili with this recipe. Just substitute cubed or shredded chicken for the turkey and follow the rest of the recipe as directed. This dish is super tasty either way!
Is this recipe gluten-free?
This recipe is naturally gluten-free if you use gluten-free chicken broth. Most chicken broths on the market don't contain gluten, but double-check your ingredient list to be safe if you are gluten-intolerant or avoid gluten for any other reason.
Where do you find canned green chiles?
You can find canned green chiles at most major grocery store chains in the U.S., on Amazon, and at Whole Foods.
If you can't find canned chiles you can also use frozen chiles. Just chop them up well before using them.
What type of turkey meat do you use for this recipe?
You can use dark and/or white turkey meat in this recipe. Use whatever you have leftover and/or prefer!
Also: I cubed my turkey for this recipe but you can also shred the meat. Use whichever method is easiest or most appealing to you!
Do we drain the beans?
I provide options to use drained and undrained beans. The undrained beans make a slightly thicker chili and the undrained beans make a slightly thinner chili.
If you don't drain the beans, use ½ cup less of the chicken broth in the recipe.
How to make leftover white bean turkey chili...
- Saute the onions and green peppers in olive oil until the onions are translucent.
- Add the spices, salt, and garlic to the vegetables and saute for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Pour in the beans, chicken broth, and green chiles. Bring to a simmer and cook for 18-20 minutes.
- Stir in the turkey meat, Greek yogurt, and lime juice and cook until the turkey is heated through.
- Serve the chili hot with your favorite toppings!
What do you top white bean chili with?
Though the chili is also delicious just as-is, a lot of typical red chili toppings are also delicious on white bean chili:
- Shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Green onions
- Sliced black olives
Leftover turkey chili serving suggestions:
I love digging into a steaming bowl of this chili with a glass of lager beer and a big chunk of cornbread. This thick stew is also great with a green salad, a glass of dry white wine, and roasted or blistered green beans!
How long do leftovers last?
Leftovers last covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Can you freeze leftover chili?
You can most definitely freeze leftover chili. In fact, I love making a big pot and freezing leftovers to enjoy again another night.
Just freeze the chili in freezer-safe containers and it should last for up to 2 months!
Can you make this chili in the Instant Pot?
Yes, the Instant Pot can make this recipe even easier to make! Here's how:
- Saute the onions, peppers, and spices as directed on the saute feature of the Instant Pot.
- Add the beans, chicken broth, and green chiles. Pressure cook the chili on high for 6 minutes. Quick-release the steam.
- Stir in the turkey, lime juice, and greek yogurt until heated through.
- Serve hot with your favorite toppings!
Can you make this chili in the slow cooker?
You can make this recipe in the slow cooker. Here's how:
- Saute the onions, peppers, and spices as directed on the stovetop.
- Pour the veggies into the pot of the slow cooker.
- Add the beans, chicken broth, and green chiles. Stir.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 2-3 hours, or until the chili has thickened and the veggies are cooked through.
- Stir the turkey, greek yogurt, and lime juice into the chili. Let sit for a few minutes, or until the meat is warmed through.
- Serve hot with your favorite toppings!
Tools needed to make this recipe:
- Cutting board
- Chef knife
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Can opener
- Dutch oven or stockpot
- Wooden spoon or silicone spatula
- Citrus juicer (optional)
Other chili and soup recipes you might like:
- Instant Pot Turkey Chili
- Colorado Pork Green Chili
- Vegan Jackfruit Chili
- Minestra Soup
- Pressure Cooker Bean Soup
- Instant Pot Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
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You can also use this recipe to make White Bean Chicken Chili, too. Just substitute cubed or shredded chicken in place of the turkey.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
- ½ large white or yellow onion, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2, 14 oz. cans great northern and/or cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons canned diced green chiles
- 2 cups cubed or shredded turkey (white and/or dark meat)
- ½ lime, juiced (or 1 tablespoon lime juice)
- 1 cup 2% or 4% Greek yogurt
- Optional: chili toppings of choice (shredded cheese, Greek yogurt, sliced green onions, black olives, cilantro, etc.)
1. Saute the onions and green peppers in olive oil in a dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent, stirring frequently.
2. Add the cumin, coriander, salt, and garlic to the vegetables. Saute, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, or until the spices are fragrant and garlic is just starting to turn golden.
3. Stir the beans, chicken broth, and green chiles into the pot. Bring the chili to a simmer, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 17-19 minutes, or until the chili has thickened and the vegetables are cooked through, stirring every few minutes.
4. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir in the turkey meat, Greek yogurt, and lime juice and cook, stirring consistently, for 1-2 minutes, or until the meat is warmed through. Serve the chili hot with your favorite toppings!
1. For a thicker chili, you can use undrained beans. Just reduce the broth to 1 ½ cups and follow the rest of the directions as written.
2. Recipe leftovers last covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
3. Chili leftovers also freeze well. Just freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months.
4. This recipe is easily doubled, as well. Just double the ingredients, follow the directions as listed, and add a few minutes of simmering time (if needed) to thicken up the chili.
Amount Per Serving Calories 266Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 38mgSodium 265mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 7gSugar 2gProtein 23g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dietitians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.