I hosted a pre-Thanksgiving Friendsgiving a few weeks ago and even though I thought we would be able to take down most of the 18 pound bird I cooked, I still had plenty of leftovers.

Just in case you are already considering what to do with your turkey leftovers after tomorrow, don’t forget the possibility of going Tex-Mex with it!

This White Turkey Chili is kind of a light chili so it’s a nice break from the heavy foods of Thanksgiving. Also, I like to make my version pretty spicy. It’s nothing fancy to be sure but it’s a great way to use some leftovers and takes just a few minutes to whip together.

White Turkey Chili

3.75 from 4 votes
Author: Nick Evans
Servings: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
This quick and flavorful chili is one of my favorite ways to use leftover turkey! This light and easy chili is leftovers done right!


  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 3 cups chopped leftover turkey
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, drained
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, opt.
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock
  • Salt, to taste


  • Grated cheese
  • Avocado
  • Diced scallions
  • Tortilla chips
  • Lime wedges


  • Add olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add diced onion, jalapeno, and minced garlic. Cook, stirring regularly until the veggies soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add cumin and chili powder to the pot and continue to stir.
  • Add turkey, green chiles, and stock. Depending on how soupy you want your chili you will need 3-4 cups of stock. Bring to a simmer.
  • Add beans and simmer for a few minutes to blend flavors.
  • Serve chili with toppings of your choice!


Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 396kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 486mg | Potassium: 565mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 283IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Dishes, Soups
Cuisine: American

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White Turkey Chili

The Basics

This White Turkey Chili recipe uses some things that you might have on hand after Thanksgiving like an onion and garlic. It also has some spices that you probably already have like cumin, chili powder and cayenne.

Really all you most likely need to make this happen is a can of beans, a can of green chilis, a few chili toppings, and maybe some stock if you don’t have some leftover.

basics for White Turkey Chili
Spice it up.

Of course, you’ll need turkey as well. I like to use a mix of white and dark meat and don’t be afraid to toss some of the turkey skin in as well. It’s all good.

Just roughly chop up the meat and it’s ready to go.

turkey for White Turkey Chili
Bird of the day.

Cooking the Chili

I feel like I probably don’t need to even show you how to make this, but basically just add the oil to a large pot over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the veggies to the pot and cook them until they start to soften. This should only take a few minutes. Then add in your spices and continue to cook it for a few minutes.

onions for White Turkey Chili
Smells good!

Next add in the chopped turkey and green chiles. Continue to cook.

Talk about a low stress pot of food.

turkey added to White Turkey Chili
Turkey goes in.

Then add your stock and beans and bring the whole thing to a simmer. I would recommend using between 3-4 cups of stock depending on how soupy you like your chili. It’s your call really.

Then it’s ready to serve!

I like to serve mine with chopped scallions, tortilla chips, diced avocado, limes, and a nice cold beer.

White Turkey Chili recipe from Macheesmo
Yes please.

This White Turkey Chili is leftovers done right, people.

If you have a huge amount of leftover turkey, you could double or triple this recipe and freeze the chili. It would make a great frozen meal for later.