White Turkey Chili Recipe

Digging into a heartwarming bowl of chili is one of the easiest ways to get your comfort food fix. While we love a classic style with ground beef and kidney beans, we're always open to novelty in the kitchen. Not to mention, alternating between red and white meat keeps our diet healthy and varied. Tasting Table recipe developer Jessica Case brings us this delicious white turkey chili recipe and remarks, "A hearty chili always hits the spot." 

It's brimming with flavors and the perfect foundation if you're keen to experiment with assorted add-ins and garnishes. As Case shares, "I love all the spices, especially the kick of cinnamon. It's flavorsome." Once you try this recipe, follow her suggestions and "add other vegetables like red/green peppers, cubed butternut squash, or zucchini." While the cooking time is on the lengthier side, there are a lot of hands-off steps to this recipe. Case notes, " This recipe makes it easy to create a big, delicious pot of turkey chili the whole family will enjoy." And of course, chili is always extra tasty when it's been sitting in its juices, so feel free to make it ahead of time when you're meal prepping for the week.

Gather the ingredients for this white turkey chili recipe

For this recipe, you'll need to have olive oil, salt, and pepper on hand. Turkey is the star here, and Case recommends using either dark or light ground meat. If you have some on hand, Case says, "Use shredded turkey or rotisserie chicken — since it's already cooked, add it to the mixture with the chiles and broth."

As for vegetables, you'll need yellow onion (chopped), garlic cloves (minced), whole corn kernels (frozen or canned), and a jalapeño (seeded and finely chopped). The seasonings really take this chili up a notch; cumin, coriander, chili powder, oregano, ground cinnamon, and cayenne infuse it with plenty of flavors. Next, get a can of chopped green chiles and cannellini or great northern beans (drain and rinse them first). Finally, you'll need low-sodium chicken broth and the juice of a small lime. 

As for garnishes, let your imagination run wild. Case suggests topping the chili with cilantro, diced avocado, jalapeño slices, lime zest and juice, and sour cream, and serving it with blue corn tortilla chips.‌

Brown the turkey meat

Place a large Dutch oven pot on your stovetop and heat the burner to medium-high. Pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and then add the ground turkey meat, seasoning it with salt and pepper to taste. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir the meat and break it up. Cook it for about 8 minutes until the turkey is lightly browned and no longer pink. Transfer the meat and juices to a bowl while you prepare the other ingredients.

Cook the vegetables and season

Pour another tablespoon of olive oil into the pot and sauté the onion, garlic, corn, and jalapeño, making sure to regularly stir to prevent sticking. Cook the mixture for about 5 minutes to give the vegetables time to soften and brown. Then, sprinkle in all of the spices: cumin, coriander, chili powder, oregano, cinnamon, and cayenne. Stir the vegetables with the spices to evenly distribute and cook the mixture for another 30 seconds or so. 

Combine all of the ingredients and simmer

Dump the cooked turkey meat back into the pot along with the green chiles and broth. (If you're using rotisserie chicken meat, hold off until the next step.) Lower the burner heat to a gentle simmer and cook the chili uncovered for 45 minutes. Then, toss in the beans and simmer the contents for 20 minutes to soak up all the flavors.

Garnish and serve this white turkey chili

Portion out the chili into bowls and load up on your favorite garnishes. Freshly chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, lime juice, jalapeños, and sour cream are all great options. For textural contrast, add some blue corn tortilla chips or use them to scoop up the chili. "The soup pairs well with cornbread, rustic bread, or any variety of tortilla chip," Case recommends.

Before storing leftovers, make sure to first cool them completely. As Case shares, "It's great to have as leftovers, and it usually tastes most delicious after a few days when the spices are all soaked in." When you're ready for more, simply reheat the chili in the microwave or on the stovetop. Similarly, if you plan to freeze some portions, Case instructs, "Transfer [it] to the refrigerator the night before you intend to eat it, then reheat on the stove or in the microwave."

White Turkey Chili Recipe
No Ratings
This filling and hearty chili is loaded up with turkey meat, corn, and cannellini beans.
Prep Time
Cook Time
white turkey chili in bowl
Total time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound ground turkey (dark or light meat)
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup whole corn kernels, frozen or canned
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of cayenne, to taste
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can cannellini or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small lime, juiced
Optional Ingredients
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced
  • juice & zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 serving blue corn tortilla chips
  1. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a large Dutch oven pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the ground turkey and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Stir to break up any lumps and cook for about 8 minutes until the turkey loses its pink color.
  4. Transfer the turkey and its juices to a separate bowl.
  5. In the same pot, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the onion, garlic, corn, and chopped jalapeño for about 5 minutes, stirring often until the mixture softens and starts to brown.
  6. Add the remaining spices (cumin, coriander, chili powder, oregano, cinnamon, and cayenne) and stir for 30 seconds or until they are evenly distributed.
  7. Return the ground turkey to the pot, along with the canned green chiles and broth.
  8. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook uncovered for 45 minutes.
  9. Stir in the beans and simmer gently for another 20 minutes.
  10. Spoon the chili into bowls, then top with desired garnishes such as cilantro, avocado slices, lime juice, zest, blue corn chips, and sour cream.
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