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    White Bean Turkey Chili

    Still have some of the big bird in your freezer? Perhaps a ziploc bag full of loose meat gradually drifting to back? This white bean turkey chili is the perfect solution. Rich, comforting and incredibly tasty (it also has sausage!), this chili may make you forget all about your turkey soups and tetrazzinis… No turkey? No problem, it goes great with chicken as well!

    white bean turkey chili in three different bowls with different garnishings

    Hey everybody, it’s Jason, and this is my first post. Usually I am the one in the background taking care of all the technical details of GypsyPlate, but this month Alpana is letting me get in on the fun. As much as I love her food, I also love to cook (as you may have heard). This February we are launching our very first post series. Every Monday this month we will be featuring a different chili. As chili is a distinctly American dish, which I was experimenting with long before Alpana even knew it existed, I will be cooking and posting the series. Don’t worry, Alpana will also be doing plenty of cooking this month!

    white bean turkey chili in three different bowls with different garnishings

    I decided to start the series off with this white bean turkey chili, as we still had some turkey leftovers. No need to let it get too freezer burned, I had the perfect thing in mind for it. I have made white bean chilis with turkey or chicken in the past, but wanted to make this one extra special for all of you. I often like to use a combination of meats in chilis, as you will see. For this one, some tasty sausage was the obvious choice to accompany the rather bland turkey. The only problem was, which kind? There is no wrong answer to that one, but I went with pork breakfast sausage. Perhaps not the most conventional choice, but it went fantastic. Although we always encourage experimenting and customizing here at GypsyPlate, this variation is very recommended. Okay, enough talk, let’s get cooking!


    ingredients for white bean turkey chili
    • Turkey – We had a combination of white and dark meat. Rotisserie chicken is a great alternative.
    • Pork breakfast sausage – Mild or spicy, your choice.
    • White beans – Drained and rinsed. We used great northern. Cannelini would also work great, but navy would be a bit small.
    • Chicken broth – We use “Better than Bouillion”, and make it kind of strong.
    • Onion – As you may know, I absolutely hate them. But I am making this for you. I am very good at picking them out.
    • Garlic – But I love my garlic.
    • Poblano pepper – For a little kick.
    • Chili powder, cumin, black pepper and oregano – We need some spices in there.
    • Heavy cream – Adds a nice final layer to your chili.

    How to make White Bean Turkey Chili

    onions, garlic and poblano peppers cooking in a dutch oven

    First, chop your onions, garlic and poblano peppers (you will want to remove the seeds from these). Heat some oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. When it’s pretty hot, add your chopped vegetables and sauté until the onions are translucent.

    sausage, onions, garlic and peppers cooking in a dutch oven

    Next, add your sausage, break up with a wooden spoon and mix with your vegetables. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sausage is cooked through and a little browned. This will be the most time consuming part of the recipe. Figure about 10 minutes.

    white bean turkey chili in a dutch oven

    The work is almost done. Add beans, spices and broth. Mix thoroughly, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer a good 45 minutes or more. We aren’t putting the turkey in yet. As it is already cooked, it could break down too much if we add it too early.

    white bean turkey chili in a dutch oven after adding cream

    When your chili has about 15 minutes left to go, add the turkey and cream. Getting hungry?

    white bean turkey chili in a dutch oven with a wooden spoon

    How to serve White Bean Turkey Chili?

    You have a pretty wide range of garnishing options here. When I was growing up, shredded cheddar cheese was our go-to chili topping. Alpana has taught me to be a bit more adventuresome (though I have caught her eating leftover chili over rice, which I don’t really approve of. Shh, don’t tell her I told you). Chopped cilantro adds some nice freshness to your chili. A dollop of sour cream gives it even more creaminess. Diced avocado kind of does both. If you’re one of those people who like onions, you can dice up some chives.

    As for sides, cornbread is always a good bet. If you want some more crunch, try tortilla chips or fritos. We usually have a basic salad alongside our chili as well.

    white bean turkey chili in three different bowls with different garnishings

    How to store this?

    Some things are just better when they sit, and this is no exception. Refrigerate, covered, up to four days. Trust me, it gets better each day. If it thickens up too much, you can add a little water when you re-heat it.

    This is also a great freezer meal. Fill up an airtight container, stick it in the freezer and forget about it until you have one of those “oh no, what’s for dinner?” moments. You’ll be glad it was there.

    Can I make any substitutions?

    Chilis are one of the most versatile foods of all, that’s why they’re so much fun to make! I never make a chili the same way twice. As mentioned above, rotisserie chicken is a great alternative to turkey. Any kind of white bean will do. But the biggest variability in flavor will come from the sausage, and I strongly suggest you experiment. Today I went with breakfast sausage, but try smoked, Italian or chorizo. Any one of those will taste tremendously different, but just as delicious!

    Can I use an Insta Pot or Crock Pot?

    Yes. For this Insta Pot, pot your pot on sauté mode and follow all instructions through adding the beans and broth. Then seal your lid and set to beans/chili mode. Cook for 15 minutes. Be sure to release the pressure before opening. Stir in turkey and cream before serving.

    To cook in a Crock Pot, first follow the directions for cooking the vegetables and sausage in a skillet. Then add to Crock Pot, along with beans, spices and broth. Cover and and cook on low 7-8 hours or high 5-6 hours. Again, stir in turkey and cream before serving.

    white bean turkey chili in three different bowls with different garnishings

    Okay, GypsyFans. That’s all for this week. I’ll see you back here next Monday with my Smoky Chipotle Chili. In the mean time, enjoy what Alpana has cooking. If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to GypsyPlate so you never miss a recipe!

    White Bean Turkey Chili, in our Gypsy Bowl… enjoy!

    white bean turkey chili in the gypsy bowl
    white bean turkey chili in three different bowls with different garnishings

    White Bean Turkey Chili

    Yield: 6 servings
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

    This hearty and satisfying White Bean Turkey Chili is a great use for your leftover turkey. The sausage takes it over the top. No turkey leftovers? Try it with rotisserie chicken!


    • 3 cups diced leftover turkey (or chicken)
    • 1 lb pork breakfast sausage
    • 2 15.5 oz cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 onion
    • 4 cloves garlic
    • 2 poblano peppers
    • 2 Tbsp cooking oil
    • 3 cups chicken broth
    • 2 tsp chili powder
    • 2 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp oregano
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 1/4 cup heavy cream


    1. Chop vegetables, removing seeds from poblano peppers. Heat oil in dutch oven over medium high heat. Add vegetables and sauté until onions are translucent.
    2. Add sausage, break up with spoon and cook stirring frequently, until browned, about 10 minutes.
    3. Add beans, spices and broth. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes.
    4. Add turkey and cream and cook an additional 15 minutes.
    Nutrition Information
    Yield 6 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 574Total Fat 35gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 22gCholesterol 152mgSodium 1180mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 7gSugar 3gProtein 42g

    Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    long pin of white bean turkey chili

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