White Turkey Chili

white turkey chili with sour cream and cheddar cheese

This dish is excellent – warm, a little spicy, rich, and delicious. With everyone in the northeast still blanketed in snow, what better dish to make than a filling chili?  This dish is a great way to eat heartily if you’re trying to cut red meat out of your diet or looking for something lighter in calories but full of flavor. (especially if you top with cilantro and red onion for flavor, and avoid the cheese and sour cream)

Double (or triple) the recipe. The leftovers taste even better than the initial dish. I think it’s because the flavors have time to meld together in the fridge.

I kind of forgot about this chili and left it on the stove top too long so mine didn’t have a very liquidy texture. But it was still delicious!

Top with any combination of the following: sour cream, parsley, cilantro, green onions, cheddar or jack cheese, chopped red onions, crumbled tortilla chips, avocado, chopped tomatoes, sliced chiles, or a spoonful of salsa. It’s also excellent with some white rice mixed in.

Adapted from Closet Cooking

White Turkey Chili

serves 2

1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 pound ground turkey (I prefer ground dark meat, but use what’s available. You can also sub ground chicken or ground beef.)
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 canned pickled jalapeño peppers, chopped (you can also use canned green chilis or fresh jalapeños)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1-15 oz. can white beans (cannellini, great northern, white kidney — they will all work)
3/4 cup corn kernels (I used frozen, but canned or fresh are also good)
Juice from half a lime or quarter of a lemon

  1. Heat oil in a heavy pan over medium-high heat. Season turkey with salt and pepper, then brown in the pan. Let it brown on one side before breaking up and browning on other side. Remove turkey and cover with foil or another plate to keep warm.
  2. Add a little more oil if necessary and saute onions until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, jalapeño peppers, and cumin. Stir constantly for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the broth, beans, turkey, oregano, bay leaf, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. If liquid starts to get low, add some more broth (or water if you run out of broth).
  5. Add the corn and cook another 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. Fish out the bay leaf and squeeze lemon or lime juice over the whole thing.
  7. Serve with any or all of the following: sour cream, parsley, cilantro, green onions, grated cheddar or jack cheese, chopped red onions, crumbled tortilla chips, avocado, chopped tomatoes, sliced chiles, or a spoonful of salsa.

sauteed onions with browned turkey

Saute the onions in the same pan you used to cook the turkey. That way, you won’t lose the flavor of those browned bits at the bottom.

simmering white turkey chili

You want to simmer everything for about 20 minutes — that way, the flavors blend together and get all happy and delicious.

white turkey chili with crumbled tortilla chips

I like mine with some crumbled tortilla chips and chopped parsley.  The crunchy chips provide a nice contrast to the creamy chili. I ate the leftovers over white rice and the rice absorbed the flavors wonderfully.

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