One of my favorite recipes to make with my leftovers after Thanksgiving is this Turkey Chili recipe. A thick and hearty soup that is not only delicious, but also easy to make.
Although this recipe can also be easily made in a pot on the stove, the last thing I want to do after Thanksgiving is to spend more time working in the kitchen.
Instead, I rather spend more time hanging out with my family and friends who were fortunate enough to stay a few extra days after the holiday.
So I simply cut up some leftover turkey and then dice some extra onions, celery, and bell peppers that I have on hand and throw them in my slow cooker. Add in a few cans of diced tomatoes, chicken broth, beans and seasonings and dinner is prepared.
And don’t worry if you don’t have any leftover turkey. You can either use cooked ground turkey, or use the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken instead!
Turkey Chili Recipe
*Complete recipe instructions including specific measurements, cook temperatures and times are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to keep reading for helpful tips and tricks when making this recipe.
- Leftover cooked turkey or ground turkey-browned
- Onions – diced
- Celery – diced
- Bell peppers – diced
- Garlic cloves – crushed and chopped
- Diced tomatoes with green chiles
- Chili kidney beans – undrained
- White Northern Beans – drained
- Chicken broth
- Chili powder
- Taco seasoning
- Black pepper
- Bay leaf
- Cayenne hot pepper powder
- Jalapeno peppers – diced
Dice up 2 pounds of leftover turkey. If you don’t have a kitchen scale this is approximately 4 cups of diced turkey. Set aside.
However, if you want to enjoy the taste of Turkey Chili but don’t have any leftover turkey, no problem! You can use fresh ground turkey instead.
Simply brown 2 pounds of ground turkey in a hot skillet or a Dutch oven with a tablespoon of olive oil. Then drain and proceed with the recipe.
Next, in a large non-stick skillet heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add in diced onion, celery, and diced bell peppers (and diced hot peppers if using). Saute for 5 minutes and then add the minced garlic and saute for one additional minute.
Remove the pan from the heat so that the garlic does not over cook and become bitter tasting. Then proceed with the instructions below for either crock pot or stove top cooking.
Crock Pot Cooking Instructions
Add the diced leftover turkey or cooked ground turkey to a 6 quart slow cooker. Then add in the tender, sautéed vegetables in the pot with the turkey.
Next, pour in the two cans of the diced tomatoes with green chiles. Then open the can of chili kidney beans and dump both of the beans and the liquid in the pot.
However, when you add the can of white Northern beans, drain and discard the liquid. Then add the chicken broth and seasonings and stir.
Cook on LOW for 5 hours or on HIGH on 3 hours. If you have a programmable 6 quart Crock Pot, set the cook timer and then the pot will switch to the KEEP WARM setting once finished cooking.
When you are ready to serve, taste and adjust heat level per your preference by adding more chili powder, taco seasoning, diced hot peppers and/or hot pepper powder.
STOVE TOP INSTRUCTIONS:
If you are making this turkey chili on the stove, it is best to use a Dutch oven to saute the vegetables. Once the vegetables are nice and tender, add the diced leftover turkey or cooked ground turkey to the pot.
Then slowly pour in the chicken stock. After the stock has been added to the pot scrape the bottom of the dutch oven with a wooden spatula to remove any bits that might have stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Then adjust the heat to medium-high, and stir in the diced tomatoes with green chiles, the entire can of chili beans, and the drained white Northern beans.
Next, add in the chili powder, taco seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir and bring the pot to a bowl, stirring frequently.
Once the pot begins to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue to cook for 45 minutes or longer, depending on how thick you want your turkey chili to become.
Serve warm with leftover dinner rolls or crackers. Garnish with shredded cheese, diced green onions or a dollop of sour cream.
If you have any leftover turkey chili, store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
However, you can also freeze it for later use. We use the same method for when making our famous Soup Bricks. Although, because soups can look very similar when frozen, be sure that you label the package.
More than once I have thawed what I thought was soup and ended up with something completely different.
Other Leftover Turkey Recipes
Depending on how much turkey that you have leftover, you may need a few more recipe ideas. Here are some of my favorite recipes that are designed to help you use up your leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
- Turkey Noodle Casserole (Small Batch Recipe)
- Instant Pot Turkey Tetrazzini
- Turkey Pot Pie
- Instant Pot Southwestern Turkey Soup
- Kentucky Hot Brown Dip
- Instant Pot Turkey Noodle Casserole
And remember, if all else fails and you are sick of eating turkey, you can always shred or dice the meat and freeze it in air-tight packages. But again, remember to label your package so you don’t have to guess in a few months what type of meat that you are thawing out!
Mary and Jim
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- 2 lbs (4 cups) of leftover turkey, or ground turkey-browned
- 2 large onions, diced
- 4 ribs of celery, diced
- 3 green bell peppers, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 10 oz. cans of diced tomatoes with green chiles
- 1 15 oz. can of chili kidney beans, undrained
- 1 15 oz. can of Great Northern beans, drained
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon of chili powder
- 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1-2 jalapeno peppers, diced
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
Crock Pot Instructions
- Dice up 2 pounds (4 cups) of leftover turkey and place in a large crock pot. If you are using fresh ground turkey, brown the turkey in a large skillet or Dutch oven with a tablespoon of olive oil. Drain and set aside.
- In a large non-stick skillet, heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add in diced onion, celery, garlic and peppers and saute for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Place in the crock pot.
- Add remaining ingredients to the crock pot and cook for 5 hours on Low, or 3 hours on High heat.
- Adjust heat level per your preference by adding more chili powder, taco seasoning, diced hot peppers and/or cayenne pepper powder.
Stove Top Instructions
- Dice 2 pounds (4 cups) of leftover turkey and set aside. If you are using fresh ground turkey, brown the turkey in a large skillet or Dutch oven with a tablespoon of olive oil, drain and set aside.
- In a Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add in diced onion, celery, garlic and peppers and saute for about 5 minutes, or until tender.
- Add the diced turkey and chicken stock. Increase heat to medium-high and stir and deglaze the bottom of the pan to remove any stuck bits with a wooden spatula.
- Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Once the pot comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 45 minutes or until desired consistency is reached.
- Before serving taste and adjust heat level per your preference by adding more chili powder, taco seasoning, diced hot peppers and/or cayenne pepper powder.
Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 309Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 1134mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 7gSugar: 5gProtein: 21g
Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.