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Leftover Turkey White Chili

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Onion: The onions infuse with the shredded turkey for maximum flavor
  • Garlic: I suggest using three cloves, but don’t let my recipe tell you how much garlic to use– measure with your heart.
  • Chicken Better Than Bouillon: I use Better Than Bouillon and water in place of stock for this recipe. It’s flavorful, easy, and something I always keep in my pantry. You can use store-bought chicken stock if you prefer. Or use leftover drippings from making the turkey and prepare your own.
  • Green Chilies: I am from the Southwest, so Hatch green chilies are king; I love that you can control the spice level by choosing mild or hot green chilies; two cans of green chilies make a mild-tasting soup, but if you’re sensitive to spice, use only one.
  • Spices: Season the soup with cumin, smoked paprika, coriander powder, cayenne, salt, and white pepper.
  • Turkey: Use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving to make this soup, but you can also make it with boneless, skinless chicken breast.
  • Cream Cheese: Thicken the broth with full-fat cream cheese.
  • Corn: Use canned, frozen, fresh, or leftovers from corn on the cob to make this recipe.
  • White Beans: You can decide for yourself what the best bean for chili are for this recipe. But, I like using cannellini, navy, or Northern beans. For even more Southwestern flare, try pinto or black beans.

How to Make Leftover Turkey White Chili

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Warm oil in a stock pot, add onions and cook until they become translucent and soften for about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.

Saute the onions in a Dutch oven.

Step 2: Stir in the leftover pulled turkey, water, Better than Bouillon, green chilies, cumin, paprika, coriander, cayenne, salt, and pepper.

Bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes.

Add the broth and turkey to the Dutch oven.

Step 3: Add cream cheese; stir until the cheese melts. Then, add the corn and beans, and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Stir the cream cheese into the chili.

Step 4: Finish the soup with lime juice and serve with the toppings of your choice.

Corn and beans added to the chili in a Dutch oven.

Expert Tips

  • It is important to add dairy to the Instant Pot after the other ingredients pressure cook. If you stir it in too soon, it will scorch the dairy and cause it to separate.
  • Use room-temperature cream cheese to ensure it combines well in the soup.

Can I Make This Recipe in the Instant Pot?

  1. Warm oil in an Instant Pot in saute mode, then add chicken. Cook until the chicken turns white.
  2. Add onions and cook until they become translucent and soften for about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Stir in the chicken broth, green chilies, cumin, paprika, coriander, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil in saute mode. Then, secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 7 minutes with a 10-minute natural release.
  5. Remove the lid and add cream cheese; stir until the cheese melts.
  6. Add corn and beans and simmer in saute mode for another 10 minutes.
  7. Finish the soup with lime juice and serve with the toppings of your choice.

What to Serve with Leftover Turkey White Chili?

Toppings

Finish your chili with all of the fixings like fresh cilantro, shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips, jalapeños, cubes of avocado, and fresh lime wedges.

Sides

What to do with the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate  Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze  Let the dish cool, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag. Leftover turkey white chili will freeze for up to 2-3 months.
  • Thaw – Defrost the chili in the fridge overnight.
  • Reheat  Warm leftovers on the stovetop, and enjoy!  

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use dry beans?

Of course! Before making the soup, add 1 cup of dry beans and 4 cups of water to a Dutch oven. Cook for 1 hour. When the beans finish cooking, set them aside and follow the recipe accordingly.

More Cozy Fall Recipes:

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A single serving of turkey leftover white chili.

Leftover Turkey White Chili

Tressa Jamil
Enjoy the Southwest-inspired flavor of my leftover turkey white chili using the leftover turkey sitting in your fridge from Thanksgiving and holidays.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 303 kcal
Equipment
Ingredients
  
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound leftover turkey, shredded
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons Chicken Better Than Bouillon
  • 1-2 cans green chilies
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
  • 1 package cream cheese, room temperature
  • cup corn
  • 2 cans white beans
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
Instructions
 
  • Warm oil in a stock pot, add onions, and cook until they become translucent and soften for 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Stir in the leftover pulled turkey, water, Better than Bouillon, green chilies, cumin, paprika, coriander, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Add cream cheese; stir until the cheese melts. Then, add the corn and beans and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Finish the soup with lime juice and serve with the toppings of your choice.
Notes
Expert Tips: 
  • It is important to add dairy to the Instant Pot after the other ingredients pressure cook. If you stir it in too soon, it will scorch the dairy and cause it to separate.
  • Use room-temperature cream cheese to ensure it combines well in the soup.
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Bowl | Calories: 303 kcal | Carbohydrates: 27 g | Protein: 27 g | Fat: 11 g | Sodium: 741 mg | Fiber: 11 g | Sugar: 4 g
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
Recipe Rating




Susi M

Wednesday 20th of December 2023

A super fave if ours since first try! I add mild pork sausage meatballs and a can of hominy with the rest of beans and corn. Sometimes I use ground turkey if it's not turkey time so we can have it year round. I love it!

Tressa Jamil

Saturday 30th of December 2023

I love that you have adapted the recipe to eat it throughout the year without turkey. See, that's the kind of creativity I love to see!