This easy, healthy white turkey chili comes together in about 30 minutes with some simple pantry ingredients. It's full of hearty ground turkey pieces, white beans, wild rice, corn and green chilies. Add your favorite chili toppings and dive in!
Today I'm re-sharing a long-time favorite. ❤️
This easy, healthy white turkey chili has been a family go-to for years, and it needed some refreshed photos and a fresh look.
Cause it's SOOOOO good and I wanted to make sure you knew about this deliciousness.
Years ago, before kids, perhaps before we were even married, my now mother-in-law passed along this recipe.
I remember sitting in the parking lot of a grocery store in Washington, D.C., writing down the ingredients so we could buy them and make it that night.
And I've made it dozens and dozens of times since - it's a serious favorite!
We are serious chili lovers, and here's a few others you may want to check out:
- Healthy slow cooker chicken chili
- Vegetarian quinoa chili
- 30-minute vegetarian pumpkin white bean chili
And if you're on team white, also check out this white chicken chili.
This relies on a lot of pantry staples, so it’s easy to throw together any time. And although it’s chili, it’s very light and works just as well in the middle of summer as it does on a chilly fall or winter evening.
(My in-laws live in Florida, so their chili must be just as acceptable in warm weather as in cool weather. 👍)
OK, let's get cooking!
Now, I’ve got those notes and tips coming up below on how to make white turkey chili. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
Notes and substitutions for healthy white turkey chili:
- I use lean ground turkey for this recipe (I get the 93% lean kind). However, it also works great with leftover Thanksgiving turkey. My in-laws always make it that way after Thanksgiving and Christmas. So yummy!
- I use wild rice in this chili and you can either use the kind from the box or just plain rice from a bag or tub. You could substitute brown rice or even just plain white rice if you prefer.
- The rice does need to be cooked for this chili, however, so please plan accordingly. If you want to start the rice as you get the chili ingredients prepped, it'll finish just in time for you to stir it in at the end, which works fine. Or you can make it ahead of time.
- I use great Northern beans here, because that's what my mother-in-law uses, but I think cannellini beans would be fine too.
Also, in terms of timing, this chili is ready after it's simmered for about 15-20 minutes. However, you can turn the heat all the way down low and let it hang out for longer. Just check it every so often and add extra chicken broth if it's getting too thick.
I sure love a forgiving recipe like that!
And like most, this chili reheats great and also freezes great!
And of course, you know me, don't forget the toppings!
Topping ideas for white turkey chili:
- Shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack or pepper Jack would all be great)
- Diced avocado or a dollop of guacamole
- Plain nonfat Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Chopped fresh cilantro or sliced green onions
- Crushed tortilla chips or oyster crackers
- Hot sauce, a drizzle of sriracha or pickled jalapeños for a bit of spicy heat 🌶
We also love serving this with drop biscuits for dunking or dipping. Cheddar garlic drop biscuits are a go-to, and jalapeño cheddar drop biscuits are great when you have a jalapeño on hand.
(By the way, this is also a great recipe to take to new moms - it's an easy, all-in-one, nourishing dinner that you can eat with one hand and feel good about.)
So here's to breathing new life into an old, beloved recipe. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine does!
Healthy white turkey chili
This easy, healthy white turkey chili comes together in about 30 minutes with some simple pantry ingredients.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 - 1 ¼ pounds lean ground turkey (see notes)
- 2 cups wild rice, cooked (see notes)
- 1 15 oz. can White Northern beans, rinsed and drained
- 11 oz. can white corn (or about 1 cup frozen corn), well drained
- 2 4 oz. cans diced green chilies (undrained)
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (and extra if needed, to get it to your desired consistency)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Shredded cheddar or Monterey-Jack cheese, sliced jalapeños, Greek yogurt or sour cream, chopped cilantro, crushed tortilla chips, hot sauce or sriracha, etc.
- Cook wild rice according to package directions..
- Meanwhile, heat oil over medium heat in a large pot.
- Add onion and saute for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and saute an additional minute, until fragrant.
- Move the onions and garlic to the side and add ground turkey. Cook until browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. (Add wild rice now if it’s already cooked, or stir it in once it’s finished.)
- Cover and simmer on low for 15-30 minutes. Check and add extra chicken broth if desired, to get it to your preferred consistency.
- Top with your favorite chili toppings and dig in!
I always use lean ground turkey for this recipe (I get the 93% lean kind). However, it also works great with leftover Thanksgiving turkey. My in-laws always make it that way after Thanksgiving and Christmas. So yummy!
I use wild rice in this chili and you can either use the kind from the box or just plain rice from a bag or tub. You could substitute brown rice or even just plain white rice if you prefer.
The rice does need to be cooked for this chili, however. If you start the rice as you get the chili ingredients prepped, it’ll finish in time for you to stir it in at the end, which is just fine. Or you can make the rice ahead of time.
I use great Northern beans here, because that’s what my mother-in-law uses, but I think cannelinni beans would work too.
This chili is ready after it’s simmered for about 15-20 minutes, but you can definitely let it hang out for longer. Just turn it all the way to low and check it every so often, adding extra chicken broth if it’s getting too thick.
The leftovers reheat and freeze great!
Thank you for this recipe! I have made it 4 times since you posted it and always a big hit.
Yay, I'm so happy to hear you've enjoyed it! It's definitely one of our favorites 😊
Mine turned out tasteless 🙁
I'm so sorry to hear that Kristen! The recipe doesn't use many seasonings because the other ingredients have so much flavor. I've literally made this dozens of times and we love it just as it is. You could certainly try adding some extra salt and pepper, coriander, maybe some additional cumin, etc. to bump up the flavor to suit your tastes.
I didn’t have the chilies but I did have a can of Rotell. So I drained it and added it instead. It was delicious. Just the right amount of spice and definitely flavorful!!
I'm so glad you enjoyed it Meghan! And thanks for sharing that substitute. 😊